The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 23, 2013

Online orders replace care packages

(Continued)

So he and a friend launched a hipper alternative last year with a monthly mix of health-food snacks, personal care items (like Old Spice or a new fragrance from Rihanna) and entertainment (such as CDs), ranging in price from $16.50 to $35 a month. “The response has been overwhelming,” Fortson said. “We’re already shipping to colleges in 45 states.”

Kelley Garland, a sophomore at Providence College in Rhode Island, saw a post about CoedSupply.com on her school’s Facebook page, asked her mom to sign her up, and says she loves “having that little surprise at the beginning of every month.”

FROM HOME, WITH LOVE: CLIPPINGS, COOKIES AND CONDOMS

Parents who do send care packages say socks, laundry pods (premeasured detergent packs) and cookies are staples. But they also say it’s not so much about sending necessities as it is a message of love, from home.

“There’s no way I can send him a copy of ‘I’ll Love You Forever,’ even though that is what I feel like reading right now,” joked Jill Troderman of Soquel, Calif., referring to the classic children’s book about parental devotion.

But she did send her son at the University of Washington socks, a flannel throw and homemade chocolate-chip cookies. She figured he could share the cookies with friends since he’s a “bit of a health nut ... he doesn’t want to gain the freshman 15.” (For the record, researchers say it’s a myth that college students gain 15 pounds their first year — it’s more like three or five pounds.)

Laura Kessler tries to send monthly care packages to her two sons, but she “can’t bake to save her soul,” so instead sends things like Nutella and trinkets. Asked to name a favorite item from one of mom’s packages, son Brian Kessler, a sophomore at the University of Dayton, posted on Facebook, “Gonna have to go with Silly String.”

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