Birthday Care

Jane Hawes

Cassandra Brigdon always faces a dilemma when planning her son Jake's December birthday.

"December is hard to have a birthday in," said the Bexley mom whose son was turning 11 this last go-around. "You can't have 25 presents two weeks before Christmas."

So the family huddled and came up with a solution that met Jake's approval as well as those of his Maryland Elementary School classmates and party guests: They asked their guests to instead help create a care package to send American soldiers stationed overseas.

"We're all into history," Brigdon said. "The boys wrote really cute letters. I was reading them during the party. They were wonderful and I was thinking, 'These letters do not match how they're acting right now.'"

The Brigdons have created military care packages before and recommend including items like baby wipes and "tons of junk food, rewrapped in plastic."

The U.S. Department of Defense maintains a list of organizations that will help you send a care package. Visit to find out more.