We all know about the suffering of poor children around the world. It can be painful to watch infomercials showing little children hungry and living in extreme poverty. Many African countries are struggling to take care of their populations and rely heavily on aid and donations from other countries. There are hundreds of organisations both religious and secular that provide aid directly to the people of Africa. If you want to send a care package that will immediately impact a child's life, choose a trusted aid organisation that you believe in to send the package through.
Choose an organisation to work with. Do a search online at Charity Navigator or Aid for Africa to find a reputable organisation that fits your cause or beliefs. If you want to send a care package to a specific country in Africa, there are specific organisations that may work in one country only. Orphanages and children's homes are also always in need of supplies. You can contact them directly if they have a website with contact information. Another option is to send a care package through a religious organisation that you are affiliated with. One of the biggest organisations that accepts care packages is Samaritan's Purse, a Christian organisation that provides thousands of poor children with a shoebox full of needs and toys on Christmas through their program Operation Christmas Child.
Follow instructions explicitly on what to include in the care package. Some items that you would like to send may not be allowed or are not needed. Contact the organisation you chose to work with to find out the guidelines as to what to include. Common care package items include school supplies such as pencils, writing notebooks and crayons, toiletries such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, hairbrushes, shoes, toys like stuffed animals, dolls and toy cars. Typically it is best not to include food, breakable items or medications.
Follow instructions on packing and shipping. Getting your care package to Africa in one piece may not happen if you don't properly pack and seal your package. It may be better to send your donation in a barrel than a box that can easily fall apart if it gets wet. Many organisations have local drop-off places where you can leave your packages in the U.S., so that you don't have to worry about the shipping. Consult with the organisation you are working with about options.
It may be difficult to find organisations that will accept care packages from individuals. For safety and economic reasons, more organisations are beginning to request monetary donations or sponsoring a package that they have already put together.