Whether they’re states away or just across town, watching your children pack up and leave the nest is hard on parents. As the mother of two college students, Aundrea Hasselbach knows first-hand how tough the transition to college can be—for both parents and their kids. That’s why she founded Avey & Kiki, an online shop where you can order and send care packages to any apartment or dorm in the United States.
After interviewing more than 4,900 students across the country, Hasselbach came up with the perfect parcel-building formula. After selecting a gender, the senders choose from a list of practical items, like laundry detergent, tampons, and razors—the necessities that students don’t want to spend their limited funds on. “Often care packages are not actually what kids want—they’re just a bouquet of junk food. When I asked them what they’d like, they said they’d love stuff they actually need,” says Hasselbach.
Next, you can add a few items from a list of goodies that college students really want, such as gift cards to Chipotle, nail polish, phone cases, or beer pong sets. Avey & Kiki updates their product lists every week based on student input to make sure their products stay trendy and fun. Before you ship the package, you also get to choose one free item from a list including quarters for laundry and trash bags. Plus, you can write a personalized note for your son or daughter. According to Hasselbach, the note is the most important part.
“Kids get homesick, and sometimes it’s hard to meet friends,” she says. “They’re trying to be grown-up, but they’re not quite there yet. So they really want those personal messages and words of encouragement.”
As a bonus, the company adds in a playlist from University of Colorado Boulder resident DJ Matthew Muniz, which includes song titles, artist names, and a link to Soundcloud so students can download their new tunes. Itching to get started? Visit their website to get your care package shipped in no time—and don’t forget to spend some time on that personal message.