4. Used books, homeschool materials, Sunday school materials
Libraries may be quickly becoming a thing of the past, but they are a huge resource that many missionaries must do without. Many missionaries have needs for books in their mother tongue (especially if homeschooling). Wholesome movies with their country’s language or subtitles, and other things found in US libraries and church libraries are needed, but they may not have the funds to purchase them new.
If you have old materials that you or your church no longer uses or needs, consider offering to mail them to a missionary.
5. Items hard to find in their country
Something as insignificant as a can of pumpkin puree can be a HUGE encouragement to a missionary. Find out what your missionary needs or would like to have from “home” that he/she cannot purchase on the field and offer to buy it and mail it to them. Think of things like specialty food items, vitamins and supplements, special tools or clothing needs.
International shipping costs are on the rise. USPS to Mexico was expensive but DOUBLED its rates and increased them again in the last 3 years. And then there are importation taxes too (17% of the total retail value on goods imported to Mexico).
If you have the capability through your business or organization to mail things internationally for lower than normal rates, or if you could offer free mailing to your missionary through your business, that is paramount to an increase in support for them!
They could place their own family or ministry orders online, ship their orders to you, and you could then consolidate the items and make one shipment to them on the field, for a much lower price, either absorbing the cost or passing on the lower cost to the missionary. What a blessing!
7. Arts and crafts
Do you enjoy doing crafts? Why not have a crafting party and make up 500 or so wordless book bracelets, gospel Christmas tree ornaments, Easter crafts, pretty homemade cards, or VBS craft kits to send to a missionary? It might take him weeks to produce the same quantity of attention drawing items. He could easily print the Gospel message on a small paper to go with your crafts and hand them out as invitations to a special event or as an alternative to normal paper tracts.