Going to the mailbox these days is so fun, with all the packages to pick up! The response from the greatest readers ever has been just awesome. I am continually amazed at the generosity for a community in a rural area from literally all over the world. That someone in Australia, or New Zealand, or England, or Singapore, would so altruistically support my project out of the goodness of their hearts is amazing. Donations of money and cards, sewn cosmetic bags and sunglasses cases are literally pouring in.
In the first 2 weeks, we exceeded the initial goal of having enough for 30 bags. So I thought maybe we could do 40. This year I ordered cases of items in bulk, with free shipping for pick up at the store. This was so much easier than checking out hundreds of items one at a time, holding up the line in the store.
Of course, I tried to get as close to 40 as possible, but cases come in packs of 12, 24 or 30. That meant going to the store to pick up the additional items needed for the bags.
I decided to upgrade the bags themselves this year. Instead of the plastic ones like last year, I ordered these canvas ones online. They were a bit more than last year’s bags, but so much nicer! The lightweight canvas will hold up better, and have nice pockets on the outside for small items. I ordered them in two colors, red and blue.
Then I started opening packages from the mail. Mary at Stitching Grandma sent cosmetic bags, sunglasses cases, and cards!
Bernie sent a cute plaid bag set, April sent some gorgeous cards, and Sheila made several bag sets.
Ida made the bag sets on the left, and Pam sent the three on the right.
Peg was really working down her stash, sending 10 sets of cosmetic and sunglasses cases.
Rosemarie did the beautiful cards on the left, and Heidi sent multiples of the two on the right with sweet decorated envelopes.
Inside one of Rosemarie’s cards, this is such a great inspirational stamp.
Gail sent 16 creative cards in six different designs.
To keep track of all these donations, I log each one as it arrives. The numbers on the left correspond to the number of entries received, and the numbers assigned for the drawings. Donors were given one entry per cosmetic case, sunglasses case, card or $5 donation. I’ve scrubbed out last names, email addresses, and identifiers on this pic to protect privacy. Thank you to Mary Jo L, Amy O, Sherrill P, Laura P, Karen R, Lynne D, Lesley G, Susan G, Karen T, Christine J, and especially to Norece E (a Platinum level donation!), for their monetary support!!
At the last meeting of our local block group that meets at Beginnings Quilt Shop, and the April meeting of the Carolina Longarm Association, I mentioned that I was almost to my financial goal to make 40 bags. As soon as the meetings were over, I had exceeded it with the ladies quickly coming up with the last $50 needed, and more. Thanks to Chryste K, Brenda B, Ann K, Terry S, Dorothy e, Sherry B, Peggy M, Bonnie C, Gayle G, Gayle J, Marit S, and Barbara T. But, I didn’t need to listen to the butterflies, the next trip to the PO box would yield yet more donations. Thank you to Pat E, Marsha W, Val R, Mildred P, Susan S, and Afton W. Then my dearest MIL sent a check that would cover another 5 bags.
I made up the first bag. Each one has a pair of sunglasses inside the sunglasses case along with the matching cosmetic case holding lip gloss, a pedicure kit and nail polish. There is also a water bottle, sun block, aloe lotion and an inspirational card.
Once again, sparkly tissue is put on top to be more like a gift.
On a related note, we delivered the California Fire Quilt to Dave and Selma on Tuesday. They were delighted. We had lunch with them, and talked about the Safelight Project. Dave’s mom, my neighbor who just moved, was with us and when I mentioned that there were sometimes men at the shelter, she asked if any of the bags would be for men. That got me thinking, so I am going to make two additional gift bags geared toward a masculine theme. Several of the cards could go for a guy, but I’ll have to come up with something other than pedicure kits and nail polish. I am hoping DH can help me decide on a few guy goodies.
Then I went to check my mail on Tuesday, and look what I brought home!
Opening all the packages, I emailed everyone last night so I could update again for today. I didn’t have a way to contact Ann B, Sandy O, or Mary W (no email addresses were given), so thank you all for the sets you sent. More sets came from Cindy B, Lisa E, Nancy G, Diann B, Tonia C and Janine H.
Plus a stack of lovely cards and sentiment suggestions from Nancy G.
A second bag was made up, just to show. It was after this that I decided to put the pedicure kits inside the cosmetic bags, so these pictures have them showing. Now, I am delighted to announce that we have enough of everything to do 50 bags for the shelter!! And it is all due to you, dear readers.
Two bags ready to go. A friend is coming over to help stuff the bags and we will deliver them in early May. The third order of bags arrived yesterday, and I ordered some with black handles. Also, I got an email from a new reader recently who says she is sending 50 cards! This would mean every bag would get two cards, such a wonderful thing!
I really appreciate each and every reader involved with the Safelight Project, working together we made a difference in a lot of lives last year, and will do so again this year. You are the best!! Thank you!!