The response to the Safelight Project has been beyond my wildest dreams this year. I am just in awe of the outpouring of support!! Donations of cards, sewn case sets and money continued to come in all the way to the end of April. So much so that we have way beyond my initial goal of 30 bags, and even my revised goal of 45 bags!
Cards and cases just kept on coming, the mail was amazing. So much so, that I just cannot show it all!! Since the last update, I’d like to thank Mary W, Cindy B, Sandy O, Lisa E, Janine H, Susan G, Beth M, Lydia T, Lee G, Jeanine and Mary Ann, Linda B, Betty A, Helene C and Donna B for sending sewn case sets. And to Barbara M who sent in 15 fabulous cards and four sets with the cutest button details! Thank you to Leonora S, Judy M, and Lydia T for sending gorgeous cards with wonderful messages. I also want to give a special thank you to Robyn C who sent 50 individual and unique hand written notes in envelopes! Thank you to Paulette V, Lynda B, Donna B, Lenora S, and Lisa E for monetary donations. Please forgive me if I missed anyone between the update posts! I really do appreciate everyone who helped.
So, there was so much coming in that I decided to go ahead with starting to pack the bags. I had 40 bags, and got the last order of 10 more with black handles last week. I got out the sunglasses I had purchased, and put them with cases that went with the colors.
I also put the pedicure set colors with complementary colors in the bags.
I set up two packing stations, one with the cases already stuffed and three baskets of the cards, ensuring that one from each basket would give a variety in each bag. The extra basket behind the cards has some little extras from various sources, and those were added for as long as they lasted.
A second packing station was set up on my main sewing table with the bags, water bottles, sunblock, and lotion. My friend Sam came over to help pack and deliver. She brought nail files and disposable razors to add to the bags too. She packed her station items, then handed the bags to me and I added the things from my station. The bags were topped off with sparkly tissue paper to hide the goodies inside.
Each of the bags had three cards along with the goodies!! There were sunglasses inside the sunglasses case. The cosmetic case held a 5-piece pedicure kit, lip balm, and nail polish. A water bottle, aloe lotion and sunblock completed the goodie bag.
It only took about half an hour to pack 50 bags!! Yes, 50, but read on!
I mentioned on a previous post that I wanted to do a couple of bags specifically for men, and I did two of these. I found an inexpensive, black duffel bag at Walmart that got DH’s seal of approval. I filled it with socks, shaving items, skin lotion, new comb and brush, water bottle, baseball cap, and aviator sunglasses in a black hard shell case.
Sam and I made several trips from the basement to the car to get the 52 bags packed in. We had to stuff a bit, but they all made it in.
Here we are at Safelight in the parking lot. That’s me on the left, with Wendy in the middle (Job Training Program Director, and manager of the shelter’s sewing classes) and Laresa on the right (Director of Development). Laresa is my primary contact at Safelight. They managed to get all the bags inside the shelter in one trip with the rolling cart and each carrying a dozen or so on their shoulders.
Sam and I then had lunch at the Dandelion Cafe, next to the shelter. It provides a training venue for residents to learn the food service industry. And they have great food (like my favorite tomato pie). Inside the Dandelion Cafe, there is a boutique for the residents to sell their creations from their sewing classes to benefit the shelter’s programs.
At the back of the cafe, a second boutique displays goods donated for sale to benefit the shelter’s job training program at the cafe, nicer things than are in the thrift store. These items are handmade as well, along with Dandelion Cafe T-shirts.
I show you this because I received far more case sets than I could use. After making up 50 bags, AND putting aside 12 sets for future bags, there were more than 50 sets still left! So, I put 16 sets into a basket, labeled them as being made by readers, and gave them to Safelight for sale in their boutique. The sets are pinned together, with a pretty ribbon holding the card on the side. I hope you all approve of this idea to use the extras meant to benefit the residents of the shelter. I selected a nice array of beautifully sewn cases in a variety of prints and colors to go in the boutique, and put them in a basket. I’ll bring you a photo of the display when the shelter manager gets them priced with a stock number for tracking inventory and set out. They were thinking that these would sell nicely at a high price point, as they are so well made and unique. I’ll refill the basket with the remaining sets as these sell, with your approval. If you have another idea, let me know.
Now, the winners of the prizes!! We had 493 entries, and that doesn’t include those who asked not to be entered. I also received 5 sets of cases on Monday, with no name or note, I only know that the package came from Bear, Delaware. I added a couple of prizes from my personal stash too! All have been notified via email. It is wonderful to see that winners came from all over, including England!
Stampin Up Soft Saying card kit – Lenora S, Springfield, MO
Stampin Up Lots of Happy card kit – Nanc G, Brooklyn Park, MN
Aurifil Threads – Lesley G, United Kingdom
Quilter’s Dream Green batting – Karen R, Hendersonville, NC
Fat Quarter Shop $50 GC – Kathy H, West Chester, PA
Francis Dowell book set – Pat E, Avon, NY
Card stock and goodies from my personal stash – Rosemarie S, Hendersonville, NC
Aurifil Threads from my personal stash – Chryste K, Marshall, NC
(affiliate links for some items, thank you for using my links!)
But, there is more. I have enough cards, sewn case sets, and monetary donations left to add 12 more bags when the shelter begins to run low. I’ll order more bags, and get more goodies in a few months when they are getting close to the end of this year’s bags.
This means that this year’s project made 64 bags total!! Awesome!! Thank you to every one who donated to the project in any way. Together we made a difference! What do you think of our efforts?