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?
23 thoughts on “Safelight Update and Winners”
Oh, Carole, what a wonderful project! I felt so fortunate to see the reaction of the shelter staff when they saw the bags and the basket filled with items to be sold at their little boutique! It truly takes a village for most things in our world. I think each of us who contributed make up a loving and generous village for these women who are going through very difficult times! Sam
Amazing. I love those quotes, too–Healing through creativity. Sewing our world together.
I feel honored to be a contributor in this most wonderful project!!!! Thank you Carole for inviting us to join you in this! You are awesome!!!!
So happy to have been a part of such an outpouring of love and caring. So wonderful to see so many coming together to help virtual strangers in their time of need.
Absolutely wonderful! So happy this went so well! Congrats to the winners, too!
Congrats on a job well done Ladies. God has used your hearts, hands and talents.
Gifts from the heart, for sure!
Awesome Carole. So glad that there were so many donations/participants. Congrats to the prize winners also.
Whew, what an amazing project with so many participants! Well done! The cases were very easy to make, too and I bet a lot of your contributors would be happy to make more for the next round. @susansquiltstudio
Wow, I am overwhelmed by your generosity as well as that of your readers! I am new to your blog ( the first entry I read was about the Mini Cooper ride through the beautiful countryside). I couldn’t quite figure out what your readers were contributing and what the end results would be. I finally “get it”. You are really making a difference in your world.
Years ago I participated in a project for school children and their mothers who were staying in a nearby shelter. The two things that were on the top of their happiness quota were toothbrushes and new socks. As we watched them opening their new school bags, we saw the biggest excitement when they found those things. (Just a suggestion you might like to consider).
Thank you for your efforts.
FANTASTIC!! All of your readers are to be congratulated. Thank you for bringing your favorite organization to our attention, and inviting us to play a small part. I enjoyed making the make up bags and sunglasses cases. I found them to be very Fat Quarter friendly, and even had enough fabric left to make tissue cases. I am going to work with a group of seniors at an assisted living facility this month and we are going to use these patterns and make similar items for them to put in their little gift shop. Win win all around. Pleased to have been a participant. I learned a new pattern, and felt like my small contribution played a part.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work and your dedication to
making life so much brighter for so many people through this project.
enemeeIt has been a joy to be part of this project .
When an event like this is so good, that wonderful feeling of joy and happiness, to know so many contributed, helped, donated, a wonderful ending,
That is totally amazing. It’s heartening to hear of people’s generosity.
What a herculean project. Well done, everyone!
A wonderful project with overwhelming input! I am surprised at the size of the tote bags. When I first saw them, I did not think they were this large. So very useful, everything!
I think we are all winners, including you, Carole, in a big way! Thanks for all you do to make this effort such a great success again this year! I love your idea of donating the extra cases to their boutique, and hope they raise lots of money. What a worthy project. Many thanks to you!
Very awesome indeed!
That is an amazing effort. Congratulations for all the work and the co-ordination of this task.
WONDERFUL WORK !! Unbelievable! Thank you to all !
Wow, that’s fantastic! I think everyone must have been very excited by this, and happy that you’ve adopted Safelight! Thank you for all the work you did in organizing this, purchasing supplies, and getting it all sorted and together, and thanks to your friend, too, for her help. I think putting the extras out to earn money for the programs for the women still benefits everyone, and that’s a marvelous use of the little bit extra that came.
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