Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on getting our Safelight Project farther along. As we left off in March when the lockdown began I had just delivered 39 bags. The dollar store wasn’t doing bulk orders and I needed to wait until that began again. In late April, I was able to again order online, but it took two weeks to come in, and not everything shipped. So, I placed a second order, changing the items slightly with different brands and a different hair product, and that order arrived about 10 days later.
When I had everything, I opened up boxes and set up a station on the table to fill bags.
I separated the cards into two baskets so each bag would get two, and I was sure that they wouldn’t be the same card.
Because the tote vendor was almost out of black and blue, I ordered all they had and made up the balance with red. This meant I had almost half of the bags in red. So, I began pulling out case sets with some red in the print to use the red bags first.
This cute print could have done either red or blue on the bag. Starting the stuffing, I put lipstick and facial pads in the cosmetic case, sunglasses in that case and tissues in those cases. I paid attention to the print colors and picked items to coordinate.
Then, a large Salon Selectives hair conditioner and Dermasil body lotion were added along with a pedicure kit, new hairbrush and extra tissues, plus two cards. I tried to match colors on the hairbrush handle, facial pads and the pedicure kit to coordinate with the prints as well.
Each bag is filled with the goodies.
A pretty printed tissue goes in the top to make the bag more like a gift.
Next one started, I just love this print.
A little while later, a few bags were done, but it was going really slow. Taking the time to match colors one at a time wasn’t the way to go.
So, I got out my large folding mat, put it on the longarm and filled the space with case sets like I did last time. I brought over a case of facial pads and set them out by color, adding a lipstick to each pile. Sunglasses were next, and it was easier to distribute those when I could see a wide range of colors at one time.
Then I stuffed each set. Now all I had to do was pick up a set, and add the remaining items. Once again, I used all the red ones I could first.
A lot more were assembled a lot faster.
The black handle totes were reserved for colors that didn’t do well with either the red or blue. Here, this purple and green print looks fabulous with purple and black accessories and the black handle bag.
Another dozen were set out to stuff with the items I had left.
Seventy-two bags filled and ready to deliver. It took an entire day to fill these bags by myself. I miss having friends over to help and have chat time!
A few days later, when I could make an appointment with Safelight, we stuffed the trunk full of bags.
There were so many, we piled them up in the back seat area as well.
My Sweet Babboo and I wore masks to hand off the bags. Here he is getting started unloading the trunk. It was a heavily overcast day, and we hurried a bit to beat the rain.
From the left, Sara Cole, Director of Development, Quetta Tyree, Manager of Safelight’s Dandelion Cafe, and John Lauterbach, Safelight Executive Director. They were so excited about the delivery they forgot their masks, but kept socially distant. They told me that occupancy at the shelter went up dramatically during the last two months of lockdown, and the first bags delivered in March are all gone.
All those empty boxes filled up the car again for a run to the recycling center on a separate trip. I have 24 bags left, along with enough cards and cases to do them. I’ll finish those up in a month or so, and deliver them when I can get one more bulk order done. In total, the project has delivered 111 bags so far! Our total number of bags after the next delivery will be 135. I sincerely hope that these last over a year.
Thank you to everyone that participated in this project!! It would not get done without you!
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