Wrapping Up the Safelight Project

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

When I had everything, I opened up boxes and set up a station on the table to fill bags.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Each bag is filled with the goodies.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A pretty printed tissue goes in the top to make the bag more like a gift.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Next one started, I just love this print.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Bag stuffed.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A lot more were assembled a lot faster.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Another dozen were set out to stuff with the items I had left.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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!

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A few days later, when I could make an appointment with Safelight, we stuffed the trunk full of bags.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

There were so many, we piled them up in the back seat area as well.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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.

Safelight Project 2020 at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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!

Father’s Day is coming up, check out Amazon’s Top Gift Ideas for Guys.

21 thoughts on “Wrapping Up the Safelight Project

  1. kattails

    It wouldn’t get done without YOU! Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it. You’ve got one of the biggest hearts around.

  2. stephzw

    It is a shame that you have to miss your friends to help you. I feel badly for you. Lovely bags to give.

  3. sheryl harrison

    every time you post about this project, i start to cry. i am an elementary school secretary and have seen and heard more than i thought i ever would when i started working at the school 24 years ago. my office is a safe place for parents to talk about problems and i’ve heard a lot. this project touches my heart.

  4. It is so satisfying to see the follow-up on this great project. Wish I could be there to help, but being 1000 miles away prevented that! Thank you so much for providing all of us with the opportunity to contribute to this worthwhile project. I’m sorry for the circumstances that require the shelter, but it is heartening to see that so many have stepped up to help. Bless you, BIG TIME! And hubby, too! 😉

  5. Rita C.

    What a blessing, Carole! Wow, that is so impressive! You are such a good woman. ANYONE would enjoy getting a gift bag like that, but the intended recipients will be thrilled, I’m certain.

  6. Sigh, Carole
    Don’t you wish with all your heart that we did not ever need the services of Safelight. God bless them and you for all you do. I’ll help with cash as I can. Just let me know.
    Mary Jo

  7. Loris Mills

    This is one of the most heart warming efforts I see online. My heart has been heavy thinking of those trapped in abusive situations during this shelter in place time. I thank God for the shelters that were able to provide refuge. Your gift bags will surely continue to bring comfort and hope!
    I hope you can rest well now. Great job!

  8. Melanie

    Thank you, Carole, for all the love and hard work you put into this project each year. Amazing number of totes filled with so many wonderful and essential products and cases. Hugs and kudos to you and all the participants, too!

  9. Cindy

    Kudos to you Carole and all your little happy elves that make this possible!!!! What an accomplishment!!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!!!!

  10. Joan Sheppard

    Oh this is amazing!!!!!! So many things went into place. The sewing, the purchases, the organization, more organization, more orders. YOU ROCK! Thank you for doing all of this. And for making it pretty for women who have seen the ugly side of things, you are the first step for them to see that there is beauty in the world and it starts with them. Thank you.

  11. manasotavacation

    I checked out the Amazon link and some of the guy gifts gave me a laugh.,..,..flashlights on gloves for night fishing and the “bracelet” with magnets to hold nails, screws, etc. Clever!

    And Carole, big hugs to you for these gifts to Safelight !! Your attention to the details is wonderful, so that these truly are gifts made special to women who are not in a good place right now. I can only imagine how much it means to these women to feel “special” to someone in the world at a time when they need that so much. Thank you for all that you do!

  12. Myrna Watson

    You and your Safelight gang are wonderful. Passing on the Love
    Thank you, Carole and friends

  13. Linda Brayton

    It’s nice to see that there is someone else who likes to coordinate things like I do. My friends laugh at me for being so “matchy-matchy”. Thanks for doing this project. I look forward to donating a few sets each year.

  14. Patricia Evans

    Thank you for all you do to bring this project to fruition. I wasn’t able to participate this year, but will in the future. Your efforts are a blessing to those who need a lift up.

  15. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    You are doing so much good for so many people Carole. Bless you for all you do.

  16. These bags are truly gifts of love Carole, I know your time and generosity is appreciated by so many. The gift items are so pretty and I love the time and care you took to organize them!

  17. Helene Cline

    I’m embarrassed to say that I am quite late opening up this post. But what a surprise to see one of my sets featured in this post!! I really enjoy making these sets. When you have everything all assembled it is a very nice gift for someone in need of cheering up. Thank you for taking on this huge project and I look forward to making more sets for the next round.

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