Well, we're excited to announce that the project is now . . . halfway done! That's right! Usually one would make a big announcement when a project is fully completed, but why wait? Let's get excited NOW!
In my next post, I'll explain the rest of how this project works, but for right now, here's a shout-out to the people who have worked so very hard to donate to the project - putting together Christmas gifts, collecting used items, purchasing and items online to have shipped to us!
We also want to recognize those amazing people who gave up space in their churches and homes (and sheds, and garage, and . . . ) to store the packages as they arrived - like the Cofers and Fredericktowne Baptist Church in Maryland and my family and the Linden family in Florida. I know this is a huge inconvenience to these volunteers!
When the donations arrive, various volunteers help to sort though everything. They weed out donated items which don't fit the guidelines of the project, they organize everything into categories (used clothing and linens, used household items, new items to use for putting together gifts, pre-made gifts, etc), pack the boxes carefully to avoid damage and wasted space, and label and seal the boxes! When you are talking about a pile of donations large enough to fill a 40' container - this equates to MANY hours of work!
Once enough donations have been collected, to fill all of the space in a 40' shipping container . . . it's time to load it up!
In the photos below, you will see three containers/trucks. One was used at the church to store donations, another was rented to move donations from another location to the church on loading day, and the third is the container which will make the trip to Honduras, loaded with everything which has been collected for Gifts for Gracias. Special thanks to Jim Cofer, for coming up with the idea of building a loading platform, to simplify the process!
I know, for sure, that I will leave some people out, as I take a moment to thank some individuals. I sincerely apologize - I don't even KNOW the names of everyone who was involved on the US side of things! Feel free to add names, in the comments, if you know of someone who should receive mention here!
Our VERY grateful thanks go out to: Jim and Denise Cofer, Ben and Norma Irvin, Fredericktowne Baptist Church, Jan and Eric Linden, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Father Dave Austell, Charlie Clifford, Mary and Gary Richards, Jeff and Mary Ellen Roberson, Melissa and Chad Barrows, Ron Carstens, Mary and David Freeman, Joanne Fuss, Graceham Moravian Church, Jules Michael, the ladies (and gentlemen) of the SonLight forums and the SL Facebook group, Rick Bricker, Kelly Spoor, Bob Brown, George Norris, Servant's Heart, Mark Warner, Shannon Grieves, Jed Dearing, Matt Ward, Charlie Kemp, and EVERYONE ELSE WHO HELPED!!!!
Coming up next: How the whole Gifts for Gracias Project works.