Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gifts for Gracias - Taking a moment to CELEBRATE!!!!!!!

Of course, as a regular reader of this blog, you already know about the Gifts for Gracias project. (If you don't know, then this will tell you all about it.)

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. 


Laurie Matherne said...

Looks amazing, Trish. I am shipping ONE box this week to friends near the capital. I am very blessed that a company in New Orleans ships for me at ridiculously discounted prices, and they deliver to the door of my former ministry for no extra fees. Not many trucks can even make it up to our hilltop area, but they do willingly and gladly. I am shipping shoes and a few school supplies. Shoes are hard to find in good condition and a fair price in that part of Honduras. I hate seeing children try to walk in the hills near there, because of the rocks and mud.

Jules said...

I love seeing this behind the scenes. If I was the right locale, I could help with the storage but I'm really not so wise to do all the sorting! That is wonderful they do that!

You are loved and I'm pretty sure they love helping. ;)

Cindy in California said...

I also wish I were closer to help!!! Sorting and packing is just up my alley! :-) And I do understand that it takes time. Not including shopping, it takes me the better part of a Saturday just to pack and inventory the 30" x 30" x 30" boxes that I ship a couple of times a year.

I do have to ask, what are all the white buckets for?

Trish said...

Thanks Laurie - it really IS amazing, and it takes a LOT of people coming together to make it happen!

Jules - I'm glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for the next post, which explains the rest of the process!

Cindy - We use lots of 5 gallon buckets in our construction work, so we were pleased to receive a donation of that HUGE pile of them! :)

Kristal said...

So exciting to see it all come together and get to you!

Missus Wookie said...

Amazing amount of work but so worth it. Do you have lids for the buckets?

stephanie said...

Very impressive!