Saturday, September 12, 2015

On the Eleventh Day of Gifts for Gracias . . .

I am writing twelve posts about the different ways people have participated in the Gifts for Gracias Project over the years. Today is the eleventh day. If you are unfamiliar with Gifts for Gracias, or would like to see an overview of how it works, click here for more info.

The Eleventh Day of Gifts for Gracias: Come to Honduras and help us make up the gifts

This may sound crazy to you, but people have done it before: you could come and stay with us for a few weeks or months, and help us when the container arrives here. There is a TON of work involved, and we try to do it all as quickly as possible, so we can have space in our house again! The trickiest part of this is that we generally don't know exactly when the container will ship, until very close to the actual date, making planning a trip in advance difficult (and therefore increasing the cost somewhat). Here's a fun post, documenting the time Kate Cofer came and helped us: Boo and Katie make Christmas Gifts for Pastors.

The work goes like this: 

1. We empty all areas of our buildings in which we intend to store the incoming donations, and use the opportunity to clean them thoroughly. We plan out the locations where each type of box should be put upon arrival - boxes of food, used clothing, pre-made gifts, personal items, etc.  2. Once the container has been released from Honduran customs, and has been transported to the city of Gracias, the menfolk head down the mountain to unload the large shipping container into two smaller trucks, which finish the journey by transporting the donations up the rough and steep dirt roads to our house. 
3. The menfolk accompany the fully loaded trucks to our house, and unload everything a second time, into our buildings.  
4. After recuperating from the unloading, we open all of the boxes and do additional sorting and organizing, so that when we are making boxes, we know right where each item is located (ahem, more or less). Anything which we find to not be usable for inclusion in gifts (mostly this would be somewhat damaged, but still usable items) is given away to pastors who distribute these items to the poor families in their communities.  
5. Finally, using the lists we received from the pastors and supervisors, we put together personalized gifts for all of the families on all of the lists - generally around 325 families, which represents slightly less than 2000 people (a significant majority of these are children)! I told you it was a LOT of work!

Would you like to join us here in Honduras, to help us with this project? We'd love to talk to you about this possibility. trish @

Never fear, though, there is still time to get involved, without buying a plane ticket! Read the previous posts for more ideas, and for shipping information. Deadline information is below:

All gifts coming to us in Florida MUST be received before September 24th! Currently, the Maryland deadline is the end of October!

Tomorrrow I will write the final post about how people help us with the Gifts for Gracias project. Thanks for hanging in there with me, as I attempted to cover all of this information!

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