Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Container Story

The Container Store proclaims themselves to be the “organizational experts”. That’s probably true if you’re wanting a pantry filled with uniform jars for your dried beans or a closet that looks like it fell out of a reality show. If you are looking to get a bunch of backpacks and supplies filled into two giant shipping containers, however, The Container Store has nothing on the people working with Sowers4Pastors. This is The Container Story!

Two shipping containers will soon be delivered this coming Saturday. One will arrive at Fredericktowne Baptist Church in Maryland, the other will go to Edgewater Alliance Church in Florida.  Each container has about 2600 cubic feet of space (which is information Allen needed to give me, even though Trish told him not to get hung up on numbers and statistics!). For reference, that’s enough space to hold between 6000-7000 filled backpacks. But backpacks aren’t the only things that will fill them.

The container in Florida will have about 150,000 meals going into it. Between the two containers, there will also be about 2500 pairs of new shoes for children, used clothing and shoe donations, miscellaneous supplies to help the ministry, and the 5000 newly-purchased Bibles, on which Allen was able to get a good price. Allen’s not sure if there will be hundreds or thousands of soccer balls, but there will be enough to make a lot of Honduran children very happy! And, of course, there will be about 5000 packed backpacks to make going to school much easier for as many children.

The boxes of donations are marked using a color code (and spray paint) . . . and the color coding system has sort of taken on a life of its own. This year, there are over twenty color codes to differentiate between the contents of the containers. There are codes for the locations where the backpacks will be delivered, codes for items being shipped for other missionaries, codes for the quality of the clothing donations, etc…

When each container arrives to its packing site, the volunteers will only have two hours to get it filled! Color coding ensures that the most important items find their way onto a container. As Allen said, “You never want to have a shipping container with extra space! It’s always better to have more items collected than will fit, rather than to have too little. Used clothing acts as a filler for any gaps. Color coding helps us because, if there is not enough room for everything, we can make sure the most important items get on board, and also can choose the more gently used items from the used clothing donations.”

Oh, sure, the finished product may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a display from The Container Store, but, make no mistake, it will be a beautiful sight to behold!

- posted by Christi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And that container is not even completely loaded. It will be STUFFED with a lot more bags and the doors closed one at time while we stuff even more bags inside. (Think getting two weeks of vacation clothing in a carry-on sized suitcase!) When it is finally opened in Honduras, there will be an avalanche, so stand back!