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Dec. 21st, 2008 @ 04:58 pm Redefining how we work
I think it’s time to redefine our group in light of the Operation Gratitude factor. Here is my suggestion…

Over at Homespun Helpers, the other charity I run, people make items and send them to charities on their own – they take pictures of those items and we keep track of how much we have donated as a group.

I am thinking we can take the same approach here, except that we would all be sending items to the same place.

So, this way, if you buy a few drink mixes, we tally those. If you make some neck coolers or socks, we count those. We can tally how many items we donate as a group to their Patriot Drive and how many items we donate as a group for their Holiday Drive. Maybe we send a letter or e-mail letting them know how much Operation Bag of Home Members have donated.

What do you think?

Remember, they don’t want to start receiving stuff until after april 15, so we can all start stock-piling now, save up for shipping, and really bombard them :)
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joriejc2:
Dec. 21st, 2008 @ 02:54 pm Operation Gratitude
Hi Everyone,

Thanks to one of our Ravelry members, I have made contact with a group called Operation Gratitude. They basically have a mission very similar to ours but they send big ole boxes rather than bags :)

Since Ravelry is about crafters, I suggested that maybe the Ravelry group could be dedicated to making some of the homemade items on their wish list (neck coolers, scarves, etc). Here, we could focus on gathering as many of their items as we can. If you still want to make homemade bags, we can do that too. I figure if we become a major resource for them, we would still have a real important purpose (and less international shipping!)

I'm interested in any thoughts!
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joriejc2:
Oct. 9th, 2008 @ 09:16 am How we doin'?
Hey there everybody,

Believe it or not, I now have plenty of stuffing but not enough bags! If you are into making quick and rewarding projects via sewing, kniting, or crocheting...make a bag or 3 and send them my way! :)
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joriejc2:
Sep. 23rd, 2008 @ 09:12 pm Six bags
Here are the six bags I got today. I told you they were wonderful!!!

Photobucket
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joriejc2:
Sep. 23rd, 2008 @ 01:38 pm WUWU!!!
I totally just got a donate of six BEAUTIFUL and fully stuffed female-specific bags from a lovely lady in my stitch 'n bitch. She stuffed the bags with hair doodads (basic colors), chap stick, travel toothpaste and toothbrush, hand sanitizer, and deodorant.

I will post a picture once I get home, but y'all will be jealous of these bags! :D

Chriss, I'll send these once I have some of my own to send with them.
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joriejc2:
Sep. 18th, 2008 @ 07:56 am This and that
Hey folks,

Just wanted to make a couple of quick notes.

Because Chriss assembles the bags before shipping, I want to reiterate (and will from time to time) that we want to keep this as easy for her as possible. We totally welcome an inclusion of products that aren't on our list, but if you are providing some special items, it would be great to indicate what kind of bag it is intended for, and it would be even better if you could include the other items needed for that bag so that Chriss has an easy time assembling bags that might be unique.If you have any questions about this please let me know.

Additionally, it would be helpful probably to have a list of posal "dos and donts" and military "dos and donts." As an example, I was just informed that the military requires that women use hair doodads that are simple and that match hair color (who knew?).

As always, we appreciate your creativity, your imagination, and most of all, your help. Any questions can be address to Chriss or to me or to operationboh@yahoo.com.
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joriejc2:
Sep. 16th, 2008 @ 10:00 pm About $4/bag
Hey folks,

I've set out the goal of making 10 stuffed bags to send to Chriss for this month, and to that end, I went to a local discount store that happens to have a big "travel size" section. Now, I don't think this was the best deal around...most of the items were right around $1. Even so, however, buying everything on the list for 5 general male bags and 5 general female bags (plus some items for myself) I only spent $40. I also was able to score a box of 300 q-tips for about $3, meaning basically that the amount of q-tips I put in each of my bags will be very very cheap.

If you can find deals at places like The Dollar Tree or even warehouse type stores like Sams, you could probably get away with an average of UNDER $4/bag. That is to say that if each of us spent $4 a month on a bag and let's say $4 to ship the bag to Chriss, we'd be able to accumulate bags pretty quickly with each of us spending $10 or less.

Just a thought.
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joriejc2:
Sep. 16th, 2008 @ 01:16 pm An idea from one of our ravelry folks
Hi everyone,

This idea comes from a lady who goes by the tag melaswell on ravelry. This is in response to the idea of including a sort of crocheted or knitted cloth in the hygiene bags:

Anyway, the idea I had was to use something like a tribble instead. Even at the biggest gauge, they tend to be palm-sized or smaller. And the garter stitch works great to scrub off grime. I use them on everything from my own face to my dirty dishes (not the same one!).

I think they would be useful in the hygiene bags, but the recipient might not know what they are! They can also take a bit to dry because they are basically a double-thickness of cotton (although I’m sure they’d dry faster in the arid conditions of the desert).

I’d be happy to knit up a test batch for you to take a look at. (I can bang several of these babies out in an afternoon.)

Thoughts? I think it's a neat idea and something we could have fun with.

This also begs the question: Should we include with each bag a little list "Included in this bag"?
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joriejc2:
Sep. 15th, 2008 @ 12:15 pm Ravelry and s'more ideas
Hey y'all,

Wanted to let you know that I have started a group on ravelry and 2 people have already joined (I just created it about an hour ago). Ravelry, for anyone who is not familiar with it, is a big message board type site for crafters.

In talking to some of those folks, I am wonderiing if we might be able to incorporate more homemade stuff into some of these bags too. As an example, maybe we could a "Cold weather in the desert" bag which would include a pair of socks, among other sundries.

Also, maybe homemade soap? Hand-made jewelry?

Although Chriss and I worked on these themed bags, I think I can safely say these are ideas open to creativity and flexibility. If you have ideas, please share them! :)
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joriejc2:
Sep. 14th, 2008 @ 09:04 pm New Themed Bags with specific lists
Riseabove and I have come up with the following themes for different kinds of bags. Each bag has a specific list of items associated with it, so it will be easy to know what is needed to fill one bag instead of trying to guess at what will fit 50.

The idea would be that you could send items to riseabove for one bag or for however many bags you would want to fill. Just indicate what kind of bag you are intending your items for. If you want I suppose you could just buy one item that all of the bags need to. However you want to do it. But I think it might be neat to know that for a pretty small amount, you'll be able to stuff one whole bag right away. So here are the options:

General Sanitary Package - MALE
1 bottle 1 - 2oz hand sanitizer
travel size toothpaste & toothbrush
travel size kleenex pack
travel size q-tips
1 tube chapstick

General Sanitary Package - FEMALE
1 bottle - 2oz hand sanitizer
travel size deodorant
1 small package hair ties and/or bobby pins (hair doodads could also be hand-made if small)
travel size toothpast & toothbrush
1 tube flavored chapstick
travel size comb

Extreme Weather - HOT
2 tubes chapstick
travel size sunblock
8 - 10 flavor drink mix pouches (20oz bottle size)
1 bottle 1 - 2oz hand sanitizer

THEME - Thanksgiving
letters and cards (not for bags, but to send with box)
small bag individually wrapped candies (no chocolate March through September)
2 pouches tuna fish
1 small box goldfish crackers
8 - 10 flavor drink mix pouches (20oz bottle size)
1 bottle 1 - 2oz hand sanitizer

Silly/Fun Bag
small bag individually wrapped candies (no chocolate March through September)
1 small canister silly string
2 small sized slim jims
1 SMALL water squirt gun

I will be working on some prototype bags to represent each of these categories in the near future.

Let us know if any questions or concerns! Thanks, as always, for your help and support :)
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joriejc2: