Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Boxes--What Else?

Another day here at the PC in Baltimore.  As we planned this trip to work for several weeks at the Operation Christmas Child processing center my husband kept wondering what we would do every evening.  The answer has been--nothing--except eat, watch TV with our legs up, and fall asleep by 9:30.  Our hotel is about a mile away from a huge shopping mall here in Columbia, MD but we have been way too tired every night to try going shopping.  I suggested the possibility tonight and my husband asked if I thought they had motorized senior citizen carts.

The picture above shows the area of the PC referred to as "the city" and those large cardboard bins are called gaylords.  It's amazing just how many new things I have learned through my involvement with OCC over the years.  Now add 'gaylord' to the list.  The gaylords hold the filler items and we fill bins with items from the gaylords.  Four bins with assorted filler items are placed at each of the 16 stations where volunteers work to inspect the boxes, and when they use up those fillers they are supposed to return the empty bin for a full one.  Of course, those tricky volunteers will often decide they want more of a particular item and try to wheedle it out of us gift-in-kind folks--but we don't fall for that. No sir.

One of my duties is to find projects for the volunteers who are not able to stand to do the processing duties.  We only have about 2,000 bars of soap left to bag and all the socks have been divided so I was scurrying around to find some projects today.  I had the volunteers work on a pallet of donated items that needed to be removed from their packages.  The problem was that it was more labor intensive for me to drag the boxes to the volunteers and then haul them back to a pallet for storage than it would have been for me to just rip the bags open and throw them into a gaylord.  I definitely need to figure out how to work smarter and come up with better projects.

The funniest story from today came from my husband who supervises volunteers as they inspect the boxes.  In one of the boxes today they found a blank check (not filled out at all) and four written but unaddressed thank you notes for baby shower gifts.  Oh my soul, I feel so sorry for the poor pregnant or new mom who packed that box.  I'm sure she's been going crazy trying to figure out what she did with those thank you notes and why that check is missing.  Bless. Her. Heart.

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