Monday, July 18, 2016

Soap Saga

And...the soap saga...

I had a really busy week last week and told myself if I could just push through to Sunday night I'd take a day off on Monday.  But that all changed last Friday when a trucking company called and said they'd finally be delivering our six pallets of soap on Monday, June 18th.  (I'd told the company when I ordered six weeks ago that I needed them by June 13th.)  Then they asked if I had a fork lift (guess I should put that on my Christmas list) because they didn't have a lift gate available.  I explained I had neither a fork lift nor a loading dock and that's why I'd specifically requested a lift gate.  We'd have to hand off-load all six pallets.  The helpful trucking company representative reminded me to have plenty of help because the truck would need to get on its way quickly.  Did I mention I'd asked for a lift gate?

So I put out a help request on Facebook and was pleased to get responses from several people who were willing to drive across town to add their muscle.  The problem can never pin down a delivery time.  The trucking company first told me they thought they'd arrive by 11:00 am but agreed to contact me a half hour before delivery and I told my volunteers I'd send a group text when I got a time.

I got to the container before 10:30 this morning and was able to load 50 cases of crayons in my car to take to a volunteer for bagging and move around the rest of the crayons to make room for the soap.

One of those faithful volunteers, Deb, arrived at the 11:00 time but we still hadn't had a call from the trucking company.  So we hauled out some plastic tubs to use for seats and a table and bagged crayons while we waited.  One of the blessings of the day was getting to spend some time talking with her.  At 11:17 the truck driver called and said he'd be there at noon so I put the word out via text.

Volunteers came at noon but the truck didn't make it until 12:20.  I really hate waiting.

I got so caught up in trying to quickly unload the truck that I didn't get pictures of the event.  We had great volunteers, though, and they worked hard to finish the job quickly.

Unfortunately a portion of the boxes arrived in deplorable condition--crushed, with the soap bars spilling out--and a good number more were open and untaped.  This is the third year I've ordered from Clean The World and the first time I've had this problem.

We finally got the soap stashed and the pallets hidden.  We counted 258 cases of soap.  I knew I was getting six pallets of soap and each was supposed to have 5,376 bars, but I foolishly didn't calculate how many cases I should have received.

Since coming home and getting my calculator out I realize we should have had 288 cases.  Did I somehow miscount them or did the trucking company lose them somehow?  I'll need to go back to the container and recount them.  This is one of those things that makes me toss and turn at night.  I thought I'd ordered plenty extra but if I can't find those extra 30 cases I'll be short.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story...

After leaving the container I dropped the 50 cases of crayons off to my volunteer then went to pick up another load of 162 new beanie babies.  Coming home, I spent a few hours sorting stuffed animals.  As I looked at the chaos in the house around me, I just had to stop for a minute and focus on that one stuffed animal I held in my hand...

I put that fluffy koala up to my face and smelled that fresh-from-the-washer scent.  I prayed for the child who will receive him and reminded myself again that each animal, each bar of soap, each bag of crayons will go into the hands of ONE BOY or ONE GIRL who is loved and cherished by God.  I needed to focus again on that ONE.

I took a break to sort some mail and was blessed to read again the note I received a few days ago from a special teen blog reader who lives on the west coast and has become such an encouragement to me.  She sent me another reminder I need to focus on today...

I'm blessed that God brought her into my life as a prayer supporter and long-distance friend.  God always has His ways to encourage me when I need it--sometimes from the most unexpected sources.

We've been praying about this soap delivery for months and God answered.  The delivery that seemed to come late by days and then by hours was in His time.  The grey clouds that hung over the storage container didn't produce rain during the delivery, and one of my great team members volunteered to take a tub of dirty and damaged soap bars home to rehabilitate.  Another blessing.

And now I wait on Him to find those missing soap bars so there will be enough to bless each ONE who needs it.

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