Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Catching Down

Days just keep sliding by, and I realize as we count down the last weeks toward our packing party I need to do some catching up on the week's activities.

I've been saturated lately with a dual olympics--the one in Rio and and one playing out here as we near the big day.  Between watching olympic TV coverage and the ubiquitous sorting of stuffed animals we've also had some big Operation Christmas Child team events here.

Last Thursday our team hosted a packing party work day.  Pam, our media coordinator, worked her magic and Christine, our community relations coordinator, set up the facility.  We were blessed with about 50 people throughout the day and most of them were folks from the community I'd never met.
Together they bagged crayons and soap and finished the last of the jump ropes.  The soap and ropes were finished by 3:00 or so but a trusty, faithful few hung in there until 5:15 when the last case of crayons were finished.

So...for the first time in packing party history...all the major prep work is done a month before the actual packing party.  Amazing

The next night we hosted a Project Leader Workshop.  Jane, our church relations coordinator, did a lot of prep work.  She made cute centerpieces....

set up and practiced the Power Point presentation, and arranged a scrumptious dessert bar.  We prepared an appropriate/inappropriate game to educate attendees about what to put in their shoe boxes.  It was a fun evening, despite the fact that only seven people came out in addition to several of our team members.

On the plus side, those who attended said they learned things they hadn't known about the broad impact of the Operation Christmas Child project.  If even a few of them are inspired enough to inspire others to pack boxes...well, then, we achieved our goal.

Saturday's safari was a hot one and yielded only 90 stuffed animals, but 40 of them were brand new Beanie Buddies (the oversized ones that will be perfect anchors to fill boxes for the 2-4 year olds.)

Sunday brought perfect weather--sunny, with temperatures in the 70s--something we haven't seen for weeks.  What a day for an outdoor packing party!  Thanks to Rose for setting up this fun event for her church friends.  She was incredibly organized, and in just three hours we packed 325 well-filled boxes.

This week started with more stuffed animal sorting and a bevy of phone calls.  I've been trying to reconcile with Clean The World--the non-profit that sold us our soap.  You may remember I recommended them in a previous blog.  I've had good deliveries from them in the past two years but this year our soap arrived late, had a high percentage of damaged cartons, and we were missing 24 cartons.  I notified Clean The World the next day (July 19) and they promised to send the missing cartons but they never arrived.  At our packing party work day we found some of the soap in pretty terrible condition...

so I called the company again and sent several emails asking for a refund on the soap we never received.  Today Cairra from Clean The World called to say the company will not give a refund.  The best they will do is give me a credit for the missing 24 cases to use if I want to order soap from them next year--no other compensation.

Since I'd recommended them in a past blog I felt I should mention this.  If you order soap (or any other product for that matter) I'd advise you to find out exactly how many cartons you are to receive and refuse to accept the delivery if you don't receive it all.

Meanwhile, as we're preparing to take a mini weekend vacation, I got a call last night saying a delivery of generously donated mini frisbees and jump rope handles may be delivered this weekend.  I don't know when it will arrive or where we will store those cartons...but the prayer team is on it...

And God's got it figured out.

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