Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Counting & Sorting

OK, now the "fun" part of Operation: Thanks for Freedom begins, hehe... This is the part where actual WORK comes in, haha! Heretofore, I've just been doing easy stuff - emailing people and posting on my blog, begging for cards (got 80 more today, by the way!). Now the actual "nitty-gritty" of preparing for shipping it all comes in.

Stage one is reading to ensure for appropriate content and sorting. As I read & sort the cards, I count them out into piles of 10 cards and rubber band each bundle of 10 cards together. Once they are all sorted into bundles of ten, it is MUCH easer to count them and come up with my "grand total" at the end. So far, I have approximately 820 counted & bundled up... There are 8 stacks of ten bundles of ten cards (or to make it simple: 8 stacks of 100 cards, haha) lining my living room floor now, plus twenty "leftovers." (Luckily, hubby & all four kids are gone this week, haha - I can just LEAVE THEM there on the floor till I'm done, haha! or until they come back Friday night, whichever comes first!). This is NOT including the "approximately 900" cards from the Blue Star Moms in Nevada...That's my project tomorrow night.

Next, I'll print out copies of the emails I've received to (Not too late to send an email of thanks and support!!!! You've got 48 hours - get to typing' y'all! hehe). I will print out between 10 and 20 copies of EACH email I have received for the troops (that way the messages will go further). How many I print depends on a few factors: 1) how many snail-mail cards I have (how far off from 2,000 am I?); 2) How much paper do I have; and 3) how much toner is left in the printer cartridge! ;) These emails will be sorted, folded, and (surprise) bundled into batches of ten. :)

Stage Two happens on Saturday morning. I will run by the post office and pick up seven priority mail boxes (hopefully, I'll be able to use the flat-rate boxes, but we'll see!) and the ever-popular customs forms. Then I'll come home, and begin packing each box with cards... Each soldier or marine should get roughly the same number of cards in his or her box. Once that is done (making note of how many are in each box so I can put it on the customs forms), I'll write a letter to my troops telling them about the cards, and to please take as many as they'd like for themselves and then to hand out the rest to their unit (each of my seven troops should end up with between 250-300 cards/letters/emails, if my mathematically-challenged brain calculated it correctly- so there will be plenty to go around). Then, I'll box up (separately) all the care package goodies that were donated , once I decide who will get those specifically. After that, on to the fun of filling out customs forms! :) Oh yeah, and printing up address labels for each box. :)

Stage 3 is: take a picture of all the packed boxes for blogging purposes, pile them all in my car, and zip on down to the post office to mail 'em! :-)

If I happen to get any cards in AFTER I've mailed off "the big shipment," if perhaps they cross in the mail or whatnot... No worries - I'll just ship whatever I receive as soon as I am able to. Mail is mail, and mail makes troops happy. They won't care if it's late for the 4th!!! :)

And that is your "behind the scenes" look at a card drive, haha!

Get those emails in to me as soon as you can... We gotta make sure those troops know we luv 'em and are proud of them!!!!! With what happened to those three 101st ABN soldiers there at Yusufiyah (the same town Mike Stokely was killed in, coincidently), these troops are hurting. Mad as He--, but hurting nonetheless ~ these cards will be a MUCH NEEDED morale boost for them (especially our medic who is with the 101st....!!!!)

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to getting these cards made and sent in!!! y'all are AWESOME!


PS - update...I THOUGHT I was almost all done with the sorting, mostly, but then I remembered this other huge box in my room that is filled with tons more cards, haha! Yay! More cards for troops means happier troops! :) Now I have just over a thousand sorted & counted and spread out all over my living room floor, hehe! Yay!

However, now it's 11:58 p.m. and I'm tired...So I'm going to sleep now!
Have a great day... y'all rock!


Georgia Blogger