Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's time to write it down...

Please put your feelings into words...

Over the months, many of you have shared in passing or on the phone or by email your feelings about what your involvement in this effort for the women and children of Afghanistan has meant to you. You've referred to having your eyes opened to things outside your own backyard, helping you to feel purpose and meaning, filling an inner desire to serve, developing new skills or improving old ones, answering a family need to work together, and a myriad of other things.

We can only imagine the blessings that will come to the women and children who will receive our gifts. Maybe someday we’ll understand. But we can recognize the blessings here at home! Our lives have changed as we have served. Sharing those blessings is a joyful experience we want to share together.

So I'm asking a special favor of you: Please would you take a few minutes to put your feelings into words. It could be a one-liner or a paragraph. We'll be preparing a final report and want to include a section about how lives here have been touched by our effort to serve others. That section and the one listing the miracles along the way were my favorite parts of our 1st project's report. So if your life has been tweaked in some way through your involvement - whatever level it has been - please write something down right now and send it to THANKS!

Henry Ford - you'd be proud! Our assembly lines on September 27 were a sight to behold! Four assembly lines produced the following which were then packed into shipping cartons:

  • 739 birthing kits
  • 355 hygiene kits
  • 225 school kits

In addition, lots of personal notes were written so that each of the kits contain a note from someone in America who cares.

A bunch of quilts and fleece blankets were completed (they got packed before we could count them!), bringing the total packed that night into shipping cartons to 385!

We even had one lone - but very valuable - serger going to serge the handful of surgical drapes we still needed!

We have enough supplies to put a few more of each kit together so our numbers will yet go up.

Take a look at the great time we all had!

Assembling kits

Tying quilts and fleece blankets

Packing 385 finished quilts... and counting...

Writing personal notes

A yummy dinner and more friends!

"Grunt men" and other things we can't do without...

Young Adults loading the last of the 200+ boxes in the U-Haul.

October workdays:

Regular scheduled ones as usual:

Thursday, October 9th 11am - 8pm

Thursday, October 23 11am - 8pm

Location: The LDS Stake Center at the corner of 5th & Wabash in Redlands (next to the temple).

These work days will be different in that we'll be primarily finishing up things here and there so that the few remaining kits can be assembled and packed. We'll also count and pack hats & scarves, ABC and picture books, eye glasses, bed sheets, and more quilts, clothing, and books. A little bit of serging and sewing is left, so if you can come, please do!

We will also be working at the Bishop's Central Storehouse in Colton tentatively on:

Saturday, October 18 Noon

Saturday, October 25 Noon

Location: 791 North Pepper Avenue, Colton 92324.

We will label and stack our cartons on pallets, then wrap, weigh, and measure each pallet. We expect to have 18 pallets - a full load! We have work for women and - this time - also for men. So share this with the men in your life - husbands and brothers and older sons. If you'd like to help on either of these days, please contact Jean at or 909 794-0456 so we can keep you posted if the dates need to be changed.

Here's what it looked like at the Bishop's Storehouse when we were working on Afghanistan #1... in 2004

Here's the latest on...

Parolee Support Update

  • If you are new to this site, please take time to read up in the side column about our efforts to work with the parolees in our community. (See "Our Support of Redlands' Community Parolees by Providing Hygiene Kits") This has been a very worthwhile and valuable effort. More information will follow in future blogs. If you have a special place in your heart for these individuals and would like to get involved in helping them move forward in their lives, we could use your help. There are a variety of opportunities which take varied time commitments - from just a little to a lot. Please contact if you would like more information.

  • Current priority hygiene items are fingernail clippers, men's disposable razors, and shaving cream. Hotel samples of anything are welcome and everything on the list is needed. (See side panel.)

  • If you would like to learn of other ways the Step by Step Coalition is working to improve conditions and opportunities for parolees who have returned to our community – thereby improving our community – come find out more! The monthly board meeting – which is open to anyone who would like to attend – is held on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm at the Redlands United Church of Christ. It is located at 168 Bellevue Avenue in Redlands (corner of Olive and Bellevue).

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world."

Anne Frank

Afghanistan II project news

Special Thanks to …
  • Owners of Sun Medical Supply in Redlands for donating clothing, including authentic women's clothing, shoes, and fabric. They have also graciously provided odds and ends of things to fix up our donated medical equipment so it's in perfect shape!

  • An individual for donating hundreds of book from his private library. Many of these books, like other secondary level books we have received, will go to School of Leadership in Afghanistan (SOLA) in Kabul. This school helps to prepare high school students for a test that, if passed, will allow them to qualify for scholarships to come to the United States for more schooling. Books are what they need at SOLA!

Special activities outside of this month's regular workdays included:
  • Yucaipa 4th ward Activity Day girls tied two fleece blankets. And they’ll be doing more!

  • The Assisteens of Redlands and the young women of the Highland 2nd ward have combined to crochet hats.

“The more you love, the more you can love."

Lloyd Newell in The Spoken Word

Time for receiving donations is coming to a close very soon. With few exceptions, i.e. medical equipment, please try to have donations in by October 13th.
  • Medical equipment: wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, commodes, braces, etc. (all in good working condition)
  • Eyeglasses: in good condition
  • Clothing: all sizes, modest, new or nearly new
  • Shoes: new or nearly new
  • Coats & jackets: new or nearly new
  • Children's and Juvenile Books: very good condition
  • Textbooks – elementary thru university levels: very good condition
  • Medical journals
  • Sets of Encyclopedias and Dictionaries: very good condition
  • Puzzles - wooden or jigsaw: new or nearly new
  • Educational Games: ie. memory games
  • Sport Equipment: basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, ping pong balls, jump ropes, etc.
  • Lotion is regular size containers: not samples for this purpose as the packaging takes far too much shipping space for the value of the lotion.
  • Twin Size Flat Sheets: new; preferably white, but any color or print ok.

"Be generous with your love and you will never run out of it."

Lloyd Newell in The Spoken Word

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