Saturday, September 5, 2009


Every so often, you may have noticed, I take on a bit more than I can handle.

Well, perhaps not every so often. Perhaps it is more like a couple times a week. Sometimes I think it is a personal failing. Sometimes I hope that it reflects an enthusiasm for life. Depends on my mood and my level of overwhelmedness.

A couple of weeks ago, I had seen this post on Carol's blog, about a soldier in Iraq who was collecting bundles of fabric and related notions to distribute to women in the community. I immediately thought of the box of fabric I had sitting in my workroom. The beautiful fabric I had purchased to make clothes when I first started out in my professional life. But then this little guy came along... and my life took a couple of crazy twists and turns... and then made a kind-of complete about-face... and basically I can't envision when I will need that kind of fabric again, let alone when I will find the time to do something with it.

The seed of the idea that was planted by the post keep nagging at me, despite my telling myself that was already over my eyeballs in many many other projects. I picked up the mailing boxes four days ago, and they sat and mocked me in the hallway. With 30 minutes to go until the post office closed today, I finally decided to take action, because I thought today was the deadline to get the boxes sent. I enlisted the help of Primo, who had foolishly elected to stay home rather than make the weekly trip to the recycling center. Little did he know that he would find himself arranging fabric, taping together boxes and hustling to the post office.

I have to admit that I had my doubts as I was throwing the packages together. Fabric? Really? It's that simple? And someone is actually going to distribute these bundles, and they are going to make a difference in someone's life?

It happens sometimes that you have to take a leap of faith on these things, and time was running out before the post office closed, and for heaven's sake, I had not touched this fabric in too many years to count. And it was perfect for the intended purpose (I think): subdued colors, drapey material, lots of yardage. So Primo and I stuffed as much as we could into the boxes, threw in some matching (I hope) thread and a few needles and zippers, bundled it as securely as we could and tied it up with our mis-matched ribbons. A few yards of packing tape and a customs form later, we were ready to send them out with fingers crossed that they would end up where they were wanted.

When I got home, I had more time to poke around Iraqi Bundles of Love, the blog set up for this project. What I found amazed me. The man organizing this effort originally thought he would receive around 50 boxes. He planned to tuck them in a corner of his office, and distribute them on a low-key basis.

He underestimated the power of the innernets. He is now projecting that he will receive 14,000 or so bundles. You read that correctly. He has had to find a warehouse for all these bundles, and also explain to the post office why he had so many priority mail boxes coming his way all of a sudden.

What an amazing result for a little leap of faith on his part!

I hope our little packages find their way into someone's hands who can truly use their contents. How about you? Anything sitting around that might need a different purpose? (He is taking yarn in addition to fabric...) The deadline is Tuesday September 8. I can't wait to see what happens.

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