Today is my birthday. Unlike many people who reach the age of 40 or so, I welcome each and every one I get. Some people get morose. I don't because since I had my first bout of cancer out of the blue at age 34, I consider each and every birthday I get is a gift.
Last year, I gave away a book on my birthday. This year, I'm packing up my box to send to the women of Iraq. Art La Flamme, the wonderful husband of art quilter Kristin La Flamme headed up an entirely volunteer program to gift Iraqi women with boxes of love. We are encouraged to go through our rather prodigious stashes and send fabric, notions, yarn, knitting needles and anything else you can think of.
The boxes are distributed to Iraqi women who then use anything and everything, to make clothes, household items and things which they may be able to trade or sell. One of the cool things is that this is woman to woman. Not through some NGO, but the boxes clearly come from us.
Now, I really need to get a handle on my stash. I really need to clear out. So....I went to my boxes, most of which I haven't unpacked since I moved here from Connecticut. I pulled out lengths of fabric, some 6 yards long. Many of them were lengths I got to make maternity clothes for when I was pregnant 18 years ago. I think I have packed more than 20 yards of fabric into this box, plus some notions, plus 4 pairs of knitting needles and two skeins of yarn.
I think it is too full. So..I think I will put together ANOTHER box. Large flat rate boxes sent to APOs only cost me $12.20 to send and to me this is a boon that someone can benefit from something I need to move on. What's there to lose? Even the post office supplies the priority mail boxes for free.
So please, check this out and sign up to send your own box.
Here's where you can find the information on what to send:
Here's how to make a bundle (and don't worry about it, because I stink at making bundles...but messy bundle is better than no bundle at all and you're probably better at it than I am anyway.
Here's for frequently asked questions: http://ibol.wordpress.com/faq/
andthe facebook page to keep up on what's cooking:
How do I know this is legitimate? Well, for one thing, although I don't know Kristin or Art for real, I do know Kristin's work and I know people who do know her in the flesh rather than in dots and pixels. In addition, any guy who dreams this up, likes the silly Scottish fold kitty named Maru, and eats tons of ice cream sundaes....well, heck, how can you go wrong? Art and IBOL have also been written up in various military publications and picked up on Civilian posts as well.
Still don't believe me? Well, take a look at these photos:
No, this isn't Maru. It's Lemmie the Magnificent trying to eat the birthday bouquet that my sister-in-law and brother sent me.
Please please please, go to the website and ask Art for the address. Let him know how many bundles you're sending. 500...that's all he needs....
"Simple fabric is good. Stripes work, too. Scissors are OK. Ditto for needles -- yes, knitting needles, too. Fabric is far more likely to be used for clothing than for quilting, but that's not an absolute."
Let your excesses go somewhere where they will be doing some good...Now go wrap up your boxes!