Sunday, December 6, 2009

So We Have This Idea....

So we have this idea.........And this totally awesome idea starts here.......

but we need your help: )

(I know this post is huge, but bear with me and follow it through. You could be part of something BIG!) : )

When I was in high school our young women's group had a really neat project in which we collected new jammies and made teddy bears to take to a place called Christmas Box International (CBI). There are three different Christmas Box Houses that are a part of the CBI and our young women were able to go to the House in Salt Lake City. This Christmas Box House is a "half way" safe house where kids who need to be quickly removed from a violent, abusive, or neglectful situation are able to go while they are waiting to be placed into better circumstances.

I remember the whole experience vividly. As soon as I walked through the doors with the other girls I knew it was a special place. It just had that feeling; that peaceful, loving, happy feeling that comes when you know a big difference is being made. We watched as the children excitedly chose their own jammies and teddy bears out of the overflowing boxes that we brought. I loved seeing that. After some of the staff talked to us about what the Christmas Box House was all about, we were each able to read a child a bed time story before they went to sleep. As I watched and listened and got to be a part of it all, I wondered where these kids had come from, what they had seen, what they had gone without, what they had endured. The feelings that accompanied that night were some of the first moments of many that lead me to go into Social Work.

So needless to say, the Christmas Box House is awesome! And as Chad and I were brainstorming on something neat we could do for someone else this year, this memory pressed itself forward and I started to get all sorts of excited: ) So I looked up CBI's website and found this little beauty...

The Christmas Box House Wishlist (A list of items that CBI is in need of)
(I'd post the entire list here, but it end up making my post enormous, so I'll let you click the link to check it out) : )

It was from here this whole idea started taking shape. It started with us thinking we could find some of these items and donate them ourselves. Then our picture started expanding and our eyes widened as we imagined what it would be like if we could enlist the help of friends and family and classmates and coworkers, even strangers!

So here's our big idea.

We have a goal to enlist the help from you and as many people as we can to collect as many of these needed items possible from whoever can lend a helping hand so that we can personally deliver them to the SLC Christmas Box House on December 29th!

So what do you think? You want in? There is so much power in numbers! Together we can make a BIG difference. That concept is incredible and exciting and powerful. If we are on our own we could only donate a few items, but think of how much could be donated if 20 people gave a few items or 50 or 100! Awesome huh! : )

So all you need to do, if you're able and interested, is.....

1. Ask yourself, "Do I live in SV, Rexburg, or Salt Lake/Ogden area?" : ) If the answer is Yes, then you're set! : ) Chad and I plan on coming to pick up these items from you and even though we'd love to come see you in Texas (pmb) or Minnesota (Brit) or North Carolina (Mel) I don't think we'll be able to stop by : ) You could always ship something, but that'd probably cost you an arm and a leg. So, yeah... : )

2. Next Look over the list. See if there is something you could afford to give right now or something you already have that you no longer use and could give. Some of the things are really cheap; a box of fruit snacks, pudding snacks, applesauce, printer paper, wrapping paper, bows & ribbon, stools, suave shampoo and conditioner, etc. A lot of these things can even be found at the dollar store.

3. So if you want to be a part and find something you want to give all you have to do next is Write me a comment telling me just what you plan on giving and what day you'll have it by. After you leave a comment I'll be in touch with you and set up a time and means we can stop by and get it from you. (facebookers can comment to me through fb if they'd like: )

4. Then the next time you're out shopping for groceries or at Walmart, pick up one or two of these extra items and we'll come get it from you: ).

5. And this is the step where the real magic can happen! You can post about this on your own blogs or through facebook and get your family and friends and neighbors, etc. to also pick up a few items on their next shopping trip that you can collect from them that in turn I will collect from you! Can you see the magic! Honestly this could end up being such a HUGE AWESOME thing with just a few simple steps: ) I can't help but get excited!

*So if you decide to also post this and see if you can round up donations from friends, leave me a little message in your comment telling me how you plan on spreading the word along with what you plan on donating yourself: )

Here are some other simple ideas about how to get the word out.

*Chad is going to print off some copies of the "Wishlist" and take them to a couple of his classes, get permission from his teachers to take a minute to share the idea, and see if anyone is interested in brining him some donations the next time they meet for class.
*I'm going to ask the Social Work department on campus if they don't mind me leaving a box in their office with a copy of the "Wishlist" attached to see if we could get donations that way. I know our department often sends out mass emails to all that are in the program, so I'm going to ask Karri, the secretary, if she would send out an email for me explaining the idea and the box in the office.

*If your work allows it you could also mention it to coworkers and see if anyone would want to bring you some donations that way.

So I know this post is huge. Sorry. Hopefully there are a few of you that actually followed me to the end! : ) But I'm just excited and think it'll be neat to see what happens when people come together. Hopefully we can make this difficult Christmas for these kids a little more exciting and peaceful! I love you all and thank you for your help! You're awesome!

love, vandi

p.s. if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I'll try and answer it for you: )