Goodness Gracious

May 11th

mound o bags

Remember when I asked for goody bags for my upcoming trip to Africa? I had 1,400 responses. The Internet, apparently, is this crazy medium fueled by incredibly generous, amazing people. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could my postman.

my sanity is buried under there

The packages have been coming in steadily during the last two weeks, with more than 40 having arrived from all over the world. Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Europe, etc. It is simply startling and I’m beginning to get used to signing for packages, as if I’m some sort of business bigwig. Your letters to the orphans are really what get me. I had to stop reading because I began having a Pavlovian response when I’d get the mail: I’d see an envelope and start crying. (Fine at home, not so much at work.) You are one astounding group of people and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to thank you.

A kindergarden class sent 30 bags

These were sent in by a kindergarten class in Sugar Land, Texas. Children helping children. Ah, crap. I’m crying again.

Managing this project has been a bit more than I was expecting. Just getting the mail to my house requires driving most days — about 1000 yards — which is ridiculous. It takes an hour a day to go through all of the packages, record the sender’s information, recycle the boxes and sort the goody bags. The count as of yesterday (before four new boxes came in the mail) was 280 baggies. We are well into Bolivian territory at this point; I’ll be taking many of these Mozambican baggies to South America in the Fall instead.

boxes of baby beanies

Keep your Kleenex out — Kathie, from Mesa, Arizona (what a place-a), knit and crocheted more than 100 beanies for the baby orphanage. Can you imagine? They are so bright and beautiful. I know the director, Ana Paula, is going to flip.

{If you’ve sent a package and you haven’t heard from me, please shoot me an email. I’ve got several without return or email addresses.}

current state of studio craziness

Yep. This photo makes me twitch and want to put on a pair of yellow gloves, stat! I’ve got Geller instincts when it comes to cleaning and don’t handle disarray well. Thank goodness I’ve got the extra space to hide all of this!

From the bottom of my overwhelmed heart, thank you.

Posted in
Africa, CAOK, Journal, Travel
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43 Responses

  1. God is good! I am very excited to hear about it when you get back. It is a blessing to us to be a part of this.

  2. I’m planning to send 7-10 more early next week, and I’m sure others still have this on their TO DO list, too.

    It’s a great project!

  3. wow. look at all those awesome goodies. that’s such an incredible response. and, i spy two Frida portraits on your wall!

  4. I LOVE IT!! I could cry just looking at it all.

  5. That’s incredible. I can imagine how cluttery you must be feeling. I guess it’s a good thing.

  6. Jennifer May 11, 2007

    I’m having a teary moment just looking at this. I feel my cynicism fading away at this proof of people’s generosity and love towards their brothers and sisters. Beautiful. (And thank you for coordinating it all! You rock.)

  7. Yay! I can’t wait to see pics of the children receiving their goodie bags! Hooray for people and generosity !

  8. absolutley incredible. who would have expected that kind of response?

  9. What a great reminder of the basic goodness of people! You are wonderful for spearheading it all.

  10. I was just posting on another blog about how sometimes I’m embarrassed to be a part of the human race. Turn on NPR anytime this week to know why. And yet, things like this prove that we ARE capable of great things.

  11. I haven’t sent my package yet – should I hold off and aim for Bolivia instead of Mozambique? You are looking a little overwhelmed there. Let me know the time frame or I can just read your posts.

  12. WOW! People can be so wonderful! I love what you’ve done here 🙂

  13. It is a wonderful site… well worth dealing with a little mess 🙂 Just looking at your pictures, I had a warm heart and (happy) teary eyes. Thanks for refreshing my Friday.

  14. yay what goodness!

  15. Hey Kel! I’ve sent you a check. I kind of realized that my frazzled brain didn’t have the power to process what I needed to do at any given time when going to the store. With Chris gone (to India) things are hectic, to say the least. You will probably not get it in time for this trip, but you can use it on a goody bag for your trip to South America! Have a wonderful time and enjoy all the moments you have giving these gifts out!

  16. Wow, the beanies and the kindergarten class are too much. There is so much goodness out there. Viva la internet!

    I hope you’ll be able to get a few pictures of kids with their goodie bags and that they smile that big beaming smile that only kids can do. 🙂

  17. I’m gathering my stuff for the baggies for Bolivia and getting them ready. Those little baby hats are worth a few tears. How precious! And Bright and Pretty! And the little kids sending all that stuff! God is indeed so good. Starting to blubber and get the keyboard wet. Signing off, now.

  18. It is so heartwarming to see this bounty of generosity. It makes me want to cry, too. And Kathie of Mesa did an awesome job and I hope her fingers aren’t worn out. In addition to all the loving responses you received about this project, you are also to be commended for your own willingness to coordinate and execute this bit of love all the participants are sending. Thank you, Kelli, and I am so proud as well as humbled to be part of this.

  19. I echo everyone’s amazement. You have touched so many people! One of the MDs I know goes to work in the Dominican Republic and brings tons of stuff too. Last time, he called the airline and was able to get in touch with a rep who was willing to allow each person 25 extra lbs per bag. Looks like you might need to do that? 😉

  20. I loved seeing the our kindergarten box on your blog. The kids will be so excited on monday, when I show them! You’re enthusiasm is contagious, thanks for giving us this wonderful opportunity to help.

  21. oh this is so fabulous kelli! i mailed you a package yesterday. you are such an angel for giving us all this opportunity to pay it forward a tiny bit. have a great weekend doll!

  22. I would love to participate! Let me know where to send ans I will even add it to my blogs! You are a good soul. Age specific?

  23. Kathie May 11, 2007

    Ah Kelli,

    The tears are hear too. To see all the wonderful things everyone was able to do is so amazing! A class of kids helping kids is one of the greatest gifts and you put this all together girlfriend! You are one amazing lady and it makes me proud to be able to help you. God Bless, Kathie

  24. Sometimes things happen and I’m at ease with human race again! Do you remember what Anna Frank said at the end of her diary? that she still believed in the goodness of men. She was right, there’re aspects of human nature that are just amazing.

  25. oh i am crying NOW!
    There still are such wonderful and generous people!

  26. What a wonderful post. You are amazing. I hope you’re enjoying the ride on cloud 9 right now. And thanks for making me cry. 😉

  27. Absolutely amazing!

  28. me to! I cried looking at all of those bags packed up with so much love. I just can’t wait to see the faces of the kids at the other end receiving them. I will aim for your next trip. When you get a minute let us know what kind of things are appropriate for that trip? Good on you for organising and coordinating.

  29. SO KICK ASS! I sent mine yesterday, so you’ll have another package coming. I love the box of crocheted beanies – that is the coolest.

    I have a warm and fuzzy feeling right now and it’s all your fault.

  30. Wow! This makes me so happy to see, too. I still have to send mine, so I am thinking it’s best to write my letters in Spanish?

  31. This is absolutely amazing! It warms my heart to see such an outpouring of goods and how many people wanted to reach out to someone they have never met. I hope you know how amazing you are for putting this all together. 🙂

  32. This is wonderful… wow!

  33. Sometimes the goodness in people can be overwhelming … I guess it is a good attempt to make up for all our wrong doings. What an inspiration the gifts are … and what an inspiration YOU are for organizing this drive. Way to go!!

  34. Jennifer D May 14, 2007

    You rock Kelli! All this because you had a wish and sent it out to us…thanks for all you’re doing for the world. You make me smile!

  35. thanks so much for letting me be a part of this, I feel warm and fuzzy being part of such an incredibly giving community. sniff, sniff

  36. so wonderful to give. so glad you asked kelli.

  37. I am so happy that you got such a good response, I wish you a good trip. I won’t be posting for a while but will check in with you frequently. Good trip, be safe…ciao

  38. You are Oprah my dear. Thank you for giving so many the opportunity to Do Something! There is so much beauty in the world we don’t always get to see… and wow am I seeing it here!

  39. my dear kelli, YOU are the inspiration… thank you for getting this started! i am so happy that you have had such a wonderful response (and happy to know that the internet is fueled by love, as opposed to a series of tubes 🙂 ) i am getting a bit teary reading this post and i’m at work so better sign off! xo

  40. Hello! I’m glad mine arrived safely. Thank you so much for starting this! 🙂