04 Aug

Pack your Boxes


My very own Tech Support & World’s Greatest Husband, AKA, Mr. Incredible, has just launched a short-duration project to “surge” fabric and sewing materials into the area around which he’s posted in Iraq.  It is timed to coincide with both Ramadan, and the departure of his units from Iraq. 

The project started, as many do, out of a confluence of inspiration and circumstances. It may have started with reading 3 Cups of Tea, an inspirational story not only of one man’s impact, but of his conviction that terrorism can only be fought effectively with education and opportunity, not by force. Follow that with the understanding that when a US military unit leaves an area, although they take with them everything on their master list of what they brought, truth is they leave a whole lot behind as well — bed sheets, small refrigerators, DVDs, old clothes, unused building materials, etc. As one man’s trash is another’s treasure, the idea to donate re-usable materials to local groups emerged. Then came the idea to supplement those resources with more — tailor made for individuals and sewing co-ops trying to make a living in the community.

The basic premise is to make a bundle of fabric and sewing supplies from your own stash, mail it to my hubby’s APO (American) address, and he will facilitate the distribution of the bundles. By bundling teh goodies, it saves time on his end as he won’t have to redistribute the supplies or use excess packaging for them, and it makes it far simpler for his local counterparts to distribute them to those in need.

The project is called Iraqi Bundles of Love, here’s a link to his FAQ page, and we’ve got until September 7, 2009 to bust our stashes and send what we probably won’t get around to using to my man, who will get it to those who will use it right away. If anyone is interested in donating, but doesn’t want/have a box-full, or can’t afford the postage, contact me and I’ll be a rally point here in Hawai’i. Please feel free to pass on the links, share this project with your sewing pals, local bee, quilt guild, etc. As I write this post, my husband doesn’t have a list of “most needed” items yet. Fabric, thread, needles, pins, yarn will undoubtedly be on the list. I hope it goes without saying that messages of God’s blessings or anything else evangelical/proselytizing should not be included. Let’s be sensitive to the world’s diversity. Thank you so much for your support of this project.

73 thoughts on “Pack your Boxes

  1. I was just looking for somewhere to donate fabric. It went away already, but I have PLENTY more. I’m in. If I remember correctly, it is best not to have fabric with pictures of people or animals. That way they will be acceptable to all who might receive them.

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  3. Kristen, I’ve added a group in Ravelry to see if there’s any interest. 😉 I’m PoppaBear’s SIL and I’ve asked Kelly to consider being the contact for Europe.

    My mom just gave me a ton of stuff so I will get a box ready to go from here.

  4. Dorothee, I have a friend in the NL to whom you can send it; he can put stuff into the military mail system to me. Should make it easier, less expensive, faster, etc.

  5. Wait — you’re not actually mailing the cat to me, are you?

    Wow — this could get interesting. I suppose, though, that if there’s sewing and / or quilting involved, a cat will be needed to 1) hold things down, 2) block views during the making phase, and 3) provide proportion during the post-making phase photo sessions (that, or a 330ml can of soda).

  6. HI Kristin

    I will mention it on my blog- such a wonderful thing to do- a stitch in time can certainly create greater harmony, Ihave seen that. Address please?


  7. Terry Grant told me about this. I love this idea!! I am hitting the stash now. My hope is that many good things will come from this project. Thanks for the opportunity to help.

  8. I’ll be more than happy to fill a box..and mention it at group. Thanks for letting us know what we can do to help…3 Cups of Tea…wonderful book written by a very inspiring gentleman!

  9. Please count me in! I contributed raw materials to Australian quilters who were victims of the brush fires……talk about feeling terrific about stash reduction!!!! What a terrific husband you have 🙂

  10. Please send me info so I may send a box and I will also share with our fiber arts group in Dallas. I ADORED “Three Cups of Tea” and shared it with everyone who would listen. Your husband gets extra stars in my book for sure.

  11. I like this guy better all the time Kristin, technical guru and world activist, what a combo you lucky gal. And, uh, yes, I think I have a few things that would make perfect bundles 🙂

  12. Will be happy to contibute….just send me the details and I’ll also pass the information along to my fellow quilters.

  13. That box looks familiar. I just filled one up with books and cookies Monday and it’s on it way to my youngest son who is also in Iraq. It will be fun making fabric “bundles” instead. What a wonderful idea!!!

  14. THANKS! I appreciate you and your husband. I am excited to participate. What a great idea! Thanks for putting it together.

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  16. H!
    Just saw this on Pink Chalk blog.Besides fabric and sewing supplies, could you use yarn and knitting needles? I need to downsize quickly and this is great. Ialso need the address.
    Thank you!

  17. What an amazing project! I would love to participate and have a bunch of things already gathered. Please send along the mailing address and I will have it in the post tomorrow morning. Thanks!

  18. Thank you so much for doing this. The Iraqi people were so kind to my brother when he was deployed there with the Marines. I couldn’t tell you how many times a family who was clearly struggling to get by would insist on preparing a meal for him and his comrades, and all he had to offer in return was some candy for the children.
    Please do send me an address where I can mail a bundle or two!

  19. This is just wonderful. Please send me the address so I can send a box off to that wonderful guy who is doing this. My daughter is currently in Iraq and I will be sending her a box as well, just not fabric at this time. Thanks!

  20. I want to say a word for ‘our men’ – including Art La Flamme. My husband is a great “quilter’s hubby”, too… he is so wonderfully patient – carrying my stuff, waiting while i shop for moooore fabric! – and right now he is stopping by the post office to get flat rate boxes, which I will pack, and then he will carry!

    Let’s here it for the ‘quilter hubbies’ – aren’t they just great guys?

  21. I read about your project on Pink Chalk’s website and would be happy to mail off a box or two. We sent two or three enormous boxes of Beanie Babies off to Iraqi children a few years ago, and I’m happy to be able to de-stash some of my fabric this time around. Please send the address for shipping. Thanks!

  22. I’m so tickled with this project – have been sending such bundles to daughter and son in Afghanistan – and feel privileged to have this opportunity! I so appreciate you’re sending the shipping address! grateful thanks.

  23. Unique way to put the bundle together and it’s done! I’m in Canada so need to send it to??? Please contact me with your address. This is a wonderful project. I picture myself receiving any one of these bundles in the conditions over there and it makes me want to send more than I can afford to post!

  24. Please count me in. What a wonderful thing to do…fabric instead of guns! We really are piecemakers!

    Merrie Jo
    Port Angeles, WA

  25. Please send me the address. I remember leaving most (if not all) of my non-uniform stuff with a woman I met while deployed there. I’d love to send off a box!

  26. Please send APO address. I have the boxes and am meeting with quilters this weekend and going a retreat the next weekend. I’ll see how much interest I can stir up. My DH is retired Army.

  27. I’d love to send a bundle to Iraq. Let me know where to send it. This is such a wonderful idea. Mr. Incredible really is – incredible.

  28. What a wonderful idea! I saw this on an heirloom sewing forum. I’ve been sewing all my life and have LOTS of stash that I’d love to pass along. Please send me the address and I’ll get something in the mail right away. 🙂

  29. I just posted about the project on the JoMortonStitchers Yahoo group! I’d love the address. . . and, if you’d think it ok, I can post the address to the group as well to save each person coming to you for it. Best of luck with this wonderful effort! Amy, in South Lyon, MI

  30. This I can do! I love to send packages off that give a smile to someone else. Please send me the address and I’ll get a package in the mail. 🙂

  31. I would love to share my stash of sewing and knitting supplies! Please provide an address, and my bundles are on their way!

  32. Please send the address so I can share with a couple of coworkers and get some boxes in the mail!

  33. Kristin,
    What a great idea! I will gladly purge my stash. Would you suggest yardage of one fabric or one yard of several fabrics.. You know how we quilters buy fabric! Please
    send me the address.
    PS Your hubby is a keeper!

  34. Please send me the APO address. I have more than I can ever sew up and will be glad to pass on some fabric.

  35. I would love to share! Sign me up, and I’ll put this on my blog, hope you get inudated with bundles!

    now I’m off to get the book, 3 Cups of Tea…

    thank you!

  36. just posted links and a photo of my boxes of bundles on my blog-taking them to guild tonight to inspire others…as you already know, your husband rocks! doing this project-I too read Three Cups of Tea years ago and was pretty inspired. thank him again ok?

  37. Greetings – My quilt group wants to do this – I can’t find an address to send the goodies – could you send it??? I am going to my group at 1:00PM California Time (Pacific Time) on Wednesday – August 26th!!
    Thanks – can’t wait to help out!!

  38. It’s Thursday, Aug 27. Would there still be time to send a package by Aug 31? If so, can you please provide the APO? I’ve got stuff in my stash that I’m not really sure why I bought it. It’s not disgusting or anything, but I guess it’s not me anymore. It would be great to use it to help someone get ahead – it sure beats having it continuing to just sit there, unused and unloved!!

  39. I’m totally in…I can get to the PO by Tuesday…is that OK? Please email me the addr…you ROCK!!!

  40. Keep in mind these need to be in the mail by Sept 7th. That’s a holiday, Labor Day, so shoot for Friday Sept 4th if you can. I heard that Sept 8th will work in a pinch, but why put it off? Also, where you have women you will find children, so crayons and drawing paper will not go to waste either. Besides, maybe the women want to draw a pattern. Isn’t this fun?

  41. This site was sent to me be another sewing friend. I am excited about helping to make this project happen. As a retired military wife I support any efforts that our men develop to help the Iragi people caught in the middle of this unfortunate fight. Thanks the Mr. Incredible for making a difference!!
    Send address address today!!

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