Monday, July 23, 2007

An amazing thing about blogging, and this Toys for Troops project, is the connections and friends I have made. I'm constantly amazed at who manages to find me. I wrote in May, about meeting these two soldiers:

Jessup, I noted, is on the right. I had asked him, that day, "Does your mother still cry?" It was not long before word got around to Jessup's Mother, that I'd written about, and put her son's photograph on my blog. Her name is Kathy Wallig. She wrote to me, then:
...Joel is absolutely right. I still cry. He's been to Kuwait and Germany and many of his friends were in the unit that came home from Iraq a year ago. I cry every time I see a soldier or anyone in uniform. I cry when I see flags flying. I cry when I see news reports about a deployment and the mothers and fathers and wives and husbands and children are waving flags and crying out every bit of tear they have...and then some. I cry when I hear the National Anthem...
She is also, of course, a soldier's Mother, and it's becoming more and more clear to me that a lot of our emotions are universal. I'm sure that soldier's father's cry over these things also. Absolutely sure of it.

Also universal is the desire to do anything that helps out, to make a difference in any of Our Boy's lives. It came as no surprise to me, then, that Kathy e-mailed me last week, asking me for a soldier's name; she had beanies, baby! And chapstick and socks and other sundry care-package items.

Here's her cute little doogie, Beau, assisting with the packing:

And Donna, at the Urbana post office, ringing up the package:

Her box, to Sgt. Robert Morris, who serves in the same company as Brian, is on its way!

More connections are being made, more lives are being touched every single day.

I'm amazed, daily, and thank everyone reading here, once again. Keep coming back, there's more to come!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Busy, busy, we are still going strong here. Last inventory was somewhere around 7,000 beanies ready to be boxed and shipped. There are sponsors in the works, to help cover the cost of shipping, so we're holding up sending for a few days. We hope to set aside the donations you have made to purchase other care package items, and soccer balls.

Sorry for the lack of photos today; I just wanted to send a shout out and let you know we're still going strong!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kelsey, Danville

This is Kelsey, from Danville, Illinois. She and her mother, Lori, gathered up their beanies and shipped them out this week. Her aunt, who lives in Missouri, is doing the same thing, and will be shipping theirs soon also. Nice to get the entire family involved, from all over the U.S.! Thanks, guys!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thank You Note Ambassadors

Here are a few more of the TFT Ambassadors, Kaylin and Jaeden. They wanted to do something, so I put them in charge of thank-you notes.

There are several out there just sending checks, and making PayPal donations. Some people I know in person, some I'm acquainted with through cyber-world, and others, I've never heard of. Those I can't thank in person, shake their hands, or give big giant hugs to, are getting cards in the mail made by these two sweeties.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

19 for a penny

Bryan, from River Ridge, Louisiana, read about our little project on Wil's blog, Paradise Driver, from Hawaii.

He e-mailed me, with the subject line, "I want to help," and wanted to know where he could buy Beanies to send. Geez, I never expected anyone to go out and buy Beanies; I just thought I'd help you clean out your attic for a good cause.

Before I could get back to him, I got a 2nd email:

Bryan had bought 19 beanies for 1 penny, on E-bay, and would like to know where to send them, thank you very much.

YEAH! Bryan rocks! I think I'll let him do all of my shopping from now on!

Monday, July 2, 2007


This is Kyle, from Cupertino, California. I got an e-mail from him the day after the TFT website was launched. He would, he said, like to meet me somewhere to pick up some beanie babies, and to foot the cost of some shipping.

It was then that I was aware that I'd overlooked placing my own city on the website. As much as I'd have loved flying to California to give Kyle a box o' beanies, it wasn't that economical. I couldn't even meet him at the half-way point, really.

But Kyle wanted to DO something. I gave him a few ideas.

I got an email back from him this week. It reads, in part:

I just got back from the PO where I sent off a
package with the following enclosed;

4 deflated soccer balls
6 inflation needles
4 packs Tabasco flavored hot peanuts (they are GOOD
4 packs Beef Jerky
10 pounds of homemade trail mix (peanuts, M&Ms, and
1 note saying hi and keep your head low

Speechless, I was, reading this. Shaking my head, and just...speechless. Though I always think people are generally nice, I can't seem to wrap my mind around all of you nice people that are going way out of your way to play along with us.

I know the young man that Kyle's package is going to. He's been in my home a few times, and I've driven him back and forth to Georgia, along with Brian. He's an artist, and he enjoyed Art Co-op, while he was in this town. He holds your door for you. He asks you to turn up the stand-up comedy, when it shuffles through the iPod. For an hour or so, on one of our trips, he read odd facts to us from a "useless knowledge" book I bought Brian for his birthday. He's looking forward to college, when he's done in the Army.

And Kyle did a very nice thing, for this young man, One of Ours. Just like that, he just went out and went shopping, and packed up a box and shipped it off. Just like that!

And you know what just kills me?

Kyle thanked ME, for "the opportunity to share in the helping."

I still shake my head, as I write.