Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Donation in Hand!

Yahoo! Today we got our first donation in hand! Patricia Farmar from KC Express donated a suitcase! We are on the way folks, we can do this!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great News!

Great news everyone! Since this blog started, people have come forward with offers to donate women's running shoes, women's large summer clothes, a suitcase, an offer of a donation drive at a local business, and the pledging of two more Soleful Suitcases to travel! How exciting!

If you are in the Prineville/Redmond/Bend, Oregon area and would like to help out with donations for those suitcases, please comment here or send an email. (For those friends in the Portland area that are interested in helping out, I'm sure we can work something out to get the items collected.) Those bags will be traveling on Delta, and their second checked bag fee is $40 each. I'll be raising the donate goal to reflect those fees.

Please feel free to share this blog with your friends via email or the facebook share link on the right of this blog. The more people that know, the better!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Donate Button Added

I have put up a 'donate' button on the right side of the blog. I am doing this through Paypal since it is pretty easy to set up. However, they do take $0.30 + 4.3% of each transaction. So on a $5.00 donation, Paypal is taking $0.515. While I know it is 'the cost of doing business' I just wanted to make people aware of it. So when I reach my goal of $75, I will still actually be a bit short because of the fees.

Additional Items Needed

I spoke with Tamara, one of the ladies I know in Jamaica. When I told her what I hope to do, she got incredibly excited. I asked if there were other items she could use. She said that a few ladies are in need of -summer clothes for their kids, boys size 4t or 5t. -women's large summer tops and lsrge Capri style pants are welcomed. They can wear them to work or church if uniforms are not required. Tamara told me the people of this area would be thankful for any help given. Thanks, Melissa

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome!

So this is a new idea/venture for me. I'm not sure that it will work, or be well received, but it has been in my head, so I'm putting it out there. The universe can do with it what it will after that.

A little background...
My husband, Trevor, and I love to travel. We traveled to quite a few places in the world before having our two sons, and while we still travel with our boys in tow, we just don't go to quite as far away or crazy places. Our boys are good travelers, and we intend to keep them that way. I've always enjoyed getting to know the people we meet when we are traveling, their stories and customs, and tried to be kind. We often would leave behind extra items we didn't need, or would bring stuff with the intent of leaving it behind, like candy or school supplies. I even came home from a trip to Fiji, gathered up all the kids books I could find (didn't have kids at the time) and mailed them off to a small village for their school.

So, when Trevor and I took our boys to Jamaica in March 2012 I wanted to give back. We met two wonderful women working at the resort we stayed at, and in getting to know them I learned how little they make each day. I learned that they can often go weeks at a time without work because of the industry they are in, and how hotels and resorts rotate people on schedules. I became friends with these ladies, and I wanted to help them. With the limited resources I had with me, I made a decision to leave my sneakers there. I know, one pair, two women, right? But I hadn't packed two pairs of sneakers, so I did the best I could at the time.

Once we got home, I continued to think about those two ladies, and all the rest of the men and women they work with. All of them don't make a lot of money, yet all of them need shoes.

Now Soleful Suitcases comes along.

We are going back to Jamaica in Fall 2012 and I want this trip to make an impact. I want it to count for something. I want it to have meaning. I want to show my boys how one person can make the difference in the lives of many. I want to give. And I need your help to do so.

My goal is to bring 3 50-pound suitcases to the people of St. Ann's Bay and Browns town, Jamaica full of goodies. 

Will you help me?

Suitcase One, the Soleful Suitcase, will contain:
-Athletic shoes in good, clean condition, adult sizes
-Two pairs of brand new socks for each pair of shoes
These will be handed out to the hotel and resort workers

Suitcase Two, the Soleful Schoolcase,  will contain:
-School supplies like colored pencils, paper, notebooks
-Children's books of all different reading levels
This will be donated to the local elementary school in Brownstown

Suitcase Three, the Soleful Suitcase Jr.,  will contain:
-Athletic sneakers in good, clean condition, children's sizes
-Two pairs of socks for each pair of shoes
-Adult and children's Tylenol-like and/or over-the-counter medicines which are expensive in Jamaica
These will be handed out to children at the school or just locally

I am also hoping you can help me with:
-The donation of three large suitcases. These will be traveling to Jamaica loaded with all the goods for those in need.
-The collection of $75 (3 x $25 per bag) to pay for the suitcases to be checked to Jamaica. We will be taking them with us as our 'second checked bag' and will need to pay those fees. Any extra money collected will go to buying socks and school supplies.

We will be flying out of Kansas City. If you are local and would like to donate, great! If you live outside the metro area and would still like to help, you can mail me your donation. Just leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll send you my address.

My disclaimer:
I am not a 501c3 charity organization, and as such your donation is not tax deductible. You would be giving out of the goodness of your heart. I am looking into making it a 501c3, but first I want to see if this idea will even pan out. I hope it does.