Well, that was a bad idea

I went to the warehouse today. Folks, we need to talk.

1. Right now, you do not want to play me at Tetris. I will win. I have packed bajillions of IBOL boxes into and out of the truck in recent weeks. I have it down to a science.

2. Let me see a show of hands — how many of you wrote a warm, heartfelt note to me and stuck it in with you bundle, before closing it up and mailing it? One, two, three, four — that’s what I thought. Apparently, nearly all of you did. It’s enough that you’re helping with this project — you didn’t need to go and get all flowery and mushy and thanky on me. I’m a hardened killer — I’m not suppose to be getting all choked up and stuff.

3. I did make it to the warehouse today. I said some very bad words when I walked into the warehouse. Some very bad words. For the first time in a long time, I was damn near speechless. Here’s a little of what I saw.

4. Here’s the view of my drive to the warehouse. You might look at this and think, “ugh!” I look at it and ask, “When can I go running again?” I run along this road, in the dead of night, a few times a week, and it’s an awesome little stretch of road.

Oh, and I totally almost forgot. You’re going to want to see this.


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43 Responses to “Well, that was a bad idea”

  1. IBOL Guy Says:

    Oh, and I love yarnbols. Loooooove yarnbols.

  2. Carolyn Says:

    Looks like there’s plenty of room in the warehouse, maybe we should send more? :o)

  3. kern Says:

    SQUEE!! Love it!

  4. Michele Says:

    Oh my Becky! Look at all those IBOL boxes! I am laughing so hard!

  5. Laura Says:

    What a wonderful video! Thanks for sharing all the pictures!

  6. sygnett Says:

    “I’m planning for 3600. Seems like a nice round number.” Only 711 to go!

  7. Jude Says:

    Just wait until the rest arrive! 2889 is certainly just the beginning.

    I’m the one who did not include a mushy note–hate to make a big bad army guy cry.

  8. MsMauri Says:

    Oh Sygnett, if you want to think of a nice round number, try 10,000!!!

    Whoo Hooo!!!!!!! (accompanying a “We told Art so!” Happy Dance)

    Never underestimate the warehouse-filling powers of generous women with stash to share!!

    And there are thousands of women, gazing at overflowing fabric/yarn/beading bins and drawers and shelves and closets, shaking their heads, and wondering regretfully “How come **I** missed out on all this de-stashing fun?”

  9. Joanne Gasperik Says:

    Dear IBOL Bundlers, Not only did we make a grown man cry (!), but imagine the emails that his soldiers are sending home! It is a multi-multi-faceted gift that was created. We are also gifting all the personell involved with the distribution of this gigantic and loving project. It is wonderful and surely fulfilling for them to finish their deployment on such an upbeat note. GOD BLESS all involved.

  10. InJuneau Says:

    WOW, just WOW!

    And, if it’s any consolation, I didn’t write you a note in either box. I’m not sure there would have been room left for one anyway after I barely got the boxes shut! 😉

  11. mara Says:

    I originally thought 10,000 boxes but now I’m starting to wonder if that estimate is too low…

    Just think, Art, moving all those boxes will be a nice upper-body workout to go with the running. lol

  12. gail norback Says:

    We could all say we are SORRY…….but it would not be so. Thanks to you and all of the other helpers!! What a tidal wave in the desert!! Gail Norback ps. I did not write a note either!! 😉

  13. Debbie Says:

    It’s my box!!! I’m so excited it made because I was worried about making the deadline.

    Art, I drew the happy face because I forgot my note and this project is good and wonderful. It just makes me smile. We love what you’re doing!!!

  14. melanie Says:

    Imagine what might have been if only you had permission . . .

    • SuzAnn Says:


      just goes to show that Art lives up to his moniker of Mr. Incredible in EVERY way. A grown man that not only does cry but admits it on the web!

      P.S. My sister is using IBOL in her classroom of proof positive that one individual can have a huge impact on the world. Gives those 9th grader (14 year olds) a concrete, current example that they can relate to in their technological filled world. Thanks IBOL Guy and all the IBOL Helpers!

  15. Kathleen Says:

    THAT’S MY BOX – the one that says YARBOL on it!!!! how exciting it is to see it at the end of its long journey… yippee for the warehouse!!!!

  16. Robin Says:

    Dear IBOL Guy… um, sorry? Sometimes we get a little excited about cool ideas that help others (AND, as an added perk, send our stashes on a crash diet [cough*so we have room for new stash*cough]). I resisted adding a heartfelt note, because you asked us not to (plus I wasn’t sure you’d be opening all boxes once you saw the volume), but it was really hard. I might not have sent it, but I still wrote it. And even though you’ll never never read them, I meant every word. Thanks.

  17. Sarah in STL Says:

    All I can say is “yowser”!

  18. Ibol guys Mom Says:

    İ love that thıs project ıs beıng taught to school kıds. Yes, you really can make a dıfference. Well, you and a few thousand generous quıltıng and knıttıng frıends. blessıngs on everyone ınvolved. I thınk we all deserve a second sundae. Actually the warm feelıng I get ıs reward enough. I am prıvıleged to be travelıng ın Turkey rıght now. I can pıcture Iraq and the women who wıll benefıt from your generosıty. And excuse my typıng, the Turkısh keyboard ıs dıfferent and thıs computer has no letter b. I had to copy one and cntl v to get ıt ın the note.

  19. Michele Says:

    I don’t find it hard to believe the response. Quilters, knitters and crafters have very big hearts and most have a big stash too. This is a guilt free diet. We got to clean out, give to those who need it way more than us, and have room for new!! Art, you have asked and now are receiving. What a blessing you are!! How about a picture of all the boxes in the warehouse soon?

  20. MsMauri Says:

    There’s a MOVIE!!! the link is tucked away discreetly..not that Art wants to brag or anything…

    Here…go see IBOLs on YouTube: p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4CkFQrtjMY

  21. Kristin L Says:

    I know a little girl who will be sooooo excited that her box got the “greatest ever” tag. She’s not my little girl, but she comes from an awesome family I know. 🙂

    • IBOL Guy Says:

      That box is truly awesome. I also love the ones with the Aloha From Hawaii stamps on them.

      Remember the Wounded Warrior thing i did a few years ago? That was 5 or 6 boxes, tops, and they were all wrapped in brown paper. And were late getting into the mail, because Little Miss Red wanted to color on the paper, to thank the people for helping. And she did such a good job, too – really put herself into it. That’s probably why I’m such a sucker for these things….

  22. Magpie Sue Says:

    Wheeee!!! Almost 3,000 boxes! There’s still an awful lot of empty space in that warehouse though… ;- ) This is the coolest thing I’ve been able to participate in in a long time!

  23. Kay McClain Says:

    I was so concerned with getting the box in the mail that I didn’t leave you or the recipient a note but hopefully you and they will feel the love. During the Korean War, my Dad organized something similar – but was children’s clothing. He too was surprised with the generosity of ordinary people. And this was before the internet. Thanks for letting us become a part of this. Have fun OPENING all the boxes!!!

  24. becomewhatyouare Says:

    Yay! I see my boxes arrived on time!!! Sometimes bigger boxes take longer, so I was a bit worried, but I can see them (my strategically placed priority mail stickers are the identifying mark and were visible in the video!)

    Thanks again, IBOL Guy and crew!

  25. Donna in VA Says:

    Amazing what was accomplished in such a short time.

  26. Vicki Says:

    This is awesome! Thanks again IBOL Guy!

  27. Liz Says:

    We are awaiting “orders” from the IBOL guy…. can your crew handle more boxes???

    This should not be a once and done type of thing…. we want to continue with helping across the pond…. is there something in process???

    we love ya….


  28. Susan Says:

    Oh. My. Goodness!

  29. Kathryn Says:

    Mr. IBOL Guy,
    When you catch your breath, can you tell us how these boxes are explained to the people who receive them? Will there be any photos of the gift giving in action?
    Thanks for everything! Thanks to all of your helpers over there, too!

    • IBOL Guy Says:

      Actually, not really. I have yet to make it out for a delivery. The first few hundred boxes were handed off to two local units — one of which has been keeping them in their trucks and handing them out as they find people who can use them. The other unit has gone into their records, looked for the groups of individuals and small businesses in one area south of here who got loans and grants for sewing related efforts, and has shipped them down there. I’m asking for photos, but I have no idea if I’ll actually get any — we’re far better at doing things in the Army (I think) than we are at capturing the moment.

  30. Cynthia I Says:

    AWESOME! Thanks for sharing the video. Love the comment that a teacher is using this as an example of making a difference.

  31. Sara aka BlueSkies Says:

    Awww, the warehouse looks empty. I thought that we would have filled it by now. Sorry I was so late in hearing about your project, I still have more I could send, but couldn’t fit it all in the boxes we sent. A huge Thank You for letting us help!

  32. Lynne Says:

    My note was not mushy. And there was only ONE note for four boxes.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the warehouse with boxes all over. Not full enough though, gonna be more, I am telling you. Can’t wait to see the final bundle count.

  33. Holly Says:

    Thanks Art, your lap is over-flowing… This is an amazing project, growing by hundreds! I sent yards of denim, I should have pre-washed it, hope they don’t mind the smell of a new pair of Levi’s. Nothing a little sand and truck tires can’t take care of! Ah, the old days……. Many Blessings to you & Crew…. Holly

  34. julie Says:

    can I still send a box? I’ve just learned about the project and today is the day it should arrive in Iraq.

  35. Sarah Says:

    I see my kitteh box! Sent with love (and maybe a few cat hairs) from my two fuzzies. 🙂

  36. Patty K Says:

    Is there a way to send IBOL now that the deadline has passed? I just discovered your project and would really like to contribute.

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