IB♥L3D: The 500 Bundle Challenge

I know we talked about waiting, but I just can’t.I’ve been back in Iraq for two months, and something has to give.

I need fabric.  I need yarn.  I need needles, and thread, and buttons, and cool zippers.  I need tractor prints, and ones with pineapples, and that awesome shade of green that makes the yarn seem like it’s made of moss.

I know we have been talking about August as the timeline for IBOL3D, but we need to start a little bit early.

Who’s in?

Some other time I’ll tell you how this came to be.  But let’s talk turkey.  Read carefully – things have changed this time around.

I’ve got 10 things to tell you about IB♥L3D.  Just ten, I swear.

1.  A unit here has asked for ~500 bundles.  So, this time around, I need to open the spigot of bundles and then turn it off as we get close.  You’re going to hear me ask you questions about what you’re putting in the mail.  Rest assured — I am no stickler for details.  As with hand grenades, close counts.  ~500 is around 500, not actually 500.  Please bare with me on this.

2.  Same deal as always — leave me a comment here on the blog, and I will email you back with the address.  I’ll also include some wit and wisdom, some amusing anecdotes maybe, but certainly some guidelines and helpful tips and links to more information.  I want you to succeed, so that initial email from me will have bunches more than just the address.

3.  The mail isn’t coming to me this time.  We’ve actually put into place the means for it to go straight to the right place.  What does that mean to you?  If you put in jars of jam, or a totally awesome and home-made IBOL shirt, or a tub of ice cream, I won’t be the one seeing it because I won’t be the one opening the boxes.

4.  500 is a lot of boxes.  Really, it is.  I moved a few thousand of them by hand in IBOL 1, and rest assured — it’s going to take a lot to reach this goal.  Send one bundle, send 10.  We’re surging in 500 now, and we’ll do more later in the year.  (Is this an excuse to go shopping?)

5.  Help me — help spread the work.  I’ll soon post a flier, to hand out to friends and family and guild members and people on street corners.  You twittererererers can start throwing out the #IBOL3D and #IB♥L3D hash mark now, too.  And Facebook, too — no, I won’t help water your crops, or topple the level 835 mafia don, but I will make available photos and other goodies that you’ll be able to use to spread the word.

6.  I may be slow to respond.  I may even miss one.  Bear with me folks — I am in Iraq.  My service to the Army is a bit consuming these days, and there are some trips I’m scheduled to make.  So, if you leave a comment, I will try to get to it the next time I am conscious and in my room.  If it’s been a day or two, that might be OK.  If more than that, look to see if I am silent here on the website.  If I’m silent here, too, it probably means I’m on the road.  Out of thousands of emails and comments, yes, I may miss one or two.  I’m trying.

7.  I hope you will contact you local newspaper or TV station.  Invite them to your guild meeting when you all get together to build your bundles.  It’s a local good news story, and it’ll help spread the word.  I’ve done a couple of magazine interviews lately, with one already online (and due to hit the streets soon) and the other one — which is going to blow you all away — hitting the streets in April or so.  500 bundles is a sprint — the big IB♥L3D, for Ramadan, is going to be a marathon in comparison.

8.  Have I told you how excited I am that we’re doing this again?

9. If you look to the column on the right, there’s a small section marker Email Subscription, and a button below is that says Sign me up!  Yes, you can get new email postings emailed to you.  All the fun, all the good times, all the great jokes, delivered right to your in-box.  But wait, there’s more!  If you’re on Facebook, well, IBOL is too!  Now you never have to miss a single funny thing I say, because it’ll come to you direct.

10.  And have I said thank you yet?  No?  Thank you.  Thank you for taking part in IB♥L.  Thank you for all the kind emails and the nice things you’ve all said.  Thank you for all of the words of encouragement.  Thank you for the cards and the coffee, the chocolate and, yes, the cool home-made t-shirts.  Thank you for helping me pursue this crazy idea of bringing together our greater families, in an effort to help each other.  Thank you.  It can be a bit terrifying to step out and try this again, but there is great comfort in knowing that so many stand ready with the net to catch me.

OK, I think I’ve said enough.  It’s Saturday night, I’m back from a late night run through the cold and rain, and I may actually be able to get more than 6 hours of sleep tonight.  So, I’m going to bed.  If things go poorly, my wife will see this tonight and email me.  If things go well, when I wake up, there will be hundreds of emails asking for the address.  Here’s to a peaceful sleep, huh?

Tags: , ,

153 Responses to “IB♥L3D: The 500 Bundle Challenge”

  1. Lisa Quintana Says:

    I’m in. Stay safe and healthy.

  2. Mary Lokken Says:

    I live in Italy, but I hope to be able to send off a bundle when I’m in Wisconsin in March. Let me know!

  3. Maryann McEvoy Says:

    I’m ready, just give me the address and dates.

  4. Kathleen Murphy Says:

    I’m in too! Looking forward to building another bundle and spreading the word!

  5. Lisa Says:

    I am certainly in again!

  6. Sherrie Says:

    I am in… where to send the stuff? I have crochet needles, fabric, yarn, needles.


    You had me at IB♥L3D.

    Stay calm and carry on dude!

  8. Nancy Anne Says:

    Okay, I’m ready. Give me the deets!

  9. kevin Says:

    I’ll make the rounds. Let me know where to send it.

  10. susan clayton Says:

    count me in

  11. Sharon Austin Says:

    Count me in! I need something to take my mind off losing my brother in a senseless auto accident in New Zealand last weekend. Sharing always makes my heart happy!

  12. Phyllis Says:

    I’m in! Just send me the details.

  13. obscure Says:

    I’m in!

  14. Chris Says:

    I’m in—have been cleaning and have piles ready to go!! Thank you for doing this!!

  15. Janet Says:

    I’m in! Looking forward to participating again!

  16. Bobbi Penniman Says:

    So glad you are doing this again.

  17. Amy Artisan Says:

    Yay – another round! Could me in, too!

  18. Kath Gilliam Says:

    I would love to do this again. Please send me what I need to know.

  19. Florence Hosler Says:

    Spreading the word, making the bundles!!!

  20. not supergirl Says:

    Perfect time to share the stash as I’m mid-move. Count me in for this one.

  21. wintu nancy Says:

    Thank you so much for doing this again. Please stay safe, and thank you for what you do with the Army too. Can’t wait to get the address, will probably start ‘building’ my bundle today. I had gotten some of the boxes from the post office so I would be ready when you said you were ready.

  22. Sarah Says:

    I’m in for one bundle/box. I’ll send mostly fabric – not sure what else there might be yet.

  23. Heidi Says:

    Sign me up, please! Don’t want to miss it! Thanks bunches! (bundles?)

  24. Sandra Says:

    Please let me have the address. I would love to participate again. I’m also working on getting the word out!

  25. Deborah Says:

    I’m in again. I had fun making up 3 bundles last summer. I got to pet all the fabrics trying to find just the right ones to put n the boxes. I’m ready to do it again.

  26. Carol Ann Hilton Says:

    I have assorted yarn that I can donate.

  27. Judy Says:

    Count me in! If my friend Kathleen recommends this project then I know the bundle is going to a wonderful cause!!!

  28. Joan Says:

    i’m ready. just send the adress.

  29. Janet Says:

    I’m in. Send me the details, please!

  30. Jane Says:

    Thank you for another opportunity to share. This fits in so well with the soldiers we have supported over the years with our Girl Scout troop. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you serve your country and the people of Iraq. Best wishes and stay safe.

  31. Debbie U. Says:

    Hope you had a restful sleep my friend! Send me the address and we’ll get to work here! Love the new Blog header!

  32. maggie bunch Says:

    Just in time to get some goodies from my attempt to downsize! THANKS, IBOL Guy for letting us help our sisters! maggieb!

  33. kristi Says:

    I’m in. I have a bundle already made, and another within a day of completion.

  34. Geraldine Says:

    Sign me up! Thanks for doing this!!

  35. Carol Says:

    Posted on FB but don’t know if that gives you my email so posting again here. Thanks for doing this!

  36. Mary ann Says:

    I’m in! And I’ll bring friends! Address please and thank you for letting us share the mission.

  37. Donna Rogers Says:

    Gee,count me in. With son in Iraq and a nephew in Afganistan, I should really do this. Let me know how.

  38. angela d. Says:

    Please send me the address. Thanks!

  39. stephanie allgood Says:

    I’m in!! (And I’ll try to get a few more in too!!!)

  40. Trisha Says:

    I’m in! Let me know the address, please.

  41. Jo-Anne Says:

    I’m in, and I’ll spread the word. Be safe.

  42. Becky Fellows Says:

    count me in! send address!

  43. Marge Gordon Says:

    Send me the address and God Bless you for ALL you do!

  44. Jill Says:

    I’m in for two bundles! So excited to do this again!

  45. Kathleen Rountree Says:

    I’m in – send the address. thanks… nice to be sending stuff to Iraq again! Kathleen, mother of an IBOL kitty whose photo was on the original IBOL web pages (remember George, who slept on the yarn?? – he is still sleeping on the yarn, but we have lots more to send to your friends.

  46. Julie Says:

    I’m in!

  47. Ann Pugh Says:

    Happy to participate again. Stay safe! Thanks for making a difference.

  48. Annie Says:

    I’m in! I had heard about this project during the 2 previous rounds from friends but couldn’t contribute then. I can gladly contribute now.

  49. yoss42 Says:

    Please put my name down too. I will inform my quilting bee when I have the details.

  50. Tara Says:

    I’m hitting the fabric and yarn boxes now! Please let me know where to send them!

  51. diane phillips Says:

    I’ve been ready!!!

  52. Doreen Says:

    Deets, pls.

  53. Your sister the cookie baker Says:

    Since you say this is easier to reply to… send me the address…?
    Also, what’s this week’s request for cookies? More brownies? O Henry? etc??

  54. Jackie Watson Says:

    Thank you so much for doing this again. I’m looking forward to putting some great fabric and yarn in my package-please send me the address.

  55. Catherine Rose Says:

    I’m in!

  56. Liz Says:

    I’m in and will forward this to members of my local Modern Quilt Guild.
    Please send me the address – I have lots of fabric to donate!

    I am so happy to participate in this fabulous project. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for making it happen. You had a great idea and have found ways to bring it to fruition. I appreciate the opportunity to send some love to Iraqi citizens this way!

  57. Del Says:

    Thank you for your service and thank you for repeating this great project. Send address.

  58. Marsha Says:

    I would love to be counted in again.

  59. Bobbi Penniman Says:

    My comment from yest didn’t show up so here I am again, send addy please!

  60. Annie Smith Says:

    I’m in for this round too, so send the info I need. Thank you for sharing this opportunity with us. What a blessing for all!!! Stay safe, sleep well, and carry on.

  61. Debbie Padora Says:

    Please send the address… my boxes are waiting to be packed!

  62. rowena___. Says:

    i’m in, my blog readers are in, and my local craft hope group is in. thank you!

  63. Suzanne Sebald Says:

    I’m in… please send the address.

  64. Kristine Says:

    I’m in…please send me the address.

  65. Trudy Says:

    Please send address and instructions. Would love to participate!

  66. Michele Blake Says:

    I’m in!!! Thanks for coordinating this again. Thanks to you and your family for your service. I await the address, box and supplies at the ready!

  67. kay Says:

    I missed this last time and am thrilled to participate this year. Please send me the directions!

  68. d gentry Says:

    count me in!

  69. Dawn Says:

    i’m ready! send the info and i’ll get right on it. i even have the boxes already 😀

  70. Bridget Says:

    Add me to the list!

  71. Blue Says:

    Pencil me in for a bundle. ;P

  72. Nan Says:

    I’m in! God bless you and everyone else in Iraq – and THANK YOU!

  73. Christine GDS Says:

    Please send me the address. I am up for at least one bundle – probably more.

    And, thanks for doing this. I believe grass roots efforts like this are our best tool for diplomacy.

  74. Patricia Gaignat Says:

    IBOL Guy – send me the address.

  75. Kay McClain Says:

    I missed round two but do not want to miss round three! You are a very special person. Stay safe.

  76. Rachael Says:

    I’m in – send me the address! I packed up my box this morning. Currently it’s overflowing, but I’m convinced I can squeeze it all in there!

  77. Rosemary Coller Says:

    I’ll be sharing this with my quilt group–Mt. Vernon Quilters Unlimited in northern Virginia. Quilters are a generous group and more than willing to share their supplies with others. And, besides, we all have more fabric, etc., than we will use in a lifetime. A quilting friend and I did round 2, but I hope to get more friends involved this time around. Send me the address, please. Love and prayers to you and your family.

  78. Mary Lynne Foster Says:

    I would like the address so that my church can participate. What is the deadline?

  79. Sarah Stephenson Says:

    I’m in! Please send the address when you have a moment. Keep your head down – sure hope you guys aren’t suddenly needed in Egypt! What a mess THAT is!

  80. Jaime Ezernack Says:

    I loved the first round of IBOL! I’m in for this one, please send the address!

  81. Gwen Brown Says:

    Alright, time to clean out the leftovers and feed some creative appetites. Let me know the details and I start cleaning out and up for a great cause. Take care and thanks for the opportunity to join in the fun.

  82. Lissa Says:

    I’m ready to go again. Thank you.

  83. Robin Ferrier Says:

    Looks like you are already one-fifth the way to your goal! Count me in!

  84. andrea johnson Says:

    Count me in. It’s time to share the stash!

  85. cindysblog Says:

    I’m in. Please send me the address. Thanks so much for letting us help with this. Stay safe!!

  86. Teresa Gemignani Says:

    I have followed this great movement for quite a while and now I want to help. Please include me in for IBOL3D. Thanks for the great opportunity.

  87. Cherie Says:

    I’ve been in round 1 and round 2 so of course count me in for round 3. Woo Hoo. Just pass along the scoop and I’ll get to bundling.

  88. Your proud sister in California Says:

    Thank you for doing this again! Please send me the address. I’ll share it with a few friends who have asked about how they can help.
    And, in case no one has told you yet today, you are amazing!

  89. gail norback Says:

    count me in!! Great opportunity to share with others Thanks ART

  90. terry armstrong Says:

    send me an adress for this time around

  91. terry armstrong Says:

    need an address to mail this time

  92. terry armstrong Says:

    I have enjoyed sending in the past so I will need to know where to send

  93. Jane Says:

    Box is in the mail!

  94. Karin Brewer Says:

    I would love to send another package 🙂

  95. Susie Dodd Says:

    Count me in! Send that delivery address!!

  96. blogless grace Says:

    Please send me the address for the boxes. My tiny group (3 people) did two boxes last year. Bigger group this year. Thanks

  97. Jeanne Says:

    Count me in! My son, who is deployed in Iraq just sent out the word of your project. Wonder why I never heard of it before? POlease send me the details.

  98. Marie in KS Says:

    ooh, let me, let me! Count me in please!

  99. dknit52 Says:

    I’m also in and have passed on the info to others. Thanks!

  100. Liz P. Says:

    I am in! I have 4 bundles that have been sitting and waiting for the next opportunity.

  101. Robin W Says:

    Definitely in. Thanks!

  102. diana frye Says:

    Send me the address. I belong to a group that would love to use our excess for a good cause.

  103. Leonna Bowers Says:

    Count me in, again. Where do I send my bundles?

  104. Sharon Says:

    I would like to help. Please send me the address.

  105. Barbara Waldrip Says:

    Would love to do this again. Sign me up

  106. Cathy R Says:

    This seems like a lovely project. Please send me the address.

  107. Natalya Says:

    sign me up too~

  108. Ann E. Ruthsdottir Says:

    Please count me in. Anxious to geat more info before my next guild meeting.

  109. Lynnette Fishburn Says:

    I was just made aware of this project by a fellow quilt guild member. As president of the guild, I’d like to make our members aware of this project. If you could send me the address of where to ship boxes I can include it in an email to the membership expressing the need to fill them and ship them by Valentine’s Day.

    Thank you
    Lynne Fishburn
    President Mt. Vernon Quilters Unlimited
    Alexandria, VA

  110. Sara Says:

    Please send me the details, too. Thanks!

  111. Jenn Mitchell Says:

    I’m in please send me the mailing info when you get a chance.

  112. mary Says:

    I missed round two but am up for round 3! I commented on FB and then saw that this might be better. Still think this is a super creative and fabulous idea!

  113. The Slapdash Sewist Says:

    So glad it’s IBOL time again! Please send me the info.

  114. Laura Morse Says:

    Hi – I would like to create some bundles. – Laura

  115. patty Says:

    Please send me the address. I know I could fill a box easy!

  116. chelle Says:

    I’m in again. I’ll send one and spread the word!

  117. Carla Scruggs Says:

    I’m in, with a group of friends. I don’t know how many boxes we can come up with yet. We’ll have a mix of quilting and knitting.

  118. Ivory Says:

    I’m in. Send the details. One box this time.

  119. Karen Warnaka Says:

    I’m in

  120. Rose Says:

    I’m in, one box, and I’ll spread the word too.

  121. Cynthia Says:

    I’m in! Please send the mailing details.

  122. Ellen Says:

    Hi Art,

    I left a comment on a later post, but perhaps you are only checking here for participants.

    Anyway, I’m in. Thanks for the IBOL3D opportunity. Stay well.


  123. mary2 Says:

    I have two bundles ready to go. Thank you.

  124. Deborah Says:

    My friend just gave me a bunch of yarn, so definitely one box, anyway. Thanks for doing this!

  125. Kay McClain Says:

    2 boxes mailed today – one from each of my granddaughters – I told them that previously you had recommended dark solids and the color challenged granddaughter choose a dark “purple” that the other one overruled as being the color of “dried prunes” and no one would ever want it! And picked up boxes for the next round! Thanks for letting me part of this.

  126. patty Says:

    I got an e-mail and all it was about was WordPress and a subscription when all I need is the address to send a bundle. If the addess is buried somewhere I cannot find it.

  127. Heidi Rabe Says:

    I had fun putting packages together last time and look forward to making another one or two this go around.

  128. Mary Kirwin Says:

    Hi Art,

    I’m in for IBOL3D. Just let me know the address and I’ll get a box in the mail this week.

    From the frozen tundra of Dallas/Fort Worth . . .

  129. shams Says:

    I’m in! Please send details.

  130. h. Says:

    I’m in! Please send me the address!

  131. jenny Says:

    Can I have the address, please?

  132. Heather Says:

    Third time’s a charm–especially when Good is involved. Thank you for the thought, preparation, and advance work to make my IBOLs get to where they are needed and wanted.
    Here’s a question from the last round, in case you have more information: Sewing machine needles (size, most common type of machine).
    New Moon this week–you will see it before I do. Enjoy it (also that ice cream in the city).

    • IBOL Guy Says:

      Good question. If you have needles, yes, feel feel to add them. What sizes? Well, that’s a whole other thing. Think of it this way — if all else fails, they’ll get passed to someone who can use them.

      And yes, I always look forward to the new moon over here. I run at night, and I love to run when the moon is down, and at the end and beginning of new lunar months. It’s a pretty neat thing here, running through the darkness. Part of my uniquely Iraq experiences.

  133. Pandy Lolos Says:

    I’m in. Please send me the address.

  134. susan clayton Says:

    I posted early, you responded, then I lost the address. I have everything ready to go for one box. Will you please send me the address again?

  135. Hollie Says:

    I’m totally in again!

  136. Yvonne Says:

    I’d love to help! Please send me the address and is fleece fabric okay? I have tons. Am very new to this but will check elsewhere for all the details so you don’t have to repeat them in your message.

    Be safe!

  137. Nancy Schlegel Says:

    I’d like to fill a bundle and can get it off later this week (about Feb 19) if that’s OK.

  138. Nancy Schlegel Says:

    PS-I just saw the comment about fleece fabric-I have mostly cotton quilting type fabric with some garment fabric. Anything specific that is best to send. I can include a few needles and thread too.

  139. charlotte ann dehgan Says:

    Hi! I sent a bundle last year and I am ready to send another. Please send the address.

  140. sj Says:

    I have a package of needles and pins to add to the stash materials. Please send me the address. I’ll go check the FAQ.

  141. Pat Meyer Says:

    Count me in. Can I share the address with others in my knitting group? Several of them do not have Internet access.

  142. Donna Jo Smith Says:

    I’m in. Is there a list of is needed/wanted/requested items? What size boxes? (i.e. the priority box size?) Great service project. Bless you.

  143. TJC Says:

    I would love to help. I have an awesome stash that needs decimating!

  144. andrea johnson Says:

    Two boxes in the mail on Tuesday night, Feb. 15. More to follow!

  145. Debbie Bates Says:

    Count me in from Canada to send some love

  146. Michele Says:

    Wow, almost missed this. Again.

    I thought I’d get smart and be prepared this year so I’ve been making boxes as I’ve been culling the stash this winter. I’ve got boxes already made up (I was waiting for Ramadan). All I need is an address. Thanks again for allowing me to participate.

  147. Sue Bruns Says:

    I would like to take part in this great cause. My quilt group sent several boxes for the first round. I can get everyone to contribute again!
    Thanks for spearheading this worthwhile cause!!

  148. LizP Says:

    I’m in! Thank you!!!!

  149. andrea johnson Says:

    2 more boxes shipped today. I’ll keep sending them until you tell us “enough for now!”

  150. Louise Mellon Says:

    I would like to participate! How do I get started?

  151. Rosemary Coller Says:

    I’d like to fill at least two boxes. Please send address. Thanks.

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