Attn: Media

Iraqi Bundles of Love was designed to be a short term (about six weeks) project, intended to leverage the internet and the US Postal System to surge sewing, quilting and knitting supplies into northern Iraq during Ramadan in late 2009.

Between 3 AUG and 8 SEP of that year, volunteers from around the world mailed boxes of sewing, quilting and knitting supplies to me at Camp Speicher near Tikrit in the Salah ad Din Province, boxes that in the end totaled 3445 and represented about 30,000 lbs / 13,500 kg / 15 tons of supplies. MAJ La Flamme then injected these boxes and supplies into the pre-existing humanitarian assistance / civil affairs channels in our assigned Army units, for distribution in Salah ad Din, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah provinces. The bundles were ultimately distributed by American and Iraqi Forces during and shortly after the month of Ramadan.

The first iteration of IBOL was done outside of normal Army channels. One unit made a warehouse available, another unit made a forklift available. Soldiers volunteered their own time to build shipping pallets of bundles, for delivery to Kirkuk and to the Kurdish Region.

MAJ La Flamme saw IBOL as directly supporting the ideas in FM 3-24, the Army’s new counterinsurgency doctrine. He felt that Iraqis should have reason to talk with their security forces at times other than the middle of the night and under conditions other than their coming to detain someone. Ramadan is a time of generosity, a time of giving, and distributing these bundles (he hoped) would go hand in hand with that. IBOL supporters, or IBOL’ers, liked both the personal connection of making and sending a box, and of sending materials that likely would only be used by Iraqi women.

IBOL II was during the late summer of 2010, in conjunction with the US Department of State’s Provincial Reconstruction team in Salah ad Din. This time, bundles mailed to Iraq were received by the PRT and then distributed in conjunction with local Iraqi non-governmental and relief organizations. IBOL II was called Give A Little, and was scaled down to address the size and limited resources of the PRT. It total, it resulted in approximately 900 bundles being distributed in the Salah ad Din Province.

A third iteration of IBOL, called IBOL3D, is underway for 2011.  It’s surging sewing, knitting and quilting supplies in Baghdad and Anbar provinces, in conjunction with the drawdown of US Forces.  IBOL3D is closing out the year by crossing the continent and working with the Cultural Advisory Teams and Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan, which is as strange as it sounds – folks in Iraq helping folks in Afghanistan.

The IBOL website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Please respect that. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available through Art La Flamme.

Details on building a bundle:
Details on what to send:
IBOL on Facebook:

Hard copy of this is available, here.

12 Responses to “Attn: Media”

  1. IBOL « Iraqi Bundles of Love Says:

    […] If you’re from the press or media, click here. […]

  2. Jenni Says:

    I’m amazed and would love to help. I have fabric and lots of yarn to send and will also send out your website to my quilter friends.

    Keep up the amazing work!


  3. Lysa Schloesser Says:

    Such a wonderful idea! Thank you so much for doing this. Send me the APO box asap so I can join in the fun!

    All best, Lysa

    ps. what is PAO??

  4. Bob Collins Says:

    Please send your contact information. I wrote about your effort today on my blog. thanks.

  5. Iraqi Bundles of Love! « Sygnett's 400 days! Says:

    […] Oh yea- SPREAD THE WORD!! If you know more creative ways to spread the word through different media outlets-go to this page on his BLOG! […]

  6. Lee Cataluna Says:

    Sorry, not from Oprah or S. Colbert. Just a hometown paper in Honolulu. A reader sent me the link to both your site and your wife’s blog. I realize that your deadline is Sept 7 so I might be too late, but if you’re interested, I can get a story in the paper this Friday Sept 4. If that works for you, what I need is some specific references to Hawaii — how long you’ve been here, what kind of stuff unique to Hawaii are you looking for, are other people from Hawaii helping with this project? Stuff like that to tie it in to Honolulu.
    Lee Cataluna
    The Honolulu Advertiser

  7. Kathy Vitek Says:

    When I went to the post office with my package, they told me I couldn’t mail something to an APO address without a name. I’m about to add Maj. LaFlamme the the address, but I’m afraid they won’t take the package without a first name! No good deed goes unpunished…

  8. quiltqueen73 Says:

    I’m hoping to find the address and instructions to send the box of “goodies” that I’ve collected for IBOL. The deadline is nearing. Help!

  9. Jeanne Schmidt Says:

    I have a bundle ready to go. Please send me your address.

  10. karalynn Freeman Says:

    My bundle left Riverton, Utah post office without a hitch with the paper work on the last day. Post Office advised of the discount on the package when it was going to the troops. If this continues and someone else would like packages sent I still have plenty of things I could send.
    This is a tremdous service project, thanks for allowing be to be a part of it.

  11. Iraqi Bundles of Love 3D | Fallingforpieces's Blog Says:

    […] want to know the full scope of this awesome group, I’ll direct you to their press statement here, which goes over the history of the project. The short version though: The leader of IBOL, Art La […]

  12. Cathy Hatch-Daniels Says:

    I need to know where to send the bundles.

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