When I started the project, I didn’t know how big it would get.
Or how it would spread across the web. Or the world.
Or how many people would take an interest, and volunteer to participate.
Or how many people would actually send a box.
Or how many boxes an individual would send.
Or the total amount of boxes, or their volume, or their weight.
Or when they’d arrive.
Or how I’d actually distribute them.
I also did not have permission from anyone to do this.
All I knew was that I had an idea, that it seemed like a good idea, and that I probably needed to act on it.
And so I did.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I spent time with my mail folks and the warehouse folks. I worked it out with my mail folks that any boxes coming to me would be delivered to the warehouse — if lots of bundles started to arrive (for some crazy reason), it just made sense to be ready and to have the IBOL’s go right to the warehouse. The warehouse folks had received the first few boxes mailed directly to them by then — maybe 80. I had received the other 414 or so total at that point, had given some out to a couple of local units, moved others to the warehouse, but still had about 80 in my own room.
On Monday, I moved some of mine to the warehouse, and posted photos here.
Tuesday, I got one in the mail; the warehouse got none.
Wednesday, I got one. The warehouse got 357 more in the mail.
Thursday, I got none. They got 365 more in the mail.
Today, I got my Sports Illustrated, but not my Hot Rod. I was kind of bummed. I was really hoping the new Hot Rod would arrive. I mean, after all, the new Sports Illustrated had arrived — shouldn’t Hot Rod arrive, too? Oh, and the warehouse, they got 697 bundles in the mail.
The urban legend is that 11 pallets of mail were flown in yesterday, six of which were for IBOL. I had two soldiers separately tell me that one.
I have not been to the warehouse since Monday, but I am told that there are a few over there now . Received to date? 1921, between what’s come to me and what’s gone right to the warehouse. So, there’s probably 1600 bundles at the warehouse right now.
And I thought 50 boxes was going to be a pretty good indicator of success.
Honest to goodness, between all of the passing of information in emails and in guilds and that crazy email from the Houston folks and the Sew Mama Sew stuff, I have no idea how many people have mailed boxes, much less how to estimate that.
I have no idea how many actual boxes are en route, or how to even begin to take a guess at that. Honest to goodness, I had a wonder lady explain to me in an email today that she put 19 bundles in the mail. Nineteen! And if you think that’s unique, I could probably rattle of the names of a half or full dozen more people who have mailed over 10. This is some crazy scary math, even trying to extrapolate this stuff out (~2600 comments, maybe minus 100 for non-requests of the address; 150+ from Sew Mama Sew; the Houston email went to maybe 50,000+ people; there are probably 36 to 60 guilds or groups that shared the address…)
Does your brain hurt now, too? Yeah, this is what I am dealing with — in and around my day job. Which also makes my brain hurt.
I have two good-sized units that are lining up trucks and pick up dates, and seem to think they’ll be in a position to deliver tons of IBOLS — which, if the boxes really do average out to 7 or 8 lbs per box, and there really do turn out to be 3000 to 5000 IBOLs, there really are going to be tons of IBOLs to deliver.
How does one distribute something like three to five thousand bundles? Very carefully, I suppose. It’s a bit like eating an elephant — figure out what size bites you can take, and keep eating. I’ve got plan A, and a plan B. I’ll spare you the details, but will try to get and share some photos. Not sure when I can get to the warehouse, either — I’ll see what I can do about tomorrow.
More later — I need to go sleep. Apparently, it’s Patriot Day (not to confuse anyone) — where did August go? Seriously, I need to work less and sleep more.
I’ve said thank you about a half a billion times, right? Make it half a billion and one — thank you.