Posts Tagged ‘Think locally’

Laying the groundwork

November 13, 2010

One of the things I did this week, to start to lay the groundwork for an IBOL3D, was to actually reach out to the media. Well, sort of.

I contacted my alma mater, specifically the alumni folks who publish the nice, polished, glossy magazine. It’s very nice, very slick. I sent them a short note, told them that there may be an IBOL3D in the works, and that if they take a look, they might find that the project reflects a lot of the things that the school holds in high regards. Their initial feedback from both positive and enthusiastic.

I also reached out to the national office of my fraternity. Same deal — alumni, polished magazine, etc. I said that IBOL3D might actually happen, but I also pointed out links between the Army values and the fraternity values (yes, the fraternity as well-defined values). They were positive and enthusiastic, and have asked questions, asked for photos, etc. I am confident that they’ll publish something in the next couple of months.

But that’s it so far. I think these are good things — laying the groundwork now for an effort in the spring or summer. Should I draft something generic, for people to use in their guild newsletters? Should there be a deliberate once-a-month type update thing about IBOL3D, where it stands, what’s coming up, so that people can blatantly copy and paste it and send it around?

The week in review

August 16, 2009
IBOL Kitteh say, Meh.

IBOL Kitteh say, "Meh."

On this quiet Sunday morning, I thought I’d try and wrap up a few loose ideas and other things.

1. Thanks. Holy smokes, THANKS. I really thought that success for this project was going to be measures in tens, not hundreds. My units is trying to figure out where to put all these bundles until we start making deliveries — and yes, this is a marvelous problem to have!

2. Yes, by all means — I am totally OK with you giving the mail address to people. I ask a couple of things — a) I am trying to keep the actual address off of the web, since this thing only runs for so long (and since I leave not long after it ends), and 2) you pass along that stuff should be post-marked by 7 Sept. I think that probably applies for international mail, too. If you’re on Palau, well, I’d send stuff sooner rather than later.

3. Has anyone convinced their local fabric / yard place to support this by selling stuff at cost (or darn tootin’ cheap)? Please let me know. I would love, love, love to find a fabric / yard place doing this. It’s gotta be possible, right?

4. What if that store had local volunteers who built actual bundles? And took Visa? Suddenly, the non-quilting / knitting people of the world — stop laughing! They really do exist! — would have an easy way to pile on board, too. I could soooo sell that idea to nerds. And to people to go to sock week dressed as Darth Vader. And rock stars. The rest of the world.

5. Jacquie posted some wonderful eye candy about what she’s sending (here), and in the comments, Rachel made what was probably a tongue-in-cheek offer to send 20 yards for fabric in exchange for one of the pieces heading her way instead. Which might actually happen. Which got me thinking — one yard becomes 20? Really? How else is this thing mutating in weird, wonderful ways?

6. There’s a Flickr tag for this whole thing: iraqibundlesoflove. Over on Facebook, I am linking to some of the many photos of bundles that people are posting to the web, mostly on their own websites. And I gotta say — wow, they are stunning. And very popular with the cats, since they seem to be almost magnetically attracted to these bundles, too. Probably because the bundle represents a pile that they can either 1) sit on, or 2) barf on.

7. Fans of the blog Happy Zombie might want to swing by JoCo‘s site here and download the zombie song. Yes, it’s legal to download this (even in the US), and yes, it’s free.

8. The first day this site was up, 10 people visited. And I bet they all shared the same family name as well. And Google returned no results when you searched for the phrase Iraqi Bundles of Love. Friday, the site was hammered by just a hair under 2000 hits, and what seemed like 1000 people leaving comments asking for the address (Ok, it was probably just 50). There’s been a ton of visitors from the US and Canada. And Germany, my other home. And now some from Australia (!). And the UK. And Norway. It warms my heart plenty to have so many, from so many places, offer to help out this US Soldier. So, I will leave you with one of my favorite photos of all time, that I took in Flam, Norway, back when we were expecting IBOL Kid #2. Maybe it’ll warm our heart, too.

And for the record, yes, you can now go do your part to stimulate the international economy by shopping for material to re-stock your stash.

Forget the button – steal this site

August 14, 2009

This started with an idea of bundles of quilting material getting to the hands of Iraqis, in support of the season on Ramadan, our counter-insurgency doctrine, and helping my unit try and do good as we get ready to rotate out with the next unit.

Then, it started to involved other sewing items. Then yarn. Somewhere along the way, the American mail system got expanded, because people – because big hearts are in fact universal – elsewhere wanted in on helping.

When I created this site, I thought it’d be neat if 30 or so bundles made there way here. A big success would be 50. Friday alone, I think I had 50 people ask for the address, saying they were ready to send bundles.

Today, someone left a comment about sending a honest-to-goodness sewing machine. I kid you not — I had to grab the desk to keep from falling over. It’s remarkable.

I think this idea is something of a success. It’s certainly a much bigger success than I ever thought it could be, and it’s certainly grown in ways I never expected.

So, I would offer this encouragement: Steal this site. OK, not the site itself, but the idea, even the content. By all means, email me and ask me questions about the behind-the-scenes stuff, but feel free to lift text, images, ideas and anything else from this site — I’ve slapped on the Creative Commons license to this all, to make sure the legal stuff is covered.

Maybe your guild does this with the local battered women shelter. Maybe knitting needles and yard get collected quarterly and the goodies plus “learning to knit” instructions get delivered to the local homeless shelter. Or maybe it’s through your local synagogue, church, house of worship. And if you see that this site helps in any way, take from here liberally.

There is goodness is this site, and in this project — I feel it in my heart, and I read it in your emails. Go with it.