This award poster might seem a little tongue-in-cheek (or tape-on-box!), but….without our wonderful volunteer shippers, where would we be? They fully deserve an award for their tireless work! Anyone know where we can buy a golden tape gun?
On just about every day of the year, our shippers:
- receive packages in the mail
- open them and check for packing slips, and start counting if there’s no total
- stamp the backs if that’s not done
- match them with envelopes
- email every donor with an acknowledgement
- report every donation
- sort cards by type
- keep up with hero contacts by email
- do triage in the card hospital as needed (repairing, adding liners to dark cards, etc)
And then on packing days, our shippers:
- sort and pack boxes of over 300 cards each
- pack up 15-20 or more AnyHero letters for each box
- write a letter to each contact
- tape up each box and fill out customs form
- traipse to the Post Office and stand in line
- report boxes shipped
These are heroic tasks, and a little bulletpoint list barely scratches the surface of the enormity of the gift of time and energy our shippers give to OWH! Their families sacrifice as well—giving them time to do this valuable work.
In our Annual Review published last week, you may have noticed this little pie chart…it shows the percentages of the total shipments from 2009 made from each location. Washington’s been the heavy lifter since the inception of the project, partially because the west coast is quite prolific in cardmaking (gooooo California!), and partially because Sandy has a lot of personal cardmaking friends out there across the land!
Currently our shippers are all-volunteer...our small cash revenues aren’t enough to pay any staff at this time. (Until recently, our shippers even purchased their own packing tape!) Yes, they do love our heroes, and receive their favorite payment when they do the “happy dance” at the mailbox when a card or letter comes from one of their contacts…or when an email pops up from someone they’ve shipped their cards to. Getting to know a hero is the greatest honor, and hearing about the impact of OWH’s service is quite a joy!
Some of you have emailed us with offers to become an OWH shipper—and we want to say thanks so much for your heart to help! However, right now we’re waiting to see what 2010 will bring. A while back we had more shippers at the same time, and cards were divided between so many locations that it was challenging to get boxes out to meet our heroes’ requests. With three shippers, it’s more work for those individuals, but is also making us more efficient in responding to our service members’ needs. If volume increases further in the coming months we may add another shipper, but for the time being we’re waiting to see what happens. Stay tuned!
If you live near one of our shippers and would like to assist them sometime, please feel free to contact them. You might be able to assist with stamping the backs of cards, matching with envelopes, triage in the card hospital, or even packing boxes…..depending on what day you’re able to help, and what needs the shipper has at the time.
Many thanks to our rockin’ OWH shippers….keep on shippin’!