We’ll now take a short break in the answer the question –game. This post contains lots of talk about kids, so if you think it will be a problem, please stop reading now.
I must be crazy. I’m doing this again. In April I will be collecting toddler bags even if the last time was almost too much for me. This time it will most likely be even worse, as the contents of each bag must be identical, no variations allowed. Yeah, right. Some people just don’t have the reading comprehension skills this requires. Well, see for yourself. This is the list that will be given out:
“Pack these things in a cloth bag:
• 3 outfits for indoor use (no short sleeves or legs)
• Warm outfit for outdoor use
• Bath towel
• Wool socks, winter hat and warm gloves
• 3 pairs of socks or pantyhose
• 2 bars of unscented soap
• Kid’s toothpaste and brush
• Drawing block and coloured pencils or crayons
Please check that the clothes you donate are clean and not broken and that the hygiene products are unopened. Socks, hat and gloves should compatible with the rest of the clothes. Mark a bag suitable for a boy with a blue ribbon and a bag suitable for a girl with a red ribbon. To ease the work of the person checking the bags please do not add any other items in the bag!”
Seem simple enough, right? No, it will not be. There will be all kinds of bags like backpacks, plastic bags, shoulder bags etc. None of them what we are asking for and I have to replace them. There will be clothes with stains on them, big holes in them, wrong size clothes, short sleeves and legs (yes, there will be. trust me on this). Too small towels. Missing or holey socks. Soap that has such a strong odour that you can smell it a mile away. Used toothbrushes, half empty tubes of toothpaste. Loose papers with broken crayons. All of these I have to replace with money from my pocket.
Why am I even going to do it then? For those bags that have been put together with love. Those may be few and far between, but they exist. And because of the thought that some Russian child will have something warm to put on when the weather is over -30 C the next time. People on the other side of the border are really poor. One bag might not be that much, but it’s better than nothing. And I know I can not change the world, but I can change one people’s life. Or three hundred’s if I get as many bags as the last time.
I’m just afraid I’m going to end up with 100 good bags and 200 bags sitting in the corner missing something. And I won’t have the money to make them complete. One unscented bar of soap costs around 1.50 euro. Not much, but multiply that with 2*200. Toothpaste and brush cost maybe 3 euros. Multiply that with 200, too. Drawing block with pencils/crayons – 4 euros. Again, multiply with 200. See what I mean? So if you so not think it is too rude to ask, there now is a button in the sidebar where you can give a donation should you feel like it. I’ll use any money I get to buy things that are missing from the bags. I promise to take pics of everything I buy and post them here. In the unlikely event that I get more money than I can use, I’ll give it to other bag collectors, because we all face the same problems.
Thanks in advance!