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Every year for the last five years I’ve put together gift baskets for a teen mom shelter in Massachusetts.   This is the same place I lived when I was pregnant with Hannah.  The year I was there, Christmas 1997, I was seventeen years old.  I remember feeling so lonely and sad because I was away from my friends and most of my family.  One night someone dropped off gift baskets for us- they were laundry baskets filled with all kinds of goodies. I didn’t get many gifts that year and it was so much fun to sit and go through that basket. It made me feel less alone.

These girls are so young- just a few years older than my Hannah- and still kids in my opinion. People donate presents for the babies, but the girls rarely get anything for themselves.  I try to make the baskets as full of pretty things, sweets, and fun stuff as possible but I can’t do it by myself.  There are usually five to eight girls and I just don’t have the resources to do it on my own. So every year I ask my friends and readers for help, and it always amazes me how many people want to help me do this!  


I think I just screwed it all up this year.

I have been sticking to my usual schedule for the baskets, sending out feelers in November, re-asking the people who said earlier in the year that they would like to contribute, and planning a post asking for help/donations for early December.  I failed to take into consideration that since I have moved 1300 miles away I will have to ship the packages instead of hand delivering them.  Which completely changes my timeline.


I’m not sure I can get enough stuff together and get them shipped out in two weeks.  Normally, I take donations right up until I deliver the baskets, usually around the 22nd.   I obviously can’t do that this year.  Someone suggested looking for a local shelter, and if there is one I might see if there are ways to volunteer or help out…  But I don’t want to stop doing this for “my” shelter.  This is the one I know, I understand their policies and how they run the place, and I love that I get to give back after all these years.

Doing this is truly my favorite part of the holiday season. 

Do you think I still have time to get this done?  I am so worried that I won’t be able to pull it off this year. 



19 Responses to Merde.

  1. Sure you can!
    How many baskets are you making?
    Would you like some bracelets to add? Just simple ones.
    E-mail me your address and how many baskets you’re making and I can get them packed up and in the mail tonight.

  2. I live near Boston and would be happy to assemble and deliver the baskets (and photograph the process for your blog) if you wanted to have items sent directly to me.

  3. You can do it! It may not be easy, it definitely won’t be the same as past years, but you can do it. I totally understand why you want to continue to do it for the shelter you stayed at, that kind of personal connection is so moving, and I know that the girls who recieve your baskets not only are grateful for the gifts, but for the sense of hope. You were where they are once, and now you have a beautiful life!

  4. I can’t say that i can help you pull it off this year because I have a lot going on. I may be able to help you out next year though. Maybe things could be mailed to me and I could deliver them. Just a thought.

  5. I would start by sending cards ahead of time with a little note about a present coming that might be a little late. Then you can do the best you can at getting them out. Better to be late then to not do it at all! 😀 Good luck and I hope you can get some help!

  6. Sure you can do it! I have no doubt you will get thse baskets done and shipped in plenty of time.
    ❦✧⊱✿~☽✪☾~╰☆BRIGHT BLESSINGS!☆╮~☽✪☾~✿⊰✧❦

  7. How about a totally different suggestion on how to approach this? I suggest contacting the Girl Scout office in the area of “your” shelter. They may be willing (to find a troop) to get the items for you there and hand deliver them.

    Another option, contact your local FedEx Express location. Ask to speak with the TERMINAL MANAGER. Ask if they might be willing to donate overnight shipping! You could probably get a lot of stores to donate items, too. There is so much you can get for free – if you just ask. (Even local Walmart stores will donate items, but you have to request them specifically and in writing the month before you want/need the items.)

    This is an amazing project, KW, and I commend you for it. How wonderful of you!

  8. Just remember how much you’ve accomplished already, and you’ll see that you don’t have as far to go as you first thought. At my work, we use UPS mail innovations, which then gives it to USPS. It takes about a week to two weeks for the packages to arrive. If you go with USPS, a letter can be delivered in the same state in two days. A package will take longer, and will need to be a box instead of a basket. But that doesn’t mean that the box can’t be pretty and well packed, too! USPS offers Flat Rate boxes that are pretty cheap. One of my previous employers used the flat rate boxes to good effect. A medium flat rate box might do the trick.

  9. Better late than never! Don’t stress. Why not send them holiday cards and mention Santa is running late this year? You’ll feel better that the baskets have everything you intended them to have, and the girls will know they still have it to look forward to as opposed to being disappointed and assuming you aren’t doing it this year.

  10. You CAN do it, and you’ve had wonderful suggestions already! What a great gift you give these young ladies in a time of need that most don’t recognize!

    Encouragement is my gift this year, but hit me up next year and maybe by then, circumstances will not be so dire on my end…

    Blessings of joyful abundance be thine and those you touch!

  11. You will get this done!

    I agree with previous posters who suggested you ask Fed Ex or USPS to donate free overnight shipping.

    It’s okay if they arrive late. Those girls will be so happy to get them on any date.

    Blessings to you for doing this.

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