I have had 9 emails in the last 48 hours in response to my suggestion on a crafting board that some might want to send crafting supplies to hurricane victims who lost all of their supplies.
I am going to answer some of the comments/questions here:
Q-Why send stamps and "toys" when these people need food and water?
A-I am assuming food and water is getting to them through agencies. I think sending grocery store gift certificates could be helpful if you know what chain grocers are in their area. I am focusing on stamping things for 2 reasons: 1-insurance probably won't begin to replace and 2-everyone can use a little joy while trying to get through a surival experience.
Q-What if this is a scam?
A-Then they are going to end up with crafting supplies, LOL! The lady I found has a blog, a long standing blog, showing her creations and her crafting room. She would have had to go to a lot of work to fake being a crafter in order for someone to feel sorry and send her craft supplies. Why would a non-crafter do a scam like that? Besides, she never ASKED for a thing. I saw her sorrow over her losses and wanted to help some. It helps me too and helps me be the kind of person I want to be. If she ends up being a scammer, it is on her, and it won't change my life.
Q-How can I help this lady?
A- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to pass on her address as well as her blog addy so you can "get to know her" a bit. I have her permission to give the address of where she is staying.
Q-Why not give to the Red Cross instead?
A-Well, personally I like my donations to go directly to a person and not be watered down by having some of it used for administrative costs. I have a friend who had a bad experience with Red Cross years ago that has made me not donate to them. I also think there are things in life almost as important as necessities because they help us get through emotionally. My stamping has gotten me through some very, very difficult emotional things.
Q-Don't you think you are too trusting?
A-It is a choice I have made. I never put myself at risk. If you remember, I work in a jail. There should be no one more skeptical than I am about the possibility of being "taken". I have chosen not to live that way and not to be suspcious. When there are red flags I pay attention, but I continue to choose to take people at face value unless I am shown they are not what they say. I work from the old adage that people are good for the most part and until I see they are otherwise I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Assuming people are dishonest and waiting until they prove otherwise is not a way I wish to live. If I get "taken" in a situation like sending crafting supplies, I am not seriously hurt in any way. It is a risk I will choose to take.
Q-What will you be sending?
A-A friend who is a vendor has offered on the GW board to send gift certificates from people who donate and to add a bit to the certificate from her end too. If you are interested in that, check out the GW board for the details of how to do that or contact Cherylynn at 2ndchildhoodstore.com for the details. I personally have a huge box of basics that I will be sending out on Friday.
Q-Why send something to a stranger?
A- I strongly believe in Pay It Forward. I have been the recipient of so many wonderful things for my students from crafters that I want to pass along the kindness. It makes US better people, IMO.
If you are interested as to why I won't give to the Red Cross, click the title of this post to go to an article that explains about this organization.