Camp out and updates

In the past week, Michelle has scheduled a new fundraiser at Harmony Tea Bar, as we are very low on funds and need more money to buy the pads and tampons for our next distribution. In addition, we have been dealing with all of the trouble from alltimetrading. This has definitely taught me to look more into the company reviews before purchasing, even though their website seemed trustworthy and they had a great deal. We received the package of socks, and Michelle added them to the bags, yet we got a call on Friday at school that the package of underwear got lost in the mail. At this point we were trying to decide if we should try to find another company with underwear for a cheap price, if we should just order less underwear, or if we should just not get underwear, because we had to get the packages to our Spanish teacher as soon as possible so she can get it to the shelter in Tijuana. Listening to Michelle call various companies everyday has helped me to feel more comfortable calling and to step out of my comfort zone. I don’t like fighting or arguments, so I try to handle and disagreements as professionally as possible.

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240 underwear

Then, because Michelle is going to be in Oregon for 2 weeks, I went with my dad after my alumni game on Saturday, December 17th to pick everything up from Michelle’s. We carried all of the boxes out to the car, and we ended up filling both his and my car fully to get everything back home. After carrying all the boxes out to our cars, then into my house, we spent a little over an hour. Then, once we got home, my dad didn’t want everything in our house, as it was already full with holiday items, we packed everything into our Yukon. And that night, Michelle texted that the underwear finally came!

snapchat-1461381765So, Bella picked up the underwear from her house, then came over to my house today, the 20th, and we camped out in front of my house and took all the boxes out of the Yukon and set up another assembly line. She stuffed 2 pairs of underwear into the large ziploc bags with the socks, pads, and tampons, and since Michelle had separated the liquids from the bigger ziploc bags into smaller bags, so that nothing would spill, I then placed both ziploc bags into one of our pink Operation Luna bags and packed it into boxes. It took a few times to figure out which format would fit the most bags into the boxes, yet after a few times,  found the most efficient way. In the end, I had to grab an extra reusable bag as all the bags could not fit back into the boxes. After 2 hours of working, we finished and packed everything bag into the Yukon. It was so nice to sit out front with all of the Christmas lights packing and to enjoy ourselves. With all of the recent troubles, I have seen how this project has lead to so much more planning and collaboration than expected. I am so glad now that I was in charge of finances, as I see the work my partners are doing, and I think everyone is in the perfect spot. Michelle has been great with communicating and organizing events and posting to social media. For me, it feels a bit uncomfortable to ask for money, even though it is for others, so I am glad she can phrase it perfectly and I can help her whenever she needs it. Also, Bella has a strong voice and has done well with finding partners. We have had to react to so many complications, and plan picking up supplies and planning distributions, and coordinating with so many people. Individually, we would not be able to do this project alone, yet together, we have been able to get so much more done and accomplish so much!

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In the Yukon

 

 

We are also communicating with senora Martinez, and we are planning on dropping the bags off at her house on Thursday so she can take them to the shelter. Everything is finally falling in place!

Alltimetrading

In the past couple of weeks, we have come across a few difficulties. As I mentioned earlier, we decided to send 120 bags to the shelter in Tijuana to help victims of Hurricane Matthew. As I talked to my Spanish teacher, Senora Martinez, who connected us with the shelter and is going to deliver our products, told us they are in desperate need for socks and underwear as well. So, we decided to switch from 150 to 120 bags for the shelter to provide quality over quantity. After researching and finding the best deal, for 240 socks and underwear form alltimetrading.com, I placed the order. We were supposed to get the order December 5th, yet it didn’t come. Then, they told us we would get the order Monday, December 12th, and it didn’t come. I have been with Michelle as she called almost daily, and they kept putting it off, saying it still processing or finding new excuses. Then, we our current english teacher Ms. Sheridan found bad reviews online with many reports that our similar to our experience, and we were terrified we had lost $300. In one of the calls, they said they would refund our shipping price, yet in the next, another person said they couldn’t and they would never promise that. Today, we finally got the socks delivered to Michelle’s house, yet the underwear have not shipped.

Today, I spent 35 minutes writing my “About Me” section for our new website on weebly.com that Michelle created:

 

 

Update

As Michelle and I have been working, I have found that we haven’t had any updates form Bella about emails. We never sent a thank you or an update to Assistance League, haven’t been in contact with Mariposa or any other sites for distributions, with the woman from the OC Business journal, or responded to our partners at Barney and Barney. So, today I asked Bella if she had done any of these tasks, and she hadn’t. In class, she quickly sent an email to Assistance League and to Barney and Barney, yet I feel bad all the emails are so late. Also, with the slow progress in this area, we haven’t been able to plan our next distribution. Also, I realized that the OC Business Journal requires a paid account to access the articles, so we won’t be able to see if she published an article about us. Behind distant for so long, and falling behind in these roles could cause us to lose some of our relationships we have made, and lose the respect of some we have worked with. This is one difficulty in collaboration, as we have to rely on eachother, and when one falls behind it can hurt the entire group.

Haitians

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Today, during my free time at school, I worked on making more notecards to stick in the bags. Because the Haitians’ language is French, we decided to write our note ” we hope th
is makes your day” in French. So Bella and Michelle got the French translation from a  teacher at our school, and we each wrote cards for the bags. Then, after school and soccer practice, we met at Michelle’s to pack. Again, I was surprised by the amount of supplies we had and a bit overwhelmed by everything we had to pack.

 

 

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After the last time we packed, at Bella’s house, we came up with an assembly line process.  Bella counted and packed tampons, I counted and packed bags, and Michelle put it all nicely into a ziploc bag. Once I had enough piles of pads to put in the bags, I began to help Michelle pack. At times last time I don’t think we were as productive as we could’ve been.  Bella didn’t have enough to do, as she resorted to organizing the tampons more, but I think there were other tasks that could’ve been more productive. This time, I recommended for me to put the pads into the bags then pass it to Michelle, and for Bella to help stuff once she gets started with organizing. I also gave Bella some empty small boxes we had for other items that she could sort 20 tampons into then pack it into the bags. This time, instead of just sorting the tampons, she put them into the bags and helped to add more as well. I also found a faster way to pack the bags, as each row had 16, so I just grabbed all pads except one in a row to put in each bag. After a few hours, we finally finished, with the finished product shown below.

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More Planning

I had talked to senora and she said the lady she had told us about went to the shelter Saturday and found it successful and delivered products, so I told her that we are packing this Friday and planning more orders. When I talked to Bella last, we all agreed on 100 bags then planning for 50 more in the future, but Bella and Michelle found bags online that we could put our logo on and ordered 300, so I thought we would use it for future, but when I asked today, she wants to do 300 for the shelter.  I frantically set about ordering more today, yet I had a few complications. They were out of shampoo and body wash, and Walmart doesn’t ship that pads anymore, so I had to order two order from foothill and then they ran out, so sent another to the Walmart by their office on Alicia, and we planned to pick them up. After theses orders, they were out of pads so  with everything else out, we agreed we would pack the first 150 Friday and then the rest later since she would go back to the shelter in December.  (1 hour)

Next orders

Today, Sunday November 6th, I spent another 2 hours ordering and planning. I updated the inventory page and balance sheet I made, I planned out how much we had left and how many more supplies we would need. I also saw that we got a  500 donation!!! It hasn’t gone into bank account yet, so I have to plan around it. We decided we would plan for 150, as 100 would go to the shelter senora Martinez told us about, and 50 would be ready for our next distribution. I also ordered 6 boxes of amazon tampons (3,000), 3 orders of 12 packs of Walmart pads, then realized when I went to order the last 3 packs in a separate order (as there is a limit each time) I would have to pay for shipping so I ordered 11 packs and we would have extra for our next distribution. I also ordered toothbrushes from amazon, as they gave us some last time but we ran out, and I ordered more toothpaste, and we have enough of the other supplies. I found 6 toothbrushes so ordered the pack of 144 so that we have 150 total. I also double checked to see if other places had it cheaper but they didn’t. 20161106_134138.jpg

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First Distribution

Today, Bella, Michelle, and I drove to Assistance League in Santa Ana, I had all the bags in my car from the previous day, so I was all ready to drive today. We got there at 10 as Maggie, the head, was pulling up and then we set up a table by the front, and she gave us advice, to make sure no one walks out without it, as everyone shopping at the store could use it. One woman didn’t accept the bag as she wanted it to be given to others who need it, while another asked for two. Overall, it was a slow business day, so we ended up leaving about 40 bags with Assistance League, and they said they would hand them out. Towards the end, they asked if we could help out in the back for a few minutes, and I volunteered and ended up hanging up and sorting hangers for close to an hour. Maggie was really sweet and asked us about our activities to write a newsletter about us, I only had time to say soccer, since I was the last one and she was moving on and Bella talked for awhile. Julia showed up a little after we arrived to help, apparently she is interested and had been in contact with Bella. We left around 1 and I was just so thankful we were able to hold our first distribution and we have support and success. After we finished, we headed over to Dia De Los Muertos, as my spanish class made an altar dedicated to the victims of hurricane Mathew. When I told Senora about our project, she was really interested, then when we all came back to talk to her later, she told us she met a woman who was going to bring supplies to a shelter at the border that had thousands of women from Haiti, and we decided we wanted to donate some of our supplies there for a future distribution.

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