Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Holiday Project Kicks off with an Online Gift Auction!--Items needed now.

 This year we are trying something new and different for our annual Holiday Project.  Coordinator and volunteer extraordinaire Mandie Doak just sent this message to our country yahoo groups and I'm sharing it here for those who read the blog.  And wow--look at some of the items she's already received--they would make great gifts!
Hi All! I know its hard to believe that I'm posting about the Holiday project and its only the middle of July... but I have to tell you, I've already been thinking about it for a month now, and today I saw aisles and aisles of  Christmas decorations out at Hobby Lobby.... so apparently, I'm not the only one!

The reason I'm typing is because I am putting together a silent online auction (and possibly an event in Kansas at its end...) to raise money for this year's Holiday Project. The auction will take place the beginning of October, but I wanted to get the word out early so that those of you who are crafty and quilt or knit, or do some other great thing that requires a bit of time to put together, could have time to do it! I'm asking for donations from all of our AAI Africa families , since this project will touch children and caregivers in Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda this year!  

My name is Mandie Doak, I'm an Ethiopia adoptive parent, volunteer with AAI, and I have
been organizing the Holiday project for the past 5 years.... I put the word out, beg for money, do the shopping, beg for more money, remind you all that we still have money to raise, and finally carry all the gifts to Ethiopia and oversee that portion of the project. You can visit this link and see photos from last year's projects in both Ethiopia and Ghana.

I'm very excited to be including AAI's new program in Uganda in this year’s project, and I can't wait to see the photos of their celebrations!

Last year’s project brought in more than $20,000... Half of which went to AAI's humanitarian aid projects. The remainder of the funds went to provide gifts for all of the children in AAI's care, special Holiday party and foods, modest bonuses for the caregivers, special treats for our sponsorship kids, and holiday meals for several of AAI's partner orphanages. The project will touch more than 500 orphans and caregivers in all three countries.

Please help us to make this year’s project a HUGE success! If you are able to donate an item or two, please let me know and I’ll send you my shipping address! If you are crafty and you know it...raise your hand! Calling all quilters, clothing makers, bow makers, photographers, jewelry makers, artists, etc.!  Travelers, you can help out too! If you are traveling soon, and would be willing to pick up some souvenir type items (drums, baskets, scarves, clothing, coffee, spices, jewelry, etc...) to donate to the cause, let me know!

The auction is not limited to physical items.... If you own a salon, how about' a do? Own a restaurant or have a friend who does?   How about donating a dinner for two? Maybe you can donate a weekend getaway or charter fishing trip? You can see where this is going! If you can offer a good or service that someone else could bid on, let me know!

You don't have to be a crafty-traveling-business owner to participate, either! If you have an item, or want to purchase an item to donate to the cause, that would be welcome too! Just as a reminder, donations should be new or like new items that you would want to give or receive as a gift during the holidays... We are hoping that folks will use this auction as a place to do some of their holiday shopping, so please keep this in mind!

I have the Holiday Project FB page up and running, and have started posting previews of the items that will be offered for auction! I will update it as I receive the items. Stop by, "Like" it, and get ready to bid! Please be sure to check out donor's websites, many of them work with organizations in Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia.

If you have a website associated with your goods, I would be happy to link it to your items. They will also be linked on our Facebook page, where I will have a preview of the items as I receive them. Take a look; there are some beautiful things already that will make great gifts for a special someone on your list.  

Please feel free to contact me with questions! Items need to be shipped to me by Sept. 16th.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks so much for your help with this!

Mandie Doak

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