Saturday, April 17, 2010

“Another Letter Crisis”

After we were accepted by Life Missions, they e-mailed us a bunch of information, including how to send out letters asking for donations. The initial estimate they gave us was that the trip to Africa would cost approximately $2700 a piece. It is so weird asking people for money, but that did turn out to be the most lucrative way to raise the money.

We made our list of 140 people we were willing to send donation letters to and, within a week, e-mailed their names and addresses to Life Promotions. They would turn abound and address the envelopes, stamp them and mail them to us along with sponsor letters. All we had to do was put our personal note on the letter, stuff it in the envelope, and mail it.

A week or so later, Life Promotions sent us a message that they still had not received our list. I promptly sent it again. I was excited to get the letters out; December 31st was approaching and some people might want to make a donation before the end of the year for income tax purposes. Finally a package arrived.

I ripped it open and started paging through the pile of envelopes, not recognizing a single name. There were also only a few of their sponsor letters included. I called Life Promotions. Well, they couldn’t tell me right away what had happened, just asked me to mail the envelopes back to them with the correct names and addresses. I did that immediately, but by then it was December 30, so I told them just to send the letters and return envelopes. We would start addressing our own envelopes so that they would be ready to go..

We had missed the end of the year deadline, but as it so happened, the price of postage was going up on January 8 that year. Now, any of you who know me, know that I get a little wound up when things don’t go smoothly. Everyone else in my household was thinking, postage is only going up by two cents. I was thinking that adds up to two and a half dollars for all the letters we are sending out and it just isn’t going to look good to these sponsors for us to be wasting that kind of money.

I know, I get a little crazy at times.

Anyway, on Saturday January 7, the package arrived with lots of envelopes and lots of letters and for some reason – two cent stamps (which I still have some of to this day). I had a house full of helpers; my friend from Minnesota and her husband, my son and his friend, Val and her boyfriend. So I had them all stuffing and licking envelopes while Val and I were adding our personal notes and addressing the rest of the envelopes.

I sent my husband to town to mail the first batch and buy more 37 cent stamps. Remember this was before the United States Post Office came up with the Liberty stamp idea. In 2005, you got what you bought in USPS stamps. So Himey came home with a couple of books of stamps, and they were 39 cent stamps.

I completely freaked out. My poor husband puts up with more crap from me than you can imagine.

“It was the only kinds of stamps they were selling,” he tried to explain.

God kind of grabbed me and didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. I calmed down. That two cents per letter didn’t matter. What mattered was that I had family and friends supporting me and Val and caring about me even if I went crazy at times.

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