I'm partnering with Help Heal the Vets, a charitable organization that teaches handcrafts as therapy to US veterans (they call it the "therapy not in a bottle"--love that!). One of the things I've thought about doing involves the reusable poly mailer that we ship orders in: I'm thinking of including a shipping label so that an Avlea customer can re-use the poly mailer to send craft donations to Help Heal the Vets, but I've got some questions and would really value your feedback:
Type of donations? If this idea appeals to you, what kind of things would you envision sending to HHTV? Maybe leftover floss, craft projects you're cleaning out, extra counted thread fabric, etc.?
Shipping? To begin with, I would include a flier with the return shipping address, but not a prepaid shipping label as I can't swing that expense just yet. Would it be a big barrier for you to drop off your donation at a local post office and pay First Class postage? First Class postage under 15 ounces is less than $5, so it's not a huge shipping cost, but I'd like to know if that's a barrier and we should wait to implement this until I can provide a pre-paid shipping label. If you have a kitchen scale, I could put in a chart of what the cost is up to 15 ounces and you could affix stamps to the package and hand it off to your local postal carrier.
Other thoughts? Things I might have missed? Your ideas?
I've been searching for a charitable organization to partner with and I think Help Heal the Vets is really amazing because they are putting the latest occupational therapy research into practice to help heal those traumatized by war by teaching them handcrafts as a therapeutic tool they can use virtually anytime with no side effects. But, I want to make sure this partnership is sustainable which is why I value any feedback you have! Thank you!
I love all the ideas here. Also, maybe you could have an option on your site. Maybe a round up option, or donate a kit from your site. Sometimes it’s good to buy:send do the task while we are thinking of it. Might be a lot of work or a tax headache though
Update: Rose and I are working on a "wish list" that will be included in every Avlea order, along with info about Help Heal the Vets and their shipping address. I should be able to start including these with Avlea orders by early September (once I'm back from the EGA National Seminar). All of your feedback has been SO helpful! It really helped Rose and I develop a sustainable partnership. Once again, I am grateful to be part of such a generous and kind community of stitchers!
My sister is the queen of buying multiple copies of patterns so depending on the need I certainly have source for designs. I am also more than willing to purchase needed material. Kitten Stitcher just started a fabric donation project with a Navajo quilting group. From her site”In this listing, you can donate brand new Moda/Riley Blake fabrics by purchasing them at wholesale through my website. I will donate most (if not all) of the shipping costs (and am making no profit on the fabric.) Options are available for one, two, and five-yard cuts and full bolts (15 yards). This is AT COST, so you are getting a lot of bang for the buck. Please note: if all you purchase is a fabric donation, my site is going to charge you $5 for shipping. Please consider that a donation towards shipping costs, which will be expensive, as fabric is heavy. If you order other items with your donation, I am going to use that $5 to ship your things to you! :)”
Thank you SO much for this feedback! I hadn't thought of a "wish list" and I've emailed Rose for one so we know we're giving them stuff they actually need. For those who have larger amounts to donate, then I would be happy to help supply a postage label for UPS Ground since I get volume shipping discounts. This program is very much a work in progress between Avlea and Help Heal The Vets, but this initial feedback is helping me understand what are the sustainable directions we need to go in. Keep the feedback coming!
I'm such a beginner that I don't have many extras yet. But I love the cause, and this idea for supporting it.
So excited about this opportunity!! We would be happy to pay our own postage. We would also love the opportunity to put fun care packages together❤️❤️❤️
Coming from a family of Veterans we always give and would love to join. No problem with postage here and have lots of extras that I would be more than happy to share with! Great idea Krista!
This is a really good idea! I am fairly new to crafting so I don’t have a lot of extras yet, but I would be happy to donate to buy something to send.
Love it!!! And I definitely can downsize!! What do you need?
Oh my goodness! I'm just now motivating myself to neaten up my studio and I could imagine all sorts of things - fabric, sewing patterns, notions, some extra scissors, hoops, needlework charts and flosses. You name it. I would need a box, maybe several. What sort of items are you looking for?
Krista, thanks so much for reaching out to your customers. If anyone wants more info about Help Heal Veterans, you can go to our website, healvets.org. many great stories about the veterans we help.
Rose, Help Heal Veterans