One of the biggest problems with running an organisation that is Australia wide and internet based and voluntary is disseminating information.
If you sew for Aussie Heroes, or you want to, then I really need you to keep an eye on the blog. Maybe you don’t have time to read the posts every night. People are busy, I get that. I am eternally grateful, as are our defence members, that you squeeze time into your lives to sew for us. I don’t expect you all to sit and read the blog every night (though I love it if you do). I do need you to keep an eye on it though in case there are changes to requirements or procedures etc.
I will make it easy for you. Each week I have routine posts. These might change occassionally if we have something special on, but most weeks they will stay the same. The week’s posts go like this…
Monday and Thursdays are my information nights. If I need to tell you something – a change of requirement or procedure – I will include it in the Monday or Thursday post. If Quilters or Laundry bag makers need to be reminded of something or need some new information, it will be posted on this night. Blocks of the month will usually be posted on Mondays and Thursdays as well. Usually the title of the post will give you an insight into the contents that night.
If there is nothing new or no business matters to cover on Mondays and Thursday I will usually put up some sort of story or information post.
The other three nights are usually fairly routine.
Tuesday – Gratitude Post, the thank you messages we receive from the defence members
Wednesday – Caroline’s Happy Mail Post – all the blocks, quilt tops, completed quilts and otherwise that we have received in the mail
Friday – our Weekly Dispatches – the quilts and laundry bags that have made it into the mail that week.
So, if you only read a couple of our posts each week, please check out Mondays and Thursdays.
It can also be challenging because we are looking after deployed service men and women and yet, I am a civilian, and not privy to all the information that surrounds new deployments etc. In many ways I am operating in the dark and working intuitively.
That is not an insurmountable problem but it does make it hard to accurately tailor supply to the demand.
At the moment in Kabul there is not the demand for laundry bags as they have received a good supply.
I am checking into Kandahar to see how they are situated but I suspect they are in a similar position.
If you have been watching the news then you will know that a whole bunch of new defence members have just arrived in Al Minhad Air Base (AMAB) and so will be needing our bags. The new influx has lead to an increased workload for those that are there and so it is not always easy for me to get information back quickly. Afterall, they have much higher priorities than answering questions from me and given the current state of the world I am sure you all understand. I know some of the excess bags from Kabul are going to be sent to AMAB so am waiting for advice before I send more as well.
Don’t think for a moment that laundry bags are no longer needed as that is not the case. The new members who have deployed will want some and there is a new ship waiting to deploy later this year which will have over 200 members on board, most of whom will appreciate the laundry bags.
There are still around fifty people on the request list who would like to receive laundry bags.
Are you happy to post spare laundry bags
I am also really keen to start getting laundry bags to those who are not actually deploying on long deployments who travel regularly within Australia or elsewhere for weeks at a time. You would probably be surprised to know how many of our troops do that. To do that however, you would have to be prepared to make laundry bags and post them to me. I know not all of you can afford, or are interested in paying the postage but if there are any of you out there that are happy to sew a batch and send or deliver them to me then please do so as I can definitely find good, deserving homes for them.
Do they already have a laundry bag???
Whilst on the laundry bag topic, more and more these days, a laundry bag is not required to accompany a quilt when requested. If the recipient has not already picked up a laundry bag from the ones that are made available in common areas, then they have received one whilst they are waiting for their quilt. If you take on a quilt request it is wise to check with me to see if your recipient actually requires a laundry bag or not.
Laundry bag and Quilt Sets
If you are making a quilt of your own choice, then perhaps you could check with me to see who it will be allocated to, and if they need a laundry bag before you make a matching one to go with it. More often than not these days I am not able to allocate a quilt to the person who is perfect for it because there is a laundry bag that goes with it and that person already has one.
Quilt Top Size
One final request. Please please please. If you are going to send me a quilt top to have finished here can you please make sure it it is 42″ wide and 70″ long.
42″ is narrow enough but I am receiving some that are 40″ and sometimes even 38″ or heading in the other direct 45″ wide. Length is also an issue. Tops that are too short or too narrow need to have extra added to them and this takes time and sometimes material has to be bought especially which adds more time and more expense to what must be done here.
Also all of the backings and battings used here are cut at a standard 50″ wide and 80″ long to allow the quilters, who generously volunteer their time, plenty of fabric to work with. I have to work as economically as possible with both time and money. I just don’t have the time to cut the batting and backing especially for each quilt top that comes my way. When I have helpers here we cut up a whole roll of batting at a time. Another time we might cut or piece a whole bunch of backings. We don’t have the time to cut and piece backings to specific sizes to match the quilt tops so please your cooperation with sending the tops to me at the correct size would really be appreciated.
As always if the names below are those who have sent off either quilts or laundry bags this week. If you are not on the list and you think you should be please let me know.
Elaine and Pauline
Robyn B and Wendy B
No photos specific to the post tonight so I thought I would end with a few group shots that you have not seen for a while or maybe, if you are new to Aussie Heroes, at all.
I love looking back on these photos and always appreciate the effort that people when to to arrange them for us. Most of these recipients are long home by now.
Taken in 2012 – no idea where this was
Taken last year in Kandahar
Just last year in Kabul
Some of the members of 17 Construction Squadron in Tarin Kot in 2013
Till next time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
A great job as always.
Great post, Jan-Maree,
Although I am not sewing at the moment I wouldn't miss reading the blog every night for the world!