Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Grati-Tuesday


Have a happy read!

Dear Jenny,
Thank you so much for the quilt and laundry bag, they are great! I love the blue ocean theme, they have a calm relaxing feel to them.
It's really nice of you to be participating in a program like this. Ship life can be quite monotonous & boring sometimes, so to receive a gift like this is a real moral booster :)
I've been in the Navy for about two years now and enjoying every new experience that comes my way, especially this deployment on HMAS Toowoomba.
Thank you again for the awesome gift and you can never go wrong with Tim Tam's :)


Hi Jan-Maree,
I just wanted to see if you could pass on my thanks to Gale C and Jennifer D who made my quilt. (Done this morning) They left a note in the box for me, but with no email address etc.    I really appreciate their hard work, and all the other members of Aussie Hero Quilts who look after us deployed ADF personnel. Please all of you keep up the awesome work.

Hi Kylie!
  I'm so sorry this took so long to send! Right after I received your quilt I had to pack up my whole room and relocate and then I couldn't find the letter you had sent with the quilt. I got a bit upset with myself because I wanted to say thank you so much for the amount of effort you put in making something so beautiful for someone you have never even met..And even putting my initials on the laundry bag
;-) Anyway after thinking all was lost, I was making my bed and placed the quilt on top, then noticed that there was a "made by" on the label on the back with your name and email address. Yep I'm an idiot haha, don't know why I didn't look there first!
Thank you again so much for the quilt, I appreciate it more than you know :-)
Kindest regards,

Hi Liz J,
I just wanted to write a quick email to thank you for the laundry bag and lollies. The laundry bag is far better, and bigger than the issue one we get, and I love the Australian National Flag on the rear. The lollies will be devoured over the next few days.
Thank you once again for the laundry bag, and the lollies. We deployed ADF members appreciate all the support from you all back home in Australia.

Hi Jan,
I received your quilt today, and I think it's fantastic!  I also got your laundry bag, which was a welcome surprise.  Thank you very much for the time and effort you've obviously put into doing this for me, and the Parramatta Eels colour scheme works a treat!
The feedback from the people who have received quilts and laundry bags has been great, and the laundry on board definitely has a bit more colour to it now that everyone's proudly sporting their new laundry bags.  
It was interesting to hear some of your background, and I won't hold it against you that you were an ex Admin Officer.  (cheeky sod!  LOL)
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors  and would like to extend my gratitude to you and your quilters for the selfless work you guys put in to make our lives that little bit better while we're away from our friends and family.
Regards

A little while ago Angela emailed me with the following picture of a completed laundry bag. Now her email came just after I received a request from a wife for a quilt and laundry bag  for her husband whose surname made this laundry bag somewhat appropriate.  What can I say, it really appealed to my sense of humour so back I went to Angela with the postal address that just seemed too good for this fishy laundry bag.  And ever since it went in the mail Angela, his wife and I have all been waiting for the laundry bag to arrived.  What would his reaction be?



Well you can read for yourself.

Dear Angela,
I recently received the Laundry Bag you sent to me. I wanted to thank for putting together something so distinct and well crafted. Your tailored fish theme has been commented on by many and I can safely say that while I may lose a sock or two I shall never lose the bag. The bag has also significantly brightened our room which is otherwise tan throughout. Again thank you so much for putting your time and resources into making an ordinary item attractive and soon sentimental (at least for me).
Warm regards,

Looks like we made the right decision.  Next I am working on an appropriate quilt and laundry bag for an Apple Mac/Ipod lover!  You will just have to wait and see. 

:-)

We have lots of new Aussie Hero Friends following along with us and sewing with us now so as things come up or occur to me I will publish little reminders that I think most of you know but newbies might not be aware of.  

Without doubt from the feedback I get everyone enjoys reading the thank you messages on the blog.  Some of the recipients include me in their emails but not all so please don't forget to share your thank you messages.  Don't forget I always remove all the personal information, place names and anything that I think might identify the sender.  If I think the thank you message is particularly heartfelt or sensitive I always write to the sender and ask for permission to publish an approved excerpt of their message.  I always assure them that they need not fee obligated to say yes - that is why I check first, but without exception everyone I have asked has come back and said please go ahead which I really appreciate.  Most of them have gone on to say again how much they appreciate what we are doing and that they are more than happy to share their words to encourage others.

Having said that, please remember that we will not hear from everyone we send to.  Usually, the ones that we do hear from are those who have found us themselves and have contacted me and made a request for themselves (and sometimes others).  The fact that they have been able to contact me themselves says something about their access to communications facilities.  

There are also those whose families or friends have submitted requests for them.  Sometimes the person who has submitted the request contacts me and lets me know the parcel has arrived, sometimes the member then contacts me or the quilter/sewer to say thank you.  It all depends on the facilities available.  

I also receive requests from various Points of Contact I have collected along the way.  Every time there is a change over I have to establish new points of contact though this is getting easier as word of what we do spreads and we become more widely known.

If a Point of Contact passes me the name and details of someone who would like a quilt, particularly people who are not at one of the main bases or who are not based with Aussies but with other foreign forces, the chances are that we may not hear back from those people.

There are all sorts of reasons for that.  Some people cannot contact gmail accounts.  Some people have trouble with Bigpond.  Lots of the junior guys do not have their own laptops, many of them are not sitting at desks but are out and about, frequently "outside the wire" and have little free time when they are back inside.  Many of the mums, wives and loved ones do not hear regularly from over there.  Often there is just little spare time and their first priority is to contact their loved ones.  

There are a myriad of reasons why we might not hear back from a quilt or a laundry bag that we have sent.  We know, without a doubt, from all the recurring messages that come through all the different thank you messages, that what we are doing is appreciated.  
By sharing the thank you messages we do receive we are encouraging those that have sent parcels off and have not heard back.

Finally, I try to follow up every quilt we send off to see if it has arrived.  This is just a quick email - 
"Hi there, just checking to see if your quilt/laundry bag has arrived.  Hoping to hear it is there safe and sound."

.   If I hear from you that a parcel has been received then I don't need to send a follow up email which I try to do with every quilt if I have someone I can contact.  I allow plenty of time for parcels to arrive before I send a follow up.  If no reply after two or three weeks I will send one more reply.  If no reply to that second email I assume the parcels have arrived and move on.  Once again there are a myriad of reasons why my follow up emails might go unanswered and that is just the way it is.  

If I do hear back then so do you.  If I hear, Got my quilt thanks and I love it - then that is what I will pass on to you.  If a mum/wife tells me the quilt has arrived I will let you know with any extra information that I receive.  

So, that is how it works.  Hope that is clear as mud for you. If not feel free to email me or PM me if you have any questions.

Sorry for the shortage of photos this post.

Till next time..............keep spreading the word and happy stitching!






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