2017 Winter Wishes Gift Drive: MetaFilter STILL Cares! November 14, 2017 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Yes, it's here! It's that beautiful time of every year where the MetaFilter community comes together to fulfill wishes for people as part of New York Cares' Winter Wishes program (and sometimes more). This year, we have kiddies, we have teens, we have seniors... and all we need is you. [Skip the details, show me the list!]

This year, our recipients are from three different organizations:
- seniors who attend a senior program in Brooklyn
- preschoolers from a Head Start program in Brooklyn (who went SUPER DECORATIVE with their cards! Stay tuned for photos!)
- several teen girls who attend an after-school program in Manhattan

You can participate by visiting the wish list HERE and purchasing something. You can ignore the names and codes under each item; they're there so I can keep track of what's going where. Everything should be wrapped and delivered to our three organizations by December 8, and this is the year I will definitely remember to take more than two photos. Yes, it is.

I'm still working on adding all of the items, but I should be done by this evening. The list contains gift items, a few wrapping supplies, and gift cards that can be used to buy unpurchased items, given directly to the organizations we're working with, or... see below.

This year's senior and teen letters are super succinct and the kiddie cards are elaborate craft projects with Post-Its inside with wish items listed on them. Unfortunately, there aren't really any gift cards to write, but if you're not able to send a gift, you can still participate just by sending good wishes to your fellow MeFites and discussing things in the comments here. Every year, people write to express how great it feels to see this miracle of generosity happen every single year. Join in!

Re: gift cards:

So, 1. this has been a demanding year for giving, and 2. I had a big surgery a week ago today, so I requested fewer wishes than usual -- an equal number of kids and seniors and a handful of teens. But last year's giving exceeded what I could have reasonably imagined, and at the end, even after donating to our recipient organization, I was left with a number of gift cards and had to figure out what to do with them. (We donated them to a program that distributes them directly to women in shelters after leaving abusive situations.) I'm not sure what to expect this year.

In thinking about the last year, the word "dignity" comes to mind for me. Dignity lacking in those in positions of power, dignity wrenched from and regained by those finally able to shed light on decades' worth of abuse and harassment, dignity needed for those who have lost so much in this year's numerous natural disasters. My idea for any excess gift cards funds (and even perhaps adding to the wish list) is to use them in furtherance of dignity.

There are several organizations that collect and distribute menstrual supplies where they are very much needed. Menstruation is expensive, as something needs to be done about the "blood coming out of [her] wherever." Food stamps don't cover supplies, most states charge sales tax on them, and they can be hard to come by for homeless people and where disaster has left every kind of supply hard to find. When I delivered items post-Sandy, I was greeted with extreme gratitude and excitement every time I'd show up with pads or tampons. They were the first things to disappear from donation room shelves.

If it's all right with you, I'd like to donate extra gift card funds to #happyperiod. Of the orgs that distribute menstrual supplies, they are the only one that acknowledges that women are not the only people who menstruate. If there's enthusiasm for this idea, I'll add some supplies to the wish list, too. Please, please let me know your thoughts. I want to be a good caretaker of your generosity.

Finally, here's the link to last year's WW drive, which contains links to all the years that have come before. I'm a little bleh from medication at this moment and I just don't have that much copying and pasting in me.

HAPPY WINTER!
posted by houseofdanie to MetaFilter-Related at 10:08 AM (53 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

It looks like if I buy a gift card, it's going to get sent to me. I'm pretty awesome and deserve gift cards, but that's not my intention. Is the problem on my end or yours?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:17 AM on November 14


Same here - I have a gift card and a couple of items in my cart and it's not offering me a registry address to ship to.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:18 AM on November 14


I will check on this! Back in a sec!
posted by houseofdanie at 10:22 AM on November 14


I think I fixed it. Thank you for the early heads up!

By the way, in case anyone wonders why I have gift cards requested in envelopes, boxes, and tins, it's because every year, I drive myself crazy trying to keep track of denominations as cards arrive. I'm hoping this will lead to better organization!
posted by houseofdanie at 10:26 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Success!
posted by rmd1023 at 10:30 AM on November 14


Yay - I have been looking forward to this. Items ordered, you should have them next week. Thank you so much for putting all of this together again, and I hope you heal quickly from your surgery!
posted by needlegrrl at 10:35 AM on November 14


I can't do much but I would be thrilled to buy someone who needs them some menstrual supplies.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:51 AM on November 14


Hi, first time participating -- should I have Amazon gift wrap the items before shipping?

Thanks so much for coordinating, and a speedy recovery to you!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 10:54 AM on November 14


No need to order gift wrapping. It's one of the things I do before taking everything in -- wrap, label, double-check, etc.

WidgetAlley, I'd love to add some supplies to the list! I'd like also to see what the general mood around the idea is.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:08 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Sorry, read 2016 thread, no wrapping, more good wishes on your recovery! Stuff ordered. Thank you for this! :)
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 11:09 AM on November 14


Also, thanks for the kind wishes! I'm having a fantastic recovery.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:12 AM on November 14


I love the idea of adding menstrual supplies to the list and/or using additional gift cards towards it.
posted by needlegrrl at 1:02 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Yes! I am all in favor of donating the extra (or additional) for menstrual supplies. I'm glad to see this back again; I look forward to it every year.

EDIT: Also, I bought some gift wrap to send your way. Do we need to announce what we buy in the thread, or did Amazon fix that glitch from last year where it wasn't marking things as purchased?
posted by PearlRose at 1:18 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I love that you (we) do this! Last year everything was bought before I could participate, so this year I got in early -- thanks so much for making this happen.
posted by Mchelly at 1:36 PM on November 14


Thanks for organizing this again. It always makes me feel good to help out in this small way.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 2:05 PM on November 14


I bought gift cards before I even read this. If you wanted to add menstrual supplies to the wish list (maybe after all the physical items are taken care of) I would go back and send some, or I'll just buy more cards later.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:28 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much for taking the lead on this, houseofdanie! It's our 9th annual drive! An amazing testament to the generosity of Mefites.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:55 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, 9 years! I wasn't around for the first couple, so it hadn't quite sunk in how long folks here have been giving and giving, year after year.
posted by houseofdanie at 3:35 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Mischief managed! Thank you for organizing this--especially from your sick bed. And yes, I think the charity you picked for extra gift cards is great!
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:54 PM on November 14


Done! This is a marvelous thing to do, and thank you for letting us help.
posted by suelac at 4:13 PM on November 14


I will add some supplies to the list after I'm done adding the gifts. Look for them in the next day or so!

Oh, and PearlRose, I'm sorry I missed your question! So far, it looks like Amazon is removing things from the list appropriately, thankfully.
posted by houseofdanie at 4:42 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Any ideas as to how you can purchase gifts from the other websites linked through the Amazon list?? For example, the Disney princess doll is purchased through the Toys"R"Us website, but when you check out you need to add the shipping address details manually.
posted by seraphim5 at 7:16 PM on November 14


Ohhh yeah! Been looking forward to this Meta since Halloween.
posted by notyou at 9:33 PM on November 14


MCCNY always needs menstrual supplies and because they serve lgbtqq youth and teens they very much acknowledge that men and boys menstruate.

I also suggest diaper drive/diaper bank for excess gift cards. Diapers also cannot be purchased with wic or snap benefits. There might even be orgs that would use the funds for re-usable (cloth) diapers so that a family with access to laundry facilities can have that option.

I’ll be available for wrapping this year in the city this weekend for sure, amd probably just about anytime you need.
posted by bilabial at 10:24 PM on November 14


Done! Feel better, Ms. D.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:55 PM on November 14


Man, I'm trying to buy stuff but every time I get to checkout it says someone else already just bought my items! I guess this is a nice problem to have. I'll come back in a couple of days when hopefully there's still some stuff left and people aren't being quite so enthusiastic!
posted by lollusc at 12:53 AM on November 15


Ah! I forgot to mention that I put my address in my profile so you can buy things from other sites.

I'm actually still adding things to the list, so if it keeps emptying before you've had a chance to get something, please check back. My snailness could be to your advantage.
posted by houseofdanie at 2:24 AM on November 15


Wish list updated with the rest of the toys and some menstrual things! I have pending questions about one senior and one teen, and I'll add to the list once I get answers back. I'll also try to keep on top of anything that's out of stock, etc.

I sent this to bilabial in our PM conversation:
So I'm gay and I live here and I have never heard of MCCNY! I need to get out more, I guess. The reason I hadn't considered a place in the city is because NYC is the first (still the only? Not sure!) city to mandate free menstrual items in jails, schools, and shelters. That doesn't mean they're in plentiful supply, of course. Having a place right here would avoid shipping costs. I'll give them a call to see if we can make sure gift cards go specifically toward period products. Thank you so much for pointing out this organization.

From MCCNY's site:
Open 365 days a year, MCCNY Homeless Youth Services has helps thousands of LGBTQI runaway and homeless youth aged 18-24 to continue their work towards stability by providing them with crisis shelter, case management, social work, psychiatric, health care and job training services. The MCCNY Homeless Youth Services Mental Health Services Program is a critical resource for LGBTQI runaway and homeless youth who have experienced trauma or mental illness.

Are there any objections to directing our extra gift card amounts and menstrual items here, if indeed the funds can be earmarked for those things?
posted by houseofdanie at 4:42 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Here are some photos of this year's cards from kids!

My phone takes crappy photos, but try to imagine even more glitter and texture than pictured. When I first opened the envelope of wishes, I immediately thought of that service from a while back that would send an envelope of glitter to an enemy. I have glitter and shiny confetti in my bed, next to my bed, and probably all over my body. I think it's why I'm having such a good recovery.
posted by houseofdanie at 5:16 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


This is one of those great things that helps make this site more than just a collection of internet weirdos. Thanks for doing this.
posted by veggieboy at 5:34 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Thanks so much for organizing! Love the idea of donating menstrual supplies, and the org you mention sounds great. A doll, some pads/tampons, and a gift card are winging their way to you now!
posted by msbubbaclees at 8:18 AM on November 15


Thanks so much for organizing. I've just sent a heap o' menstrual cups to your door.

One wonders if that sentence has ever been written before.
posted by Stacey at 8:35 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Done. First time to participate. Thanks for doing this.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:53 AM on November 15


I sent a couple of things. Thanks for the opportunity to do this.
posted by zorseshoes at 11:13 AM on November 15


I also suggest diaper drive/diaper bank for excess gift cards. Diapers also cannot be purchased with wic or snap benefits.

In addition to infant diapers, adult diapers and incontinence products are often desperately needed and not often donated.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 12:26 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, I'm still struggling with the ship-to address - I'm only seeing the option to ship to me. Am missing something?
posted by mosst at 12:44 PM on November 15


It was the second listed option during checkout for me, mosst, under my default address.

Choose a shipping address

Your addresses
* (default address)
* Danie S for Winter Wishes' Gift Registry Address
posted by miratime at 1:18 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Can't believe I missed that! Thanks very much.
posted by mosst at 1:32 PM on November 15


Thanks again for organizing this. I love participating each year.
posted by nightwood at 1:48 PM on November 15


I sent something! Thanks so much for organizing!!
posted by selfmedicating at 2:03 PM on November 15


Here's the list showing what has already been purchased, if you want to feel nice about your fellow mefites (and mourn missing your chance to send someone a Spiderman web-shooting glove).
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:26 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


So I found the shipping address in your profile, and I purchased the the two Disney dolls from Toy"R"Us (for Sayuri, BUSC0115 / Yulainyz, BUSC0122), but since they were purchased outside of Amazon, they don't seem to be removed from the list. I thought I would let you (and all the other buyers!) know so you could maybe delete them manually? Cheers!
posted by seraphim5 at 2:28 PM on November 15


seraphim5 - there is probably a link on the wish list under the item that says "Buying this gift elsewhere?" that you can click on to note that it has been purchased. I know I had to do that manually last year.
posted by soelo at 2:58 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


That worked - thanks seolo! I get to make some kids happy AND I learned something new about these Amazon wish lists!
posted by seraphim5 at 3:22 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]


This is such a happy thing, and it's extremely impressive how quickly things get snatched up! I had a few items in my cart earlier, went and took a shower, and came back and they had all been purchased! So I picked other things and bought them quickly. :)

Thanks so so much for organizing this and letting us be a part of it.
posted by firei at 4:43 PM on November 15


How timely! I just buying the last of the Kid's Hanukkah gifts (from Amazon) when I saw this so I popped something into my cart. Feel better!
posted by Ruki at 8:52 PM on November 15


The list of items purchased doesn't include things that are partially purchased. So, if we requested three dolls and two have been purchased, it doesn't show up there. So, people have been MORE generous than that list would suggest!

I'm slightly (but only slightly) concerned about things that are like, "Quantity: 3 Has: 5." I guess I'll see what shows up! Last year's glitch in the Amazon Wish List matrix meant that I had 4 large boxes of returns, plus several bedding sets and the like. Amazon does pay for return shipping when they've screwed up, and they were prompt to refund (hence the large excess gift card issue), but it would be nice if their stuff worked like it should the first time 'round.

Thank you for helping each other navigate the wish list stuff! I've been sleepy these past couple of days and am not checking in here quite as often as I'd like. You are the BEST internet weirdos in the world.
posted by houseofdanie at 4:00 AM on November 16


OH. I keep forgetting to post this! I have set up a mailing list for those who'd like to be informed every year right before I make the annual WW post. The emails show up in my "Promotions" tab in Gmail. I'll post the link again when I do the wrap-up post.
posted by houseofdanie at 4:26 AM on November 16


Yay! Thanks for setting this up and handling all the logistics!
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 8:21 AM on November 16


The mailing list heads up is appreciated! Thanks for organizing this. I look forward to it every year.
posted by dorkydancer at 8:54 AM on November 16


SO had an amazon credit to use and he just confirmed that our order was placed! I love this time of year :)
posted by brilliantine at 10:15 AM on November 16


This is my first time participating and I'm so happy to do it! I kept putting gifts in my cart just in time to see that someone else bought it (I really wanted to give someone that nail polish kit!). But I was able to buy a hat and a whole bunch of tampons and that felt great. Happy holidays!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 12:31 PM on November 16


Item purchased! Thanks for doing this. Participating in direct aid feels really good this week what with the clusterfuck of politics.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:20 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


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