2016 Winter Wishes Gift Drive! November 12, 2016 7:01 AM   Subscribe

It's the most... wonderful tiiime... of the year. It might not feel like it, but given how 2016 has shaped up, this might actually be it! We have a tradition every winter where MetaFilter members come together to bring joy to others for the holidays. Via New York Cares' Winter Wishes program, we fulfill wishes from children's letters -- and for the past two years, from seniors' letters, too. (Skip the details, show me the list!)

This year's recipients range in age from 5 to 95! Last year, the addition of seniors to our traditionally kids-only list went so well that this year, half of our letters are from folks 65 and up. All of the letters come from a community center in Brooklyn that includes a senior center and an after-school program.

You can participate by:
1. Visiting the wish list and buying a gift, a gift card toward a gift, or some wrapping supplies.
2. Writing a response to one of the letters that'll go in a card to your recipient. MeMail me to request a letter! You can actually write out a card and send it (my address is in my profile) or you can MeMail back your words, which I'll write in a card.
3. Having a van or something and driving these gifts from Washington Heights to Brooklyn on December 2 or 3. (Otherwise, I'll hire someone.)

Please pardon the lack of activity on this account; I use a new name on MeFi now for everything other than the gift drive.

My landlord and super have once again very kindly set aside a secure room for us to use for storage. My partner and I will be wrapping the gifts as they arrive, so there's no need to order Amazon's gift wrapping.

You can disregard the names and "BREC" or "BRES" codes on the wish list. They're there to help me organize things as they arrive.

I'm going on a cruise from the 20th til the 27th and will mostly lack internet access, but til and after then, I'll be checking in with the thread and the wish list frequently.

If you'd like to have anything shipped directly to me, I'm adding my home address in my profile. My Google Voice number for texting and my email address are also there, for any questions or glitches.

Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate.

Previous years:
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008, the bicycle that started it all!
posted by houseofdanie to MetaFilter-Related at 7:01 AM (49 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

Yay! Thank you again for this. I know it takes a tremendous amount of effort. You're good people.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2016

Thank you again! I just ordered Forbidden Island for you, because whoever wants that is a kid after my own heart.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Is it okay if I post the wish list on my Facebook page to see if any of my non-MeFi friends are interested in contributing?
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:16 AM on November 12, 2016

skycrashesdown, you are absolutely welcome to!
posted by houseofdanie at 11:49 AM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Marvelous! I have a minivan and could drive on December 3. Will PM you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:15 PM on November 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, yay, TPS, that's amazing!
posted by houseofdanie at 2:03 PM on November 12, 2016

Yay! I ordered the Van Gogh puzzle, because puzzles are awesome! Thanks for organizing this again, seconding your good people-ness.
posted by Karmeliet at 2:17 PM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oy, something is up with the wish list. I can't see what's been purchased, even though I disabled the "keep my stuff a surprise" option. I hope you guys aren't being shown things that have already been taken! I can send stuff back and exchange if that happens, but it wouldn't be a lot of fun. If anyone gets a chance, could you see if, for example, the Van Gogh puzzle is still available?
posted by houseofdanie at 3:53 PM on November 12, 2016

Thank you, kanata -- for the gift contribution and for checking.
posted by houseofdanie at 4:11 PM on November 12, 2016

Great! Amazon knows of the issue and is working on it but isn't able to see what's been ordered thus far. I guess we'll see what comes in the mail, hah!
posted by houseofdanie at 4:27 PM on November 12, 2016

Also - I know it's kind of pain, but if you can post or MeMail me what you've all ordered, I can manually move those things to a "taken" list. Thank you, generous folks. :)
posted by houseofdanie at 4:30 PM on November 12, 2016

Hiya! Me and my sisters ordered these things:

- City Central Round Table Puzzle
- J & M Home Fashions Fleece Blanket, 90-Inch by 90-Inch, Copen Blue

Thanks so much for organizing this!
posted by ohkay at 5:19 PM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

I ordered the 4M Crystal Growing Set for Trey (BREC0003)! Thanks for organizing everything. After this week I've felt compelled to contribute more to society, and this was a great way to start.
posted by bonifate at 7:17 PM on November 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Just ordered the Mega Gemstone Mine. Thank you so much for doing this!
posted by gatorae at 7:17 PM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll be honest -- after Tuesday night, I was a mess. Crying, staring silently into the middle distance, staving off panic, reading news, trying not to read news, sleeping at all the wrong times but never enough. It took real effort to will myself to return to the letters I'd begun sorting the week before, and I wish I'd done it sooner. I'm still pretty glum and afraid, but returning to this tradition and feeling this community are a big help.
posted by houseofdanie at 9:54 PM on November 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:57 PM on November 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I ordered the Lazer Maze Logic Game for Isaiah, and the Monster High Draculaura Set for Valare.

(So glad I caught this thread, last year I didn't happen upon it until everything on the W/L had been purchased and I was so bummed!)
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 10:14 PM on November 12, 2016

3 more Monster High presents are winging their way to Valere!

I happen to have these two play sets from Ever After High all new and ready to ship. May I send them your way, too, or would that add unnecessary confusion to the gifting process? (I have other new dolls from EAH who I could donate, too, actually, so let me know!)
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:02 AM on November 13, 2016

Thanks for doing this-you are remarkably generous with your time and energy. Glad I could help.
posted by Marky at 2:13 AM on November 13, 2016

Goodness, this was wonderful timing. Thank you so much!
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 5:25 AM on November 13, 2016

Hey, houseofdanie, Santa called. He wants his overwhelming generosity and kindness back.
posted by bjrn at 5:28 AM on November 13, 2016

Just ordered 3 books for Celeste (Thirteenth Tale, Life We Bury, Forgotten Garden). Thank you so much, Danie, for your hard work. This is a gift.
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:32 AM on November 13, 2016

Thanks for organizing! I ordered a Minecraft T-shirt and "diamond Steve" toy for Jared.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:50 AM on November 13, 2016

Thank you! I'm up to date with gifts mentioned in-thread and via MeMail. I made a "taken" list and am just moving items over as they're claimed. I might have to exchange a few duplicate items, but your helping out like this should keep it minimal. Amazon's CS says that it should be fixed in a few days (!), as the dev teams do not work on weekends.

I also appreciate all the kind words! This is genuinely the most fun thing I get to participate in all year, and everyone's kindness is like fuel for months to come. I'm going to remember to take pics of the haul this year! ThePinkSuperhero is doing the delivery driving (!!!), so the load-up will likely be a bit more relaxed this time.
posted by houseofdanie at 9:06 AM on November 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks for organising this, it's nice to have my faith in humanity restored during trying times. I ordered The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World for Kathleen because how could I not? That's not even a gift, it's a survival basic right now...
posted by billiebee at 9:16 AM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for organizing this! I got the JUMBO Rainbow Magic spring and Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit for Stephen.
posted by miratime at 10:43 AM on November 13, 2016

Hermione Granger! So sorry for forgetting you! If you'd like to send those, I'm positive they'd find a great home. And, wow, if those had been available when I was a kid, I think I'd have been over the moon.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:34 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hurray! They will be on their way to you some time this week!!! (I love them, they have so many cool things inside)
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:00 PM on November 13, 2016

i bought the two maisie dobbs books because i love that a kid asked for books. <3 thank you for doing this every year, danie.
posted by kerning at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2016

Just got the burgundy winter set. Thank you for doing this!
posted by brilliantine at 1:17 PM on November 14, 2016

Just got the Better Homes & Garden​s Comforter Set Collection, Antique Country, Full Size, 4 Piece, for Maria BRES0007.

What a fantastic project. I needed this, too. Thank you!
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered at 2:58 PM on November 14, 2016

Got the Modarri 3 Pack Toy Car Vehicle Set for Danie.
posted by mono blanco at 5:46 PM on November 14, 2016

I also bought one of the Modarri 3 Pack Toy Car Vehicle Sets (which currently says Quantity: 3, Has: 0), like mono blanco just did, so it sounds like we only need one more of these now.

Thank you so much for organizing this!
posted by jessypie at 8:14 PM on November 14, 2016

I think I have all the purchased items moved over to the "taken" list. Thank you all so much for reporting in!

Folks that have requested letters: I'll have them to you this evening. My phone's camera is stubbornly slightly blurring every picture taken over the last couple of days, so if I can't figure out what's going on with that, I'll just type the text of the letters for you. None of them are all that long.
posted by houseofdanie at 6:58 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is always a highlight of the season. I purchased the keeco bedding set, twin, Edith.
posted by firei at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2016

Hi there. Thanks for organizing! I choose some wrapping supplies and a gift from the list. I don't really want to do a card.
posted by dchrssyr at 5:15 PM on November 15, 2016

I went ahead and grabbed the Minecraft Creeper Vinyl for Jared.
posted by PearlRose at 7:17 AM on November 16, 2016

Just got the folding shopping cart for Edith. Thanks so much for organizing this every year!
posted by msbubbaclees at 7:57 AM on November 16, 2016

Sweatshirt and sweatpants purchased and sent!
posted by Liesl at 8:24 AM on November 16, 2016

My kid's name disappeared from my list but I know they're no jabroni, so a WWE The Rock action figure is on the way!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:37 AM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

This should be in the sidebar! I look forward to it every year, but I almost didn't notice that the list was up since I don't check MeTa that often.

Thanks so much for organizing this houseofdanie! I needed the good feelings this year more than ever.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 1:32 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wrapping supplies are on their way to you!
posted by jeoc at 10:49 AM on November 17, 2016

Call of Duty: Ghosts is on its way!
posted by gudrun at 6:05 PM on November 17, 2016

Hi! I'm sorry for disappearing into the ether! I just lost a couple of days to migraine, which made it impossible to look at any kind of glowing screen. Doing better now and in the next couple of hours will catch up with MeMail and sending out letters to those who'd like to write responses.

Things have been arriving all week and it's so exciting! Seeing a vast array of things people really want and knowing that this community put it all together gives me such a lift.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:58 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry for being so slow! Everyone who requested letters should have MeMail. If you don't, let me know and I'll get you one.

People have been extremely generous. Because of number of gifts purchased and the gift cards received, I was able to request 20 more letters from New York Cares, and I asked for a recipient organization somewhere in Manhattan, for easier transport. They'll be here when I get back from the holiday. We're able to give extra "fill-in" gift cards to the Brooklyn organization AND fulfill more winter wishes. I'm blown away by you folks.

There are some duplicates, but because people were great about reporting in, it's not overwhelming. The return credit for those items will go toward the new batch of letters.

I'm leaving in five hours for a holiday cruise, and I'll be back next Sunday, the 27th. After I get my bearings and unpack and sort, I'll send another update.

Thank you, everyone, for your generosity, your patience with me, your patience with technology, and the kind of spirit that 2016 can't manage to extinguish.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:54 AM on November 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

Enjoy your trip!
posted by billiebee at 7:26 AM on November 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've just dropped a gift card your way. :)
posted by halcyonday at 1:49 AM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hi! I hope those in the U.S. had a peaceful Thanksgiving and those in other locales had a fantastic week.

More updating:

1. For logistical reasons re: the organization contact's schedule, the new delivery date for the first batch of gifts is December 10. That means there's plenty of time for those who volunteered to write cards to have some breathing room.

2. I've received some cards in the mail from folks here to include with gifts. I haven't had time to look closely at them. If you're a card writer and you're mailing something, my address is in my profile. I'm still totally happy to take your MeMailed words and write them in cards, too.

3. The second batch of letters was waiting for me when I got home and I spent a lot of "Cyber Monday" trying to get the most bang for MeFi's bucks.

4. I think I'm caught up with MeMail, but if I missed yours, please feel welcome to poke at my in-box again. It's sometimes hard to figure out which things have been replied to for real and which ones I've replied to in my head. :P

5. I have set up a mailing list for those who'd like to be notified each year when the new gift drive announcement is posted. Not everyone checks MeTa all that frequently, and every year, there are people who are sad they didn't see it sooner. I hope this helps! I'll keep this signup form up all year.
posted by houseofdanie at 9:12 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

The wishlist link no longer works (at least for me). Is this year's drive over?
posted by nightwood at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2016

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