Winter Wishes: MetaFilter Cares! 11th Annual Gift and Donation Drive! December 4, 2019 6:46 PM   Subscribe

It's that wonderful time of the year when MeFi gathers its resources and warm wishes to help those who need them. For those who want to go directly to the wish lists, here's the one on Amazon and here's the one on Target.

Here's how the drive works, in brief:
1. Kids write letters expressing holiday gift wishes, which are distributed by New York Cares.
2. I make wish lists from those letters and you all generously buy the gifts, which are sent to me.
3. I wrap and deliver them.
4. We also collect some other important things, which I deliver sometimes after January 1.

This year, our Winter Wishes recipients are kids aged 3 to 11 in a public school program in Manhattan. Their wishes are mainly here on Amazon, with a few here on Target. Many people have concerns about working conditions and other issues at Amazon, so I'm trying to move away from hosting our drive entirely there. In the future, I hope to be able to do the list fully elsewhere if news doesn't improve. I'd like to get the kiddie gifts purchased in the next week.

Since the 2016 election, we've also, in the name of dignity, been collecting menstrual supplies for a shelter and support program for homeless LGBTQ youth. They have been gladly received! All of those items are on the Target registry, and I'll be keeping that open til after the new year.

Both lists have gift cards listed. Those are used to buy out of stock or unpurchased items. Some of the remainder is given to the recipient organizations. For the last couple of years, we have also sent gift cards to a program for survivors of domestic abuse. The program distributes them directly to those women so they may -- again, with dignity -- choose their own items.

Finally, this year, New York Cares has decided to focus only on children. We've had a really nice time getting gifts for seniors in the past. I don't have specific plans for seniors right now, but if donations are strong enough, I'd love to talk about what we can do.

I am available by MeMail for any questions, and my contact info is in my profile. You're welcome to text me or to mail things directly to my address.

And finally, the link no Winter Wishes post would be complete without, the AskMe by felix grundy that serendipitously started this whole thing.
posted by houseofdanie to MetaFilter-Related at 6:46 PM (46 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

You are extremely awesome for organizing this every year. Thank you!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:03 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hooray! You rock, Danie!
posted by vers at 7:35 PM on December 4, 2019

Thanks! I love doing this.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2019

A cat book has been purchased in honor of my cat’s third adoption anniversary.
Thanks for organizing this again this year!
posted by bookmammal at 7:47 PM on December 4, 2019

Danie, you're an angel. Thank you for doing this.

WARNING! Make sure you select Danie in the "Ship to" page, I almost ended up with stuff at my house!
posted by Marky at 8:23 PM on December 4, 2019

I bought a hoodie and a Power Rangers mask, but now that I've placed the order I notice the mask says "Arriving Dec 9, 2019 - May 5, 2020" so I think I'm going to cancel the mask and choose something else.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:39 PM on December 4, 2019

(Hoodie and two books should arrive Saturday.) Thank you for setting this up!
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:51 PM on December 4, 2019

Thank you so much for adding a Target wish list. And for all you do.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:25 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

4 packs of pads for the shelter should be there by the 10th.
posted by Nolechick11 at 5:31 AM on December 5, 2019

Several items from Target on the way for delivery on the 11th. Thanks very much for putting this together.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:47 AM on December 5, 2019

Packages on their way - thank you for organizing this again!
posted by Stacey at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2019

Gift card: sent!
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:05 AM on December 5, 2019

Thanks, Danie! Sent some stuff. This is one of our favorite holiday things.
posted by ohkay at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks for doing this! Amazon gifts on their way.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:40 PM on December 5, 2019

Ordered a giant amount of nerf bullets and a book about dinosaurs. Should be there 12-13th. Woot!
posted by kjs4 at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2019

Ahhh! You all make me so happy! I lost my father earlier this year, so this holiday season was headed in a dark direction for me. He really loved hearing about and seeing photos of this drive, though, and you're all reminding me why I love being part of it so much. Thank you.

I'm also pleasantly surprised at the number of things coming from the Target list! I've been monitoring both lists to try to catch out of stock items and I might do some moving around.

Love to everyone!
posted by houseofdanie at 6:00 PM on December 5, 2019 [11 favorites]

Target is having a sale on gift cards this Sunday, where they give you 10% off. there's a $300 limit per household, and I am not sure how the online portion works, but it might be worth waiting until Sunday if you're doing gift cards at Target!
posted by needlegrrl at 4:39 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Basketball and a pump on their way! My kid eats, sleeps and breathes soccer so I get how important it is to be able to play your favorite sport.
posted by Liesl at 7:01 AM on December 6, 2019

I temporarily marked all of the menstrual supplies as fulfilled. Those aren't being delivered to the shelter for a few weeks, but there are still a lot of of children's gifts unpurchased and not enough gift cards yet to buy them all, and those are more urgent. I will keep my fingers crossed for the kid gifts and then reopen the shelter supplies after those are done.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2019

Here comes some slime!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2019

Power Rangers incoming - thank you for organizing again this year, and I'm sorry for your loss, Danie. I always look forward to this one so I'm glad it's bringing you joy as well.
posted by miratime at 5:24 PM on December 6, 2019

Condolences, Danie. Thanks so much for organizing this again. A plush Slimer and some wrapping paper is on the way for Tuesday. Will check again later to see what's left. And yes, please make sure to choose the shipping to the gift registry address!
posted by gemmy at 9:25 AM on December 7, 2019

Heartfelt sympathies for your loss, Danie. You're still making your Dad proud.

Some more items should be delivered to you this Tuesday. Thank you again for brightening the holidays for so many (including me).
posted by vers at 12:41 PM on December 8, 2019

Danie, amazon hates my credit card. I'll cancel my order and send you a giftcard if I can make that happen.
posted by kjs4 at 3:54 PM on December 8, 2019

Danie, 3 items will be arriving Wed 12/11, at your Festivus workshop from Amazon -- hopefully in one package.

How kind you are to coordinate this again for us. Many hugs to you!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 1:08 AM on December 9, 2019

Sooo, I'm pretty concerned. The lists have been up for almost a week and there are still a lot of unpurchased items. I have fewer letters than I did last year, but it also looks like we have a lot fewer people participating. I also should probably have put up the supplies for the shelter after the kids' wishes were done, but that's not ever been an issue before. Please feel welcome to share the links or to show them to MeFites who might not visit MeTa much! I can't afford to buy all the remaining things myself. :/
posted by houseofdanie at 9:26 PM on December 9, 2019

I'm sorry to hear that but it's exciting for me personally - I'd sent some menstrual supplies so as not to take the fun of toy-picking-out away from others, but since there are an abundance of toys to be picked, I just passed a happy few minutes selecting some and now a second shipment is en route to you. Thanks again for organizing!
posted by Stacey at 5:48 AM on December 10, 2019

FYI, I bought a minecraft thing from Target and they have delayed the arrival date to 12/16.
posted by soelo at 10:00 AM on December 10, 2019

Sent some things earlier today. h/t to Johnny Wallflower for spreading the word.

Thanks for your work, Danie!
posted by mojopiano at 11:27 AM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I got a couple of things off of both lists (and I think I finished off the menstrual supplies?), thank you again so much for organizing this!
posted by kalimac at 8:07 PM on December 10, 2019

Could we maybe put a banner up, like for Mefi Mall? Sorry if we did that and I missed it or if it's been nixed already for some other reason.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:29 AM on December 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

Amazon is now indicating that my package has gone wayward and may be lost... The most recent update says there was a carrier delay on Sunday. Still holding out hope, but would it be better to try to reorder with a refund, do you think?
posted by miratime at 1:16 PM on December 11, 2019

Sent a couple rounds of stuff. Memail if you really get stuck and I'll dig up more money myself and circulate more among non mefite friends. Don't want the kids to go without.
posted by gudrun at 6:31 AM on December 13, 2019

Miratime, will you send me the tracking number? I'll see what I can do re: UPS or USPS.

Sorry for the silence for a couple of days! I've been migrainey and unpacking boxes for most of my awake time.

There are still a few things from the lists that need purchasing, because I need to deliver these gifts on Tuesday. I really, really, reeeeally cannot afford to buy all of these myself, so if you could pass word around, that would be super helpful! Again, I requested fewer letters than last year and I removed the menstrual supplies temporarily pretty early on. I guess we just have fewer people participating this year.

Snarl, there's never been a sidebar or banner or anything for the gift drive, for whatever reason.

Thank you to everyone who has helped out!
posted by houseofdanie at 6:40 AM on December 13, 2019

gudrun, I promise, no kids will go without!
posted by houseofdanie at 6:44 AM on December 13, 2019

I forgot to mention that after the toys are done, I'll reopen the list for shelter supplies for anyone who'd like to contribute to that.
posted by houseofdanie at 7:02 AM on December 13, 2019

I sent a few more gift cards. Looked like none of the actual gifts I tried would have gotten there until January. Thanks again, danie, for doing this! Please do let us know when you reopen the list for shelter supplies.
posted by gemmy at 9:05 AM on December 13, 2019

It looks like I'll probably have enough -- or close enough -- to get the remaining things this evening. THANK YOU! I'll post when I reopen the shelter supplies list, likely after the weekend.
posted by houseofdanie at 10:33 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Thank you, Danie, for pulling this all together!
posted by ourobouros at 2:55 PM on December 13, 2019

Okay, I've put up more menstrual care supplies and some socks and such on the Target list. I bought the last remaining kid gifts from the Amazon and Target lists last night, so they're all squared away. If more gift cards come, they'll be directed toward the shelter donation, which I'll deliver sometime after January 1. THANK YOU again to everyone who has helped! I will reward you soon with photos of a foster kitten getting in the way of gift-wrapping.

P.S. "Here comes some slime!" is my new seasonal motto.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:17 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

My gift card got lost in the mail but I’ve had another sent.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:21 AM on December 18, 2019

Delivery day photos! They're never good quality, I'm sorry! I say every year that I'm going to remember to take pics before the loading-up process and every year, I totally forget. It's a hectic time. Those are gifts for 45 kids!

Would the person who bought the Pokemon game for Nintendo 3DS please get in touch? It's MIA, though the Amazon list shows that it was purchased. I got a couple of Pokemon thingies for that child and wrote a card that we'd get the game to him as soon as possible.

I'll be making a trip to the shelter for LGBTQ youth after the new year. In the meantime, the Target list is open for supplies, and any gift cards that arrive from Amazon or Target will be pointed in the shelter's direction.
posted by houseofdanie at 2:39 PM on December 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

I ordered the "Pokémon Omega Ruby - Nintendo 3DS " on the 13th and right now Amazon says it will be delivered Sunday.
posted by soelo at 6:19 AM on December 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much, soelo!
posted by houseofdanie at 10:11 AM on December 20, 2019

Just saw this in the sidebar (on Period Eve, fittingly enough), and grabbed a bunch of menstrual stuff. I love what New York Cares does, and big thanks to Danie for organizing!
posted by estlin at 7:44 PM on December 21, 2019

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