01 August 2010
It's Sad - It's Necessary - It's Been Fun While It Lasted
I had to make a really tough decision today. Why are the ones that hurt the most always the ones we drag on to the longest? I have to pause my charity operations indefinitely and it breaks my heart. I founded Hats4Heroes.org back at the close of 2008 and it was wonderful. Our mission was clear - send warmth and wishes to our brave men and women in the Armed Forces. I worked for months to get guidelines and approval - I was even granted permission to ship to one of the best military hospitals in the world. Sadly, with this economy, our shipping donations dried up quickly. We tried to do it on our own but then what little pocket money we had was spent as well. Donations of items never slowed down, just donations of funds.
When we started averaging 100 items a week but only $5 for shipping, we knew we were in trouble. We tried suggesting that instead of purchasing yarn and shipping items, that they all donate that amount to the shipping fund - it would have been roughly $10 per person and with almost 1,000 members we were hoping to get our account back up but no such luck. All of these things left me with no other choice than to pause operations until further notice. This is the letter I had to send out view three different mediums to all of the members - and it breaks my heart...
"I have done all I can in order to keep Hats4Heroes.org alive and running. I am sorry to say that we will be going on hiatus until further notice due to lack of shipping funds to get out our backlog of items.
Please do not send any more items until further notice. We are hoping that this situation will be rectified by no later than the end of the year - fingers crossed. Since we are having to foot the shipping bill ourselves, it will be slow going but I am sure one day we will have it all out and will be able to restart operations.
Thank you to those of you who were able to make a donation. We truly appreciate all of your efforts. Good luck and God bless each and every one of you. We, as a group, have done all we can. Now it is time to halt operations. We knew that this day might come and it is actually here. I think almost 2 years is a great run - more than I could have ever hoped for really. So thank you all for helping me realize a dream. I appreciate it so very much."
Hopefully we will be able to work on getting the backlog of items out of the garage and into the hands of our soldiers so our operations can begin again. I just can't continue stock piling items that we are unable to ship in good conscious - it isn't fair to the crafters and it isn't fair to the soldiers. I just pray we are able to be up and running again soon - I love my charity.