Phil the Bag

So another joint blog but this time Karen has started it & I’m just chipping in! In bold as I can’t find away to change the colour of the font on my phone!

When we first started thinking about fundraising in June.  Our fundraising guru (Lisa) suggested restarting this particular event.  Our office was already used to providing black bags full of unwanted clothes, linen, bags, belts, shoes etc – which then piled up in her garage until ‘Phil’ came along to pick them all up and then handed over money for a nominated charity. Phil then passes it on to countries in need.

S0 Charlotte and I started spreading the word – the office was easy – so we added friends and departments within work we felt comfortable asking – also friends and neighbours via door drops, Facebook, word of mouth – anything we could think of.  But it was my garage now! We even had people collecting all over the country! Lisa, who clearly has missed collecting, now lives in Cornwall, but she still collected for us! My sister & parents got on board collecting from friends in Brum, in fact I think most of Alvechurch donated something! My sister owns a building company & got one of the lads who was on a job near us to bring a van load of the bags down. When I met him in Reading I had to confirm he knew the reason, as I was worried he would think I was some kind of weirdo that collected second hand stuff, or seriously hard up! 

At the beginning I was panicking as the minimum collection is 40 bags.  How would we possibly manage that?  We decided to fix the collection for end of September – working on the advice that after the summer holidays people tended to go through their houses and get rid of old uniform, summer clothes ready for winter and so on.

It started slowly – very slowly.  But gradually we both got used to arriving home to find black bags on our door step – or a call from someone in another office asking us to pick up a bag or 2, bags were left by our cars, by our desks, anywhere.

Around this time we decided that as some of the stuff coming through was really good quality – we would do a car boot sale.  But that meant filtering what we already had.  So we put a Saturday aside (after the Windsor 10K) to go through, and count, the bags. We probably should have managed this slightly differently as by the time we came to sort it we had so much it was almost an impossible task & we didn’t get to go through every bag at all….we’ll never know what gems we missed out on! 

We took the sorting business very seriously!!

The black bag pile gradually increased in size in my garage – it was really quite creepy. I would have Stephen King style dreams about the bags taking on a personality and flowing underneath the garage door to the house!  I think this fundraising thing is getting to me!

Every evening I would be emptying my car and adding to the hungry pile.  I didn’t need extra strength training at this time.

By the time collection day came we had 232 bags and this translated to 920Kg and £322.  An amazing amount that will go directly to Asthma UK.

We would like to say a huge thank you to EVERYONE who has helped us with this achievement.  Every single bag, be it big or small, contributed to this phenomenal result.

It has been so successful that we are going to continue – this time we are targeting a tonne!

Next date will be end of January 2017 – so please keep the black bags coming (and I will go into therapy to sort my dreams out!)


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