Monday, September 15, 2008

Not running a marathon yet...

...but wow, preparing the mailing for the fundraising aspect is starting to feel like it's own "mini-marathon." I thought it would be a relatively simple process, but leave it to me to want to have it "just so" and what for most people is a three step process mine is more like nine or ten. Here's what I did, for those of you who have nothing better to do (like sleep, apparently which is what I should be doing):

1. Write letter, rough draft, and revise.  (is this one step or three?)
2. Finalize letter, get it all to fit on one page, mooch some paper from your paper trader job, make copies. 
3. Purchase 500 envelopes for cheap, and on same shopping trip, decide labels are waaaaay too expensive and you can find a cheaper way to get your address on the return envelopes that will hold the funds for LLS.
4.  At work the next day, decide that the UPS labels you haven't been using would fit the bill perfectly for above mentioned task.  Find the correct Avery template which is somehow already on your computer (note: Avery is the expensive brand), and print up labels. Which at this point are actually two giant labels with your address on them 15 times. 
5. Meanwhile, gather addresses from wedding invitation lists, church directories, mom, etc. Address envelopes. There are 147 to be exact. The addressing of the envelopes was done by hand, in blue.
6. Sign the letters. Also in blue, for the record. I am working a blue theme.
7. Make a plan for stuffing the envelopes. This may sound easy, but read on, friends.
8. Tri - fold the letters.
9. Cut the "labels" and attach to return envelopes. Really involved process but TOTALLY FREE. Thanks, UPS.
10. Meanwhile, actually way before all the above, order free business cards with the fundraising information on it (especially website where folks can donate and check training progress). Order a really cute blue design with flowers and girly design. Design the entire mailing around this card (my letters were printed on light blue paper, the insert was a little darker of the same blue, etc). Check out for your free cards. You get 250 and just pay shipping. They try to get you to get all this other stuff and they try to sell you the faster shipping, the shipping I paid for was 21 day delivery, I got the cards in about 5 days. $6.00 my friends.
11. Place the "donor card" with the return envelope - yet another piece to this growing puzzle.
12. Tri fold the return envelopes.
13. Stuff the letters, return envelopes, donor card and one business card into the pre-addressed envelopes. Leave open. The reason I have to leave them open is because I am including a little information card about LLS and Leukemia / Lymphoma with my letter. For credibility. And information. I won't get this card until my team meeting tomorrow because the nice folks at LLS brought the wrong item from the state LLS office in Columbia and since they are all about cost effectiveness, they don't ship these kinds of things. 
14. I added two steps, because (1) apparently I don't have enough to do, (2) I don't want the USPS to get mad at me for not having a return address (in case I have someone's address wrong) and (3) because EVERY MAILING FROM SARAH NEEDS SPARKLES. So the next step was to take MORE of the aforementioned UPS labels and create return address labels for the outside of my envelopes.  Note, I also used an Avery template for this. And these labels are smaller, 80 to a page. Means more cutting. Good times. So I printed those out and then affixed them to my almost completed mailing.
15. I decided at a little after 11 pm that I needed to add some sparkle, so I affixed a small sparkle smiley face sticker to the back of each envelope, in blue, of course. Te reinforce my theme and also because I guess I didn't really want to go to bed yet....???? Here's the coolest thing - I didn't want to use any other colors except blue and purple and I had just enough for all 147 envelopes. Man, it would seem like God has a plan! 
16. Last step, take to my team meeting and stuff with the information cards. Lick to seal and hand over to the LLS.  

For those of you who made it this far in my post, I did not do all those steps in one sitting. No, it took me about two weeks to get all this together. What with the husband, child, job, running, giving a baby shower, church, and laundry. 

Now, doesn't that seem a little much? Well, in my opinion, yes, yes it does, but it is well worth it. I was so proud of my achievement that I took pictures and then blogged about the experience...

At any rate. Yeah, the fatigue just hit me. So my team did 4 miles on Saturday but it was walking because I have had a bit of a cold and it makes for miserable and difficult breathing. But the weird thing about it was my legs started to hurt near the end of the third mile and so I felt like I needed to jog (so we did). I don't know about most people, but this urge doesn't happen often, but I felt better after I started moving a little faster, strange, huh? Maybe my body is adjusting. That would be nice. So we jogged the last little bit. I told my coach that the positive thing about that experience is that soon enough our warm up will be those first three miles and then we will want to jog/run the last 12, 15, 23, whatever. So it was good. 

That is all. Cheers.  

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