Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Humanitarian Aid- Packed


The humanitarian aid items are all packed. Whew. You may remember that I have been working on this packing business for quite a while. Part of that is because I have been blessed with a lot of humanitarian aid, and I wanted to make sure I could take it all, but I didn't have the money to pay for any extra bags... but thought and planning and my natural propensity for spacial relations all worked together and things worked out.


I used purple (in honor of Julie!) Rubbermaid Roughneck bins that measure 16" tall, 15" wide, and 24" deep. For most airlines, the total dimensions of your checked bags must be less than 62", so this fits at 55". I am not sure if there are slightly bigger totes available, but if so, I am sure you could fill them and not go over weight. It's the dimensions that seem to be the issue.


Empty, the bin and lid weigh less than 5 lbs., which is huge when you are packing heavy items like wipes and cans of formula. All 3 bins that I packed have weighed in right around the 40 lb. mark, and if I tried, I could have fit more in them (I just didn't have any more to fit!) I did take some really heavy-but-small items, like 30 tubes of flouride-free toothpaste, and some big-but-light items, like 288 children's toothbrushes, so the balance of weight and volume worked out. If you were taking all wipes and formula, you could easily pack 50 lbs. of aid before filling the tub.



The tubs come with 2 holes in the bin handle, so I only had to drill holes in the lid handle.



I taped extra zip ties to the lid in case the bin was opened during security checks or customs. I also taped a copy of my humanitarian aid letter supplied by my caseworker to the lid of each bin. Ethiopian Airlines is not offering any discount on excess humanitarian aid bags, but I am hoping that this will help at customs. I am packing a copy of the original humanitarian aid letter with each of the "copy of important papers" folders and the original is with my original documents folder that is in my carry on.

9 comments:

Dawn said...

Will someone being taking you to the airport to help carry them? I guess there are carts...I also think of how we wil get through aitposrts with our luggage even. Someone meeting you are the airport with a large enough vehicle to carry it all? Those are my main concerns. So you will be checking the 3 of them PLUS your suticases? I am assuming that you still have to pay for the 3 though. Were you just concerned about going over on your suitcases? I think it is WONDERFUL that you are taking all of this, the logisitics of it all frightens me though!! I would love to hear your insight into this before we go. How much is it per bag? $15-20? THANKS!!

Jim and Ryane said...

Grace,
I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the wonderful work your have done with your blog and the FBI list. It is SO helpful to those of us going through the process after you. I know you are probably so busy but you always take the time to write helpful posts like this one. So, thanks.

Have a wonderful time in Ethiopia. Your girl is adorable!

Ryane

Blog Shmog said...

Oooh, I love step by steps with pictures. This will come in handy when it's our turn. Thanks!

~Laura~ said...

bookmarking this post because I'm HOPING & PRAYING that I need it soon. ;)

So, what all is in the important papers file? That's the packing that scares me. I'm afraid I'll forget something.

JourneytoFamily said...

You are rockin' the purple tub there! Awesome!!! Love it! :)

I hope it goes through smoothly, intact, and with no trouble at customs.

Natalie Fournet said...

SO very smart!!! Thanks for all your tips...I can't wait to put the advice to use!

Tami said...

I can't wait to find out how all of this works out so I can prepare my package to go pick up Baby I. I'm concerned about the costs but if anyone can figure out how to navigate that it is you! :-)

Lisa and Cory said...

What a great idea! Thanks for the tip! Let us know how it works out and have a fabulous time!

~ Lisa

Jennifer said...

I obviously bought the wrong l8 gallon Rubbermaid bins. There are no holes and nothing like the handles this one has. It was cheap, so I may look for this type of bin....

I am only taking one bin. I will probably still have to pay out the wazoo with one adult (means a total of two suitcases containing everything the two kids and I need) and this huge donation bin. ugh.............

It sure would be nice if they let us take the bins trip one so that we didn't have to pay. I won't need much trip one. Then again I will probably buy much more trip two.

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