We are official. Drum roll please…Trinity’s Angels has an employer id number. You say “I thought you guys were a volunteer organization?” You’re right – we have no employees but we got this for free so we figured hey…why not??? Free is good right? We’ll take two. Until we realized we had to have this to obtain the honor of completing the 28 page request to the IRS for tax exempt status in order to offer you a write off for YOUR donations. OK – it’s all good – A WIN-WIN for everyone.  The application is crazy, complicated and confusing (try reading the instructions for completing the form and you’ll wonder what language it’s written in – I thought I knew English but now am not so sure).  Some things just don’t even make logical sense – like the amount of time they estimate it will “reasonably” take to complete the form. OK check this out – – – The record-keeping alone is estimated to take a whopping 89 hours and 26 mins. Say what?? Plus 5 hours and 10 mins to learn about the law. I figure that’s at least part way to completing classes for the bar exam. 9 hours and 39 min to actually complete the form – I say write faster! and 48 min to copy, assemble and send it. I had to keep shaking my head to make sure this wasn’t a bad dream. That would be like working on this nonstop for 4 and 1/3 days! Not to mention that’s alot of shopping hours that  Nicky really could use to go buy more shoes for the boxes.

It seems like alot just to validate where our hearts are already and those of the people we have heard from in the past 24 hours. I get it. We get it. But it can be so frustrating trying to get past the red tape to be able to help those with the pressing need – right now. Ugh. This makes me tired. And there will be more red tape and challenges with getting supplies in the countries we are focusing on. It’s all good. The red flag is waiving in front of us like a bull in a bullfight. And we are ready to charge. It’s all about our perception and we will come out on top. We will prevail – too many kids are counting on each of us.

As I sit here I recalled the fun and laughter and craziness of shopping for items to fill the first boxes last night. And it’s all worth it.

Nicky and I hit our favorite “Dollar Store” to find treasures for the kids. The laughter and fun – we were over the top hysterical just filling the cart FULL. You would have thought we had died and gone to heaven! We arrived late in the evening and had about 40 min or so to get our things together. The loud speaker kept announcing how many minutes until closing and we literally yelled out each time “NNNNOOOOOOOOO. We need more time.” Nicky and I both have elevated voice levels. OK so we are loud. (Thought I’d try to be politically correct – never a strong suit). At one point I thought the security was going to haul Nicky out of the store. No problem… I had bail money!

We stopped and played with the toys, hugged stuffed animals to see if they were “squishy” enough, put on sunglasses and threw balls. Piled through toy cars and punching balls, trying to find just the right ones. We raced through the store to find hair clips and combs, toothbrushes and tooth paste, coloring books and candy and had an absolute blast. Trying to beat out the loudspeaker’s final call. Just daring them to throw us out. Rebels without a cause you say. Yes. But it’s all worth it. For $50 we have tons and tons of things. We will be able to fill at least 4 shoe boxes full of items, 2 for girls and 2 for boys. There is plenty left over to partially fill another 5-7 boxes. Then guess what????? It’s time for more SHOPPING. Move over Neiman’s and Macy’s – We have plotted out every Dollar Tree, Dollar Store, 99 Cent store in a 10 mile radius. The blessing we received last night when the focus was not on ourselves but on others was amazing. Try It. You will fall in love with the feeling.

Shopping for treasures to fill the boxes – 2 hours. Completing the non-profit forms – 105 hours (heaven help us). Blessings that will be poured out on all who have a hand, no matter how large or how small, in helping with Trinity’s Angels – COUNTLESS HOURS of blessings.

There is hope. Just Believe.