"You get the best out of others
when you give the best of yourself."
~ Harvey S. Firestone ~

ABOVE: We pulled in all the bags and boxes that had accumulated in Wendy's garage over the past weeks.

ABOVE: Oh sure, the elves look happy NOW. We've only just organized all the items into various piles around the room at this point. We haven't even STARTED putting together all the baskets and its already dark out. We weren't sure where to start, so enlisted Wendy's husband, Lance, to take a photo of our smiling faces before we turned
Lord of the Flies

ABOVE: After a few false starts and many "hilarious" and unwarranted comments about Wendy inspecting all the baskets and moving things around after everyone leaves, we found our groove. The above photo is taken in the wee hours of the morning after everyone has headed home to get some sleep. We all need our rest to get back at it the next day, though Wendy is still skulking around at 2:00 a.m. checking everyone's baskets and moving things around ;-) 

ABOVE: Wendy didn't push the reindeer antlers the next day, as everyone was working hard putting their personal touches on the baskets and she didn't want to risk a revolt. Elves can be so touchy...

ABOVE: There were a few left for Wendy and Susie (pictured in 2nd photo above) to wrap. Lined up nicely in the first photo above and then, VOILA!, with the blink of an eye in the second photo, WRAPPED!

The first delivery was to the Harvest Project in
North Vancouver. Hard to tell, but each of these vehicles is holding an impressive amount of baskets. There were only a few casualties on the drive down, since Wendy mistakenly took a twisty route with many turns. It was the shortest distance between two points, but definitely not great for keeping baskets upright. 
Note to self: Less winding route next time. Bad Wendy.

ABOVE: Some Harvest Project volunteers accepting delivery of our baskets. We can't take credit for the Dole bananas though. Those came from a different donation - we just want to be clear we're not in the banana business. Don't call us about bananas.

ABOVE: Kevin Lee, Development Officer of the Harvest Project, and Wendy Phillips taking a photo op. One of the volunteers handed Kevin a less impressively sized basket than the rest for the photo and Wendy laughingly asked if he could perhaps find a smaller one for her.
Note the size of Wendy's basket compared to Kevin's and how it appears that Wendy is gritting her teeth. 
Missing from above photo: "Hilarious" volunteer chuckling to himself behind the banana boxes.

All fun and frivolity aside, we were able to more than triple our efforts from last year, which was above and beyond what was expected. Here are some photos from last year when Wendy was a stand alone elf making these baskets. (Its much more fun with extra elves, even if they are ill tempered...)

 Some photos of
Operation Gift Basket 2009

BEFORE assembly

AFTER assembly

ABOVE: Harvest Project volunteers fighting over the baskets
BELOW: Wendy restoring order  

"The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving."
~ Albert Einstein ~

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