The Packing Party !!!!

One more interesting aspect of the FOM All India Meets is the kit bags packing session and I would like to share some feelings about this with all of you. This is the time when most of the bonding happens… the FOM group gets to know each other, draws closer and the best of communications come out. Playing mischief and fooling around goes hand in hand with the packing.

This time, we had a special guest who wanted to be part of the packing session, Ms.Lucy Hickinbotham from Novartis. She jelled so well with the group that we felt she was one of us. She was part of every segment of the Assembly Line and moved from one to another wining all hearts with her smile and happy energies.

All the material was transported from Bombay to Chennai and it was too sweet of Sriram (Recipient and a leading volunteer from Chennai) to allow us to keep all the boxes in his beautiful home, which after the boxes were loaded looked exactly like a store house. I was just amazed to see the love and warmth that was being circulated in the house. So many different people, so many different cultures and languages, so many different age groups, so many different states gathered together as one group.
{gallery}sharon{/gallery}Packing is usually done the previous day of the meeting. We all had to make 1000 bags. We categorized them in the following way

Tamil Kit bags (Tamil is the local language spoken in Chennai)
English Kit bags
Hindi Kit Bags
Care giver Kit bags
Guests and volunteer Kit bags
Children Kit bags

The Kit bags contained
Note pad and pen
Book of stories
Key chain
Pill Boxes
A face napkin with a FOM logo (considering the hot summer)

Guests and volunteers kit bags had almost the same things, just that there was an additional gift , a framed print of the art work that was the Meet’s theme .

The Children Kit bags contained
Coloring books
Colour Pencils/crayons
Pencil set

We then formed groups for each bag and a leader who would supervise.  
It was great fun as the leaders started bidding for each group member.
The group itself made nice system by which the bags would be filled. There was a great team building that happened. The group bonded so well with each other.  
Within no time all those beautiful bags were packed into more than 50 cardboard cartons for transporting the next day to the venue !!
Between all the madness of packing we had lovely hot samosas and cold drinks as snacks, we also had a group of volunteers who were music freaks singing and entertaining us in the background 🙂 🙂

At the end of the day we gave T-shirts and kit bags to our hard working volunteers 🙂 who were thrilled to receive the gift.

I was absolutely touched to see what a difference an All India meeting can make. Every one had forgotten every single pain and sorrow in their life and so had we. We were altogether transported in a different world that had only happiness in it.

Report by Sharon Gonsalves