Bonnie, please forward to our Retama and BPV friends:
We are three days into the gift card project and the numbers are impressive. We are at about $6,000 in donations with checks still coming in the mail. Today we had about 80 Border Patrol friends and families come to pick up the gift cards. Pat has gone to HEB late this afternoon to convert the cash we have into gift cards for tomorrow.
When we saw the amount of cash money we were handling, we asked Gayle Brown (an accountant and auditor) to watch our receipt and disbursement process to make certain that all the money was spent correctly and that all the gift cards went to Border Patrol families. Thank you for your help, Gayle.
We hear that some of the Border Patrol Agents are getting some blow back from supervisors for wearing uniforms while accepting the gift cards and for accepting more than $20 in value. My answer to that is not printable. However, when this project is complete, we will shred the list of gift card recipients so that the list can not be used to penalize any officer.
Once Gayle is satisfied with the paperwork, we will also shred the list of donors, so that information stays confidential.
We anticipate that the cards we have bought will be distributed by Tuesday or Wednesday. We still have contributions coming in. If we do not have physical cards to give out, we will start a waiting list of agents that we can mail gift cards to when the cards become available.
You should know that each and every agent thanks us profusely for this small gift. They appreciate the money, but they appreciate the community support more. Most agents are familiar with our village, but few have seen it in day light. When you talk to these agents coming in, you know that your donations of time and money are worth more than you can know. It is one thing to write a donation check to a national organization and never see a result. It is a completely different feeling to hand a gift to a stranger and feel their thanks first hand. If you get a chance on Tuesday, come to the Clubhouse and sit with our volunteers giving out cards for a little while. I guarantee that it will tug at your heart.
I am very proud and thankful to work with you all on this project.
Today story ..... each agent we saw had a story. How does one explain their gratitude and appreciation for our gesture. Hour after hour, we shared hand shakes and hugs as we saw their spirits lifted, their moral boosted as they saw how our community join together..
A text message this afternoon, "First of all EVERYONE wants to offer their sincerest thanks for your generosity and support. Words can't begin to explain how we feel about y'alls community supporting us not financially but with outpouring of moral support it has validated us."