December 18, 2009

Season’s Greetings from NYRA!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,NYRA Happenings — Katrina @ 11:43 pm

Today, I’m proud to announce I have completed the sending of the 4th Annual NYRA Holiday Cards! Largest batch yet by a wide margin, a whopping 480 NYRA holiday cards were sent this year!

I find it interesting that this being the fourth year in a row that I’ve done this whole entry-a-day in December thing, having started that the same December I sent NYRA’s first holiday cards, this is the only time I’ve really specifically mentioned them on here, save for the bit last year about the sentient post office machine and a blurb in the 2007 and 2008 recaps.

It began in 2006, an idea I had that year that I just thought would be a neat networking idea. Found a place to have them made and picked out a nice design with some trees. It said “Season’s Greetings! From all of us at the National Youth Rights Association!” On the back was a short message and the names of the board members. The board of directors liked the idea… except they really did not seem to understand what holiday cards are for! They seemed to think they were basically fancy flyers. They wanted to send to all politicians. They pulled every which way how they thought it should be done. No matter what they said, though, they were DOING IT WRONG! I told them these are GREETINGS, not ADS! They are for people who already know us and/or support youth rights at least a little bit. Then Alex Hull-Richter wanted me to find a union printer… Okay, this was getting delayed from a LOT of bullshit! It was already mid-December. I almost scrapped it. But when I said I was going to scrap and would try again the following year, they all whined and said I should still do it. Okay. Got together a meager list of HR’s California Democrat contacts, plus some donors Alex wanted to send to, plus a few others. So I went to place the order for 100 cards, about what would be necessary… only to discover that, when you order custom holiday cards on December 15, you really can’t wait around for the cheaper shipping. So I had to pay out the ASS for rush shipping! Grrr. Received the cards three days later, only for the board members, so insistent that the cards get sent and be done their way, to drag their asses when it came to actually providing addresses for all these people they wanted to send to. Sigh. After lots of hassle, the final recipient count was 90, and they were all sent out on, I think, December 18, so three years ago today. Didn’t have my car yet, so had all 90 in my little tote bag and walked all the way up to the Rockville post office from the metro station to get them stamped and sent off. Off they went! The very first sending of the NYRA Holiday Cards!

So that had a lot of issues, but expected for a first run. The following year I was determined to make the second sending even better, and to actually get everything done earlier. I went through the printer’s site, looking for a suitable design. Then a thought occurred to me… why stick to one of these stock designs that who knows how many other people are also using? I considered finding one of our artistic members to create our holiday card design, but decided against it because, well, one thing I’ve learned when dealing with this organization is to avoid situations where you have to wait around for other people if at all possible. So decided to use a stock design again but this time one where I could insert a photo. Then came the next issue: what photo? I mentioned this to the board in early November, and we squabbled and squabbled until Alex put together a collage. Fine. Used it. The rest of the design was a snowy forested field with a snowman. Said “Happy Holidays”. As for recipients, was ready to snatch addresses for people missed the previous year, as well as including more actual NYRA members! So ordered 250 cards, the next up number after 100 I could get. Filled up the list with the previous year’s recipients and lots of NYRA members, whether from the forums or chapters, past and present. Got them around Thanksgiving. Start sending in early December, but had only just crossed 200 on the list and had room for more. And then some board members, after I asked over and over and over, only then started to provided some contacts for the list, in mid-December when it’s already late. Shit! Alright, squeezed them in, but just majorly inconsiderate. Sent a total of 235.

Then came last year. The card design was easy, seeing as we had the cake picture from the annual meeting. Found a nice design on a dark green background with a tree next to it, said Happy Holidays from all of us at NYRA. That part was easy for once! Yay! But, after the frustration in 2007 with board members’ unwillingness to cooperate, I demanded that they get their addresses in soon, or I’d send without them. The other issue I had was that I knew the recipient list would go over 250, but the next up number to get is 500, and that’d be WAY too many. So got the 250 and ordered another 50 soon after, since 300 seemed about right. Continued to urge the board to help out, but was met only with silence or getting scolded for annoying them. Managed to bring the list up near 300, then ordered another 20, then realized I miscounted and it was actually at 270 and was pissed I ordered more cards unnecessarily, then managed to build the list up some more and ended up sending a total of 302. Started sending December 5, finished on December 11, with a few extras a little after. Timing was excellent! Unlike the board.

And now this year! Once again, design was simple, as we had another awesome annual meeting picture, one in which I had the foresight to decide it would be the holiday card picture, and by amazing coincidence, some of our paper plates at the meeting had Christmas trees on them, so that’s why I’m holding one in the picture, along with one of the new NYRA pens I’d just had made. Then it took forever to finally get the picture from Jason, got it in late October. Then had a time trying to figure out how many cards to get. Looked like I’d need 350 at least, but at that point, getting the 500 would be about the same price. So after some assurances from the board and dev director that they’d have lots of recipients, I went ahead and ordered the 500 cards, the design being the annual meeting picture with a snowflake on the side with a red panel where it says “Season’s Greetings! From all of us at the National Youth Rights Association!” Ordered it a little before Thanksgiving and got them the following week. Sent the first batch on December 8. It was hard getting more recipients being right in the thick of the Chase contest, as all of our attention was on that. Nonetheless, Jeff Nadel proved his awesomeness in being amazing help in the Chase contest and still managing to provide a bunch of recipients. Dave Moss brought in a lot too. Steve Ross and Jackie Ferro were also very helpful. But… Alex seemed rather silent. Then around December 11, a week ago, after sending 300, I realized the printer didn’t send me enough envelopes, so I contact them to send the missing 200, and to have it to me by Monday. They said they couldn’t get them to me before Wednesday. Sigh. So I went out looking for similar enough envelopes. The card envelopes are the #9 style envelopes, just a teensy bit smaller than the standard #10. I found those at Office Depot and Staples but they only sold them in expensive packs of 500. Too many and too expensive. So I just got the #10 ones in smaller packs. Whatever. This past Tuesday sent out some more, up to 360 sent. Had a lot left over. Alex was being silent still, not giving any indication if he even had any. Shame. He usually has a lot. Wednesday, I receive a big box from the printer. They sent me some more envelopes anyway. I got an email saying they were not sending me 200, but 500 envelopes! Wow, way more than I need. At least they were free. I received the box, and in looking through, I realized they did not send me 500 envelopes… they sent me ONE THOUSAND envelopes!!! Jesus! So yesterday, figuring I’d get no more recipients from the board members save for some Hal had been adding, went ahead and padded the list with some random people from our member database. Aren’t they lucky! Sent out 82, not 90 because I ran out of stamps, as had the stamp machine at my post office. This is why I don’t like sending cards so late. Also had FedExed 20 cards off to Dave Moss at his request. And then today, went to send the final batch, the missing ones from yesterday plus some last minute ones from Keith and finally Alex. Last 18 cards were sent today, after standing in line at the post office for half an hour just to buy the 18 stamps. Brought the total sent up to 480, and the 4th Annual NYRA Holiday Cards, after a drawn out week and a half, were finally all sent!

Only for me to get home and NOW see that Alex had at 6pm added more recipients finally, a bunch of ones I’d wanted to send to. When it was too fucking late. Goddamn him. :doitnow:

So it’s been four years of NYRA holiday cards, off to people awesome enough to get them, plus some people who were lucky enough to be filler, minus some people who deserved them but certain executive directors didn’t give info in time. Lots of fun aside from the board members having a little contest to see how hard they can absolutely FAIL with them. I’m the one who does all the work; they just need to hand over contact info. Except for Jeff Nadel. He’s awesome.

Can’t wait until next year! 😀


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