The Delights of Care Packages
A tradition of the Rails Girls Summer of Code is to gather swag from our wonderful sponsors and send out care packages to our hardworking, dedicated participants.
In our global program, student teams scattered around the world might feel a little isolated from the organisation HQ, based in Europe. With the swag packages, we try to give them the feeling that they belong to something bigger. It’s also a way to let our sponsors have “direct contact” to our students and last but not least: some objects can last a lifetime! Notebooks or t-shirts will always remind our teams of their very special Summer of Code.
This year more than ever, with the highest number of students we’ve had in the last three years, the task of hand-packing every gift box is a big one, but Katrin and myself made some fun from it by doing a swag packaging day. From morning till night, we carefully folded and curated the packages, hand wrote the addresses (don’t even get us started on the online postage payment system; #sessiontimeouts), and ferried every last one down to the post office.
Step 1 get boxes #intermediate step: drink coffee Step 2 put stuff in boxes # this step took quite some time... and more coffee Step 3 ferry boxes to post office # note: stretch/warmup next time Step 4 wait for reaction tweets (see below)
Many thanks go to our wonderful sponsors who sent us swag! The contents were so diverse – from stickers and t-shirts to bottles and battery packs – that we think it made every single one of our students happy. The gift packages were the biggest ones received by any batch so far: We take that as a good sign ;D
A special mention goes to Offscreen magazine, who donated past copies of their magazine to be sent to students. We are big fans of the periodical, and were so grateful they wanted to support our program somehow. We’ve loved each package sent to us by sponsors, and think our students enjoyed the surprise, too!