Updated at the end of the post.
Remember last week's contest where we gave away several bars of Just Bubbly handmade soap? Projector Jessica entered the contest by leaving this comment:
Yummy smelly soap would be fantastic here in Afghanistan (I'm currently deployed)!!
The comment caught my attention and I forwarded it on to Mariann at Just Bubbly. We put our noggins together and we've come up with a spectacular way for Projectors to help Jessica get enough "yummy smelly soap" for her and her unit.
From today until Sept 25th, if you visit the Just Bubbly website and make a purchase, Mariann will double your order. You won't be charged any shipping and she'll keep all of the soap and other luxury items ordered to ship directly to Jessica in Afghanistan. Just Bubbly will also donate a sizable gift to Jessica's unit when they ship out our order. Just use the coupon code BILERICO when you make your purchase. We are not making any money off this promotion; we're just hoping to help out a fellow Projector.
More info about Jessica and suggestions on items her unit could use after the jump.
When I first e-mailed Jessica and told her what Mariann and I had planned, she wrote back:
Bil, the generosity of people (especially random strangers) never ceases to amaze me. I can not get to justbubbly.com (the web nazis here block almost everything...I'm still shocked that I can get to bilerico!). The water here is unbeliveably drying (it's loaded with chlorine) so anything super moisturizing would be fantastic. The guys here (it's almost only guys here) are pretty macho (but love having a lesbian around) so I know they wouldn't use "pretty" soaps. Unscented is not a requirement. In fact, I haven't seen any unscented soap available here. But I know they won't use anything that smells "girly."
When I asked her to tell our readers a bit more about herself, she filled me in on her situation:
What's it like here? Well, first off, I'm a civilian. I volunteered to come here (which speaks volumes about my mental condition). I work for the [redacted]. I wear an army uniform here but it says [redacted] Civilian instead of ARMY. I'm the project engineer for projects such as Border Police stations, hospitals, roads, etc. I don't usually get to see the projects because it's too dangerous to travel there. We work 12 hrs/day, 6.5 days/week (Friday is our day off so we only have to work 4 hours). The base I'm on is actually pretty nice (for a base in the one of the hottest (hottest in terms of violence and temperature) regions in the middle of a war zone) but has, by far, the worst chow of any base in the country.
As for being a lesbian, since I'm a civilian, it doesn't affect my employment at all. I'm working on getting the guys here to stop using "fag" and "gay" and "homo" derogatorily. I don't know that I'm being very successful at it, but I'll keep trying. I did manage to convince one green-suiter (what we call the actual army folks) that being gay is not a choice. I considered that quite an accomplishment. They love having a lesbian around but I'm quite sure they would not feel the same about a gay man. Which is a concept I've never understood.
For the most part, I'm just one of the guys. In fact, there was one occasion where I heard laughter and said something like, "that sounds like a woman's voice," and someone responded, "fat chance of finding one of those anywhere near here."
No matter how you feel about the wars George W. Bush has drug our country into, the brave engineers work in the war zone every day with little pay and without many of the basic luxuries we take for granted. Besides, I'd love to see the look on the unit's faces when Jessica tells them that some "fag" blog bought it for them. *grins*
We'll be bumping this post back up to the top of the page every morning until the 25th. I'll also make sure to update it with how much soap we've bought for Jessica's unit.
I thought I'd also throw out some of the best items to be shipped overseas to Jessica since they'll be moisturizing, reasonably priced and "smelly." Check out these items:
Add this post to your Facebook profile, send out e-mails to your friends with a link, or blog about it yourself. If you can't afford to buy some soap, spreading the word is a great way to contribute!
Now, how much soap and luxury items can we send to this unit?
UPDATE 8/17: So far 8 orders have been placed with Just Bubbly. 8?! Just 8?! C'mon guys, let's help Jessica out... I've posted my plea on Huffington Post and Daily Kos along with several mailing lists that I'm on. I noticed FiredogLake picked it up. Can you help us spread the word further by posting on your own blog or sending to your mailing lists?
UPDATE 8/22: We're up to 12 orders placed with Just Bubbly. 12. *sigh* C'mon folks! Help us spread the word and send Jessica enough soap to outfit her unit!