Sunday, January 25, 2009

CPSIA and Charitable Organizations

As you may be aware, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is scheduled to become effective on February 10th. While the law has some necessary and required aspects, the scope of it's wording could be devastating to charitable organizations such as Operation Marine Corps Kids, Project Linus, Caps for Kids and hundreds of other charitable organizations.

We desperately need Congress to clarify the law in regard to charities. The consequences of the law to Marine Corps Kids could be extraordinary; if the potential liability to our organization cannot be minimized or eliminated, we may have no choice but to disband.

I am writing to ask all friends of Marine Corps Kids to write letters to your Congressmen and Senators. We need to ask Congress to act swiftly to clarify this law and make reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue the rule-making process.

Below is a sample letter that you are welcome to copy and paste (fill in the blanks as indicated) and send to your congress person, senator, the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Committee on Energy and Commerce members. Some can be sent via e-mail, but if you are not in the district of the congress person or senator you may need to send your letter via snail mail. Whatever you can do to help will be most appreciated.

To locate the contact information for your congress person go to

To locate the contact information for your US Senator go to

Thank you for your continued support of Marine Corps Kids and all charitable crafting organizations!


Sample Letter:

Bill Number H.R.4040 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act


From: [your name and address]
To: [your congress person or senator]
Re: The Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) clarification regarding charities

Dear [your congress person, senator, CPSC or Committee on Energy and Commerce members],

As a volunteer and supporter of Operation Marine Corps Kids, a 501c3 National Non-profit organization, I am very concerned about the effect the Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) H.R. 4040 will have on our organization as of February 10, 2009.

Like many people, I was deeply concerned by the dangerous and poisonous toys that large Chinese toy manufacturers have been selling to our families. I was pleased that Congress acted quickly to protect America's children by enacting the CPSIA. However, I am very concerned that the CPSIA's mandates for third-party testing and labeling could have a dramatic and negative effect on charitable organizations such as Marine Corps Kids.

Marine Corps Kids collects and distribute gifts of handmade blankets, hats, booties, toys and other items to the babies and children of our deployed military forces. (See and for more information.)

Donors from all over the country have sent handcrafted gifts that have been distributed to hundreds of children. If charities such as ours are not exempt from the CPSIA our military families will no longer benefit from the generosity of our donors.

Operation Marine Corps Kids does not sell anything. Hand-crafted items are all given as gifts. We are the consumer and not a retailer or seller, however the current wording in the CPSIA can be interpreted to include organizations such as ours. We are a charity and would never have the funds to submit each item made by our volunteers to the expensive testing required. Our new President has encouraged us to volunteer and perform acts of service. This is what Marine Corps Kids’ volunteers do; it would be devastating to volunteers such as myself to have our organization closed due to the CPSIA.

I urge you to quickly request the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Committee on Energy and Commerce to make some very reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue their rule-making process. This would include exempting nonprofit organizations and charities that do not retail their products.

Thank you for your attention with regard to this matter.


[your name]

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