The humanitarian aid items are all packed. Whew. You may remember that I have been working on this packing business for quite a while. Part of that is because I have been blessed with a lot of humanitarian aid, and I wanted to make sure I could take it all, but I didn't have the money to pay for any extra bags... but thought and planning and my natural propensity for spacial relations all worked together and things worked out.
I used purple (in honor of Julie!) Rubbermaid Roughneck bins that measure 16" tall, 15" wide, and 24" deep. For most airlines, the total dimensions of your checked bags must be less than 62", so this fits at 55". I am not sure if there are slightly bigger totes available, but if so, I am sure you could fill them and not go over weight. It's the dimensions that seem to be the issue.
Empty, the bin and lid weigh less than 5 lbs., which is huge when you are packing heavy items like wipes and cans of formula. All 3 bins that I packed have weighed in right around the 40 lb. mark, and if I tried, I could have fit more in them (I just didn't have any more to fit!) I did take some really heavy-but-small items, like 30 tubes of flouride-free toothpaste, and some big-but-light items, like 288 children's toothbrushes, so the balance of weight and volume worked out. If you were taking all wipes and formula, you could easily pack 50 lbs. of aid before filling the tub.
The tubs come with 2 holes in the bin handle, so I only had to drill holes in the lid handle.
I taped extra zip ties to the lid in case the bin was opened during security checks or customs. I also taped a copy of my humanitarian aid letter supplied by my caseworker to the lid of each bin. Ethiopian Airlines is not offering any discount on excess humanitarian aid bags, but I am hoping that this will help at customs. I am packing a copy of the original humanitarian aid letter with each of the "copy of important papers" folders and the original is with my original documents folder that is in my carry on.