Fall is in the air even if the daytime temperatures have us questioning it. Summer was a busy time for our Chapter, which only verifies that our blankets are for hugs and not so much for warmth. We delivered the 300 blankets in July that were promised to Camp Bob. 200 of the blankets were for Operation Purple (the camp for children of military parents) and 100 was for Camp Hope (for children with parents who are incarcerated). Connie and Herb Stanfield and husband Gene and I met with the camp director to get a final report and the blankets were a tremendous success and loved by all. They are looking forward to our being able to provide them again next summer. Therefore, we will continue to put aside blankets for them each month, and since the campers are older we only send them the larger size.
When we met with the director we learned that so many of these children attend the camps with not much more than the clothes on their backs. She has a clothes closet where the children are taken to shop. The second wake- up call that we had was that many of these children read much below their grade level so the camp has a library and time is set aside every day for these campers to work on their reading. I am sure you know what I am suggesting next, how can we help? I am asking that as we go through our days counting our blessings that we be on the look-out for books that we can take to them next summer for their library. The children range in age from first grade through high school, the books need not to be new, gently used are fine. “Books for Good” has already graciously given us a box full. Now, as you shop thrift stores, garage sales, or grandchildren’s closets, be on the look-out for clothes and books. Once again, they don’t have to be new…gently used works. The children are 7 to 17. We have proven to be a generous sort and I firmly believe that helping others is the best medicine.
We heard from one of our facilities that they received a bag of blankets and that one was given to a child in which the Mother discovered three straight pins still in the blanket. This is a concern that we always have and hope it never happens again. We pin check each donation for any hidden and forgotten pins but must realize that as humans we do make mistakes. This could have been huge error. I am asking every quilter to triple check your wonderful work and make sure to remove every pin that was placed in the blanket.
We are so fortunate to have such an active and successful chapter of Project Linus and with so many things happening it takes a village to pull it together. We have contacts in each of the counties that we cover. They are there to answer your questions, to coordinate blanket drop off to facilities and donation pick up. Sharon Waltman has been the contact for Buncombe County for many years and has now chosen a different direction for her volunteer talents. I am so grateful to her for all the hours and help that she has given to all of us. I am excited to let you know that we have a new contact person. Ennis Julian has agreed to take over Buncombe County and I look forward to working with her. Another of our blanket makers, Janet Jackson, has stepped up to the plate to take over Mitchell County. I was so pleased when she approached me with the offer. A big thank you to both Ennis and Janet. I am sure that I could find a job for anyone else who is interested in doing more that making a blanket.
BOOKS FOR GOOD
This wonderful used book store is holding their annual holiday sale the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Those of you who aren’t familiar with this treasure, make a trip to visit their location in Fletcher. The address us 50 Heritage Park Drive (behind the Subway in Fletcher). Their hours are Mon-Fri 12-5 and Saturday 10-2.
One of the questions that I am always asked is what are the sizes of the blankets? (see below) Our inventory is now even in all sizes; however, since we will need to set aside 300 large blankets for Camp Bob and fewer facilities are requesting smaller sizes, it would help if you could keep the medium and large sizes in mind and then occasionally make a small one.
Small – 35” x 45” and up
Medium – 40” x 50” and up
Large – 45” x 60” and up
We are always on the search for new blanket makers and you can help us with that. Talk to your friends, family members, neighbors, church members about Project Linus. We know how rewarding this is and we need to share the love. If you need me to talk to a potential “blanketeer” or wish me to send some information to someone, let me know.
HATS AND GLOVES
We mentioned in the last newsletter that the Stanfields are collecting new or gently used hats, scarves, and gloves for the Henderson County State Highway Troopers to have in their cars during our chilly winter months. They pass them out when they encounter a homeless person. As you are looking for books and children’s clothes you might want to add these warm items to your list.
I feel that some of you might be questioning why we are veering away from our blanket mission and this is always number one, but I feel as we are so lucky that perhaps we can also help others. There is certainly no obligation on any one’s part.
We have seen Mother Nature at her best and certainly at her worst these past weeks. Our hearts ache watching the nightly news and seeing the tragedy others are going though. It took several weeks in Texas for the chaos to become organized and the request for blankets to be issued. The National Office asked for 5000 blankets and all chapters responded and the number was soon reached. Interestingly, these did not go to the P.L. Chapter Coordinators but were sent directly to F.E.M.A. for Distribution. I packed 100 blankets from our inventory into 5 boxes and shipped them, with generous help from my son, Jeff Slosman, from his plant loading dock and off they went. As of this date we have receive no request to send blankets to Florida, but if we should I will keep you informed.
There are times during the quarter that we send out information between newsletters.
If you would like to be on our email list, send your request to Helen McConnell at:
BLANKET DROP OFF SITES
A.C. Moore Craft Store, River Ridge Shopping Center
Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 Sixth Avenue, West
Joann Fabrics, Blue Ridge Mall
1800 Four Seasons Blvd. (leave at the cutting counter)
5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew, 32 North Main Street
THIRD QUARTER STATISTICS
July 351 667
August 219 306
September 334 441
3rd Quarter Totals: 904 1,414
With these latest numbers. Our local chapter has now distributed 63,942 blankets!