Where does one begin at a time like this, where do we turn and how do we get answers to the many questions that we each have? If only we could turn back the clock and have a healthy and peaceful world, one full of love and respect. We can only each do our part and pray that others will follow in the good that we do. I miss each of you and I am sure that you understand as we take each day and try to figure out the next step for Project Linus. Although we have had to cancel any planned activities together and the chapter did little in April and May we are still here and an active chapter.
So many of you have stepped up to the plate with your many blanket donations, “blanketeers” stuck at home make lots of blankets so we have a large inventory of “hugs”. The problem is finding facilities that will accept outside items. It is slowly picking up, but I do need your help in this area to find new facilities or checking with existing ones to see if they are ready to have a delivery. If you are wondering what size we could use, we especially need medium (40” x 50”). You can look at the numbers at the end of the newsletter and see exactly what is going on. In the past we gave out many weighted blankets each quarter, this quarter the number is 8 and five of those were this week.
I always hesitate to single out any individuals as each of you are doing your part and it is so appreciated. However, I must say a special thank you to Dolores Hart who continues to call all the facilities in Hendersonville to see what they need. Romella Hart O’Keefe has been meeting me in South Asheville to get all the donations that need to go to those facilities and then delivering them. Angie Miles helps me keep all the numbers straight, so we know exactly where each blanket is going. Irma Bond and Judy Spencer are checking in with JoAnn’s to pick up all the donations. Addie Hoffman is everywhere and I think if we said we need an elephant in the room she would come up with it, as she is picking up, labeling, and delivering. One only has to ask and there she is. Connie Stanfield has put together many kits for anyone that needs one. Helen McConnell sends out the newsletter and Anne Ogg keeps our website up to date. I hope I did not overlook anyone but do know that each of you are appreciated.
As you will read in this newsletter there are many opportunities to help other organizations with the sewing talents that we have. For the past three years I have attended the Junior League Volunteer Expo held in February. This is a wonderful opportunity to network, get out the mission of our organization and learn the mission of other groups. There is so much need out there and we have so much to give. While this has nothing to do with Project Linus and I cannot issue an in-kind receipt, I can assure you that this will make you feel good about helping others. You will read more throughout this newsletter.
I am sending each of you a virtual hug and asking that you do the three W’s. Please WEAR (those masks), WASH (those hands) and WAIT (social distancing).
CONTENTMENT IS NOT THE FULFILLMENT OF WHAT YOU WANT, BUT THE REALIZATION OF HOW MUCH YOU ALREADY HAVE.
There are three main requirements for blankets that are donated to Project Linus. They must be new, handmade, and washable. I have always added child friendly as I think it helps to keep the child in mind when you make a certain size blanket. A dark color blanket for a small child might not be well received. A blanket that feels rough and is missing that soft feel, would not make a baby happy. If you are washing your donations do not use a scented soap, fabric softener, or dryer sheet. Some of the recipients of our blankets have a comprised immune system and these smells could make them ill. Remember, no embellishments on the small blankets, as a child could work these loose and it could end up in a mouth.
THANK YOU NOTE
This blanket was delivered to Mission Hospital and since we do not get lots of notes, I wanted to share this one that I received by email with each of you.
"My daughter recently had to have surgery and she is five years old. Her name is Hazel, and she was very scared. This blanket helped her so much before surgery and is the first thing she asked for when she woke up. She now sleeps with it every night. Thank you so much for what you do."
This is an organization that promotes fiber art. They have reached out to Project Linus to let us know that they are going to be having a yarn sale on June 27th from 8 am until noon in the parking lot of their Asheville Studio located at 207 Coxe Avenue. They have received a large supply of acrylic yarn from folks cleaning out closets, room etc. and want to find the right home for the skeins. They assure reasonable prices.
I am so sorry that we will be unable to have your annual tea this year, but this means that next year will be even more meaningful. Connie has prepared many kits that we usually give out at the time of the tea. It would be a shame for them to wait a year to be sewn into a blanket hug. If you would like to have some of these kits or some fleece you need to get in touch with Connie at email@example.com or myself (Ellen) at 828-645-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make arrangements to see that you get the supplies that you want.
Their mission is to provide feminine hygiene products to women and girls who might be homeless, low income or victims of domestic abuse. They provide many of the area guidance counselors at the different schools with bags containing necessary supplies, this allows many of these girls not to miss school when they are unable to afford these items. When they first started their mission, they would place the supplies in a zip loc bag to give to the girls. It was called to their attention by a high school girl that this was not very dignified. We started making cloth bags for them and although I failed to keep track of how many we have given I know it is well over 1,000. The finished size of the bag is 6” X 8 ½” with a draw string at the top. This is a great way to use up those pieces of fabric that you have sitting around. For more information you can go to www.projectdignitywnc.com.
BABIES NEED BOTTOMS
The mission of this group is a diaper bank service, serving families in need by providing cloth diapers. There is no government support for those in need for these items. Cloth diapers are a sustainable option as disposable diapers are expensive and not the best option for the environment. They approached me at the Expo and ask if we might be able to help them with the cloth wipes that they wanted to include with each diaper package that they give out. This is another way to use up those flannel scraps (this is the recommended material) you might have on hand. The finished size is 8” X 8”. I only learned of this group in February and everything came to an abrupt halt soon thereafter, but I have kept track of the wipes that we have provided to them thus far and it is 625.
With both dignity bags and the cloth wipes you will need two pieces of fabric cut the finished size, plus a seam allow allowance. Sew right sides together flip and finish, putting a cord in the bag and sewing around the cloth wipe with ¼ “seam.
BOOKS FOR GOOD
We have mentioned this wonderful used bookstore many times, but I need to remind you once again. It is located at 50 Heritage Park Drive in Fletcher with the following hours Monday, Wednesday through Friday 12-5, and Saturday 10-2. Used books are sold at a very reasonable price and any nonprofit that has donated the books to them receives a share of the profit. We have received over $4,000.00 dollars from them in the 7 years that they have been opened. Currently, they are not accepting any donations but are looking for customers. They will again accept donations in July.
“FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU ARE ANGRY YOU LOSE SIXTY SECONDS OF HAPPINESS.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
BLANKET DROP OFF
At this time Grace Lutheran Church is still closed so you might check before you plan to deliver your donations. JoAnn’s and 5 Little Monkeys are open. Check with Sheridan Kay Quilting (828-595-2296) before driving there as their hours do change.
BLANKET DROP-OFF SITES
JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store
80 S Tunnel Road
Grace Lutheran Church
1245 Sixth Avenue West
Sheridan Kay Quilting
1680 Spartanburg Highway
5 Little Monkeys Quilt and Sew
32 North Main Street
SECOND QUARTER STATISTICS
April 0 0
May 0 0
June 553 486
Second Quarter Totals 553 486
With these latest numbers our chapter has now distributed 76,828 blankets!
Number of knitted dolls and stuffed animals donated and distributed this quarter: 168