August 29, 2009
We distributed more than 1,950 comfort scarves so far this year; 2,150 since we began
Article about Handmade Especially for You appeared in PV Peninsula News
Knitters at Golden West Towers and the Culver City senior center participate in our movement
The generous contributions from yarn companies are key to our growth and success
And now for the details:
We distributed about 250 scarves this month! The shelters’ directors continue telling us that the women are amazed that someone who doesn’t even know them has made something as beautiful as our scarves for them; that receiving the beautiful, soft, colorful, and handmade personal gift challenges their poor view of themselves and helps them begin to see themselves in a new light so they can start rebuilding their lives. Congratulations to all of you who knit, crochet, wrap, and donate for making our project so successful. We are more than a local group of well intentioned women; we are becoming a movement!
Handmade received positive press this month when the Palos Verdes Peninsula News published an article (with photos!) about our work. The article was well received in the community. Many people inquired as to how they could participate. Some contributed yarn. Several donated scarves. Others joined one or another of our knitting groups. I was making kits as fast as I could. In fact, I wore out my yarn meter (the tool that measures the length of the yarn I put into each kit). Luckily, June Grossberg, owner of Concepts in Yarn, lent me hers until a new one arrives. I will have to keep a spare on hand just to handle the new demand.
Two new knitting groups have joined our movement: one from Golden West Towers and the other from the Culver City Senior Center. The women in these groups love to knit and they want to create things that are meaningful to them as well as to others. Making comfort scarves has given focus to their creativity and they love the idea that the scarves go to abused women. And they really love the free yarn.
Thanks for the generosity of yarn companies which makes it possible for me to distribute really beautiful and exceptional free yarn to those who couldn’t otherwise have it but want to make scarves to support our project. Last month, as you may remember, Knitting Fever shipped us four enormous cartons of yarn. Tymon Warda, my contact there, wrote: “It's funny how such a seemingly small thing like a scarf makes such an impact” on the abused women.
This month, Crystal Palace Yarns has been the exceptional donor. Susan Druling sent us 5 enormous cases of yarn, all of which are perfect for our scarves. I’m sure you have been seeing their yarn in our recent kits. Their yarn meets all our requirements--soft, colorful, beautiful, and lots of ribbon yarns and fun fur we use to decorate our scarves! Mountain Colors also sent a box with beautiful yarn. Many thanks to Crystal Palace and Mountain Colors.
Given the yarn contributions coming in, I may have to start looking for a storage unit and/or a workshop. Joking aside, I really appreciate the donations of all the yarn companies. Without their contributions, we couldn’t make and distribute as many and as beautiful scarves as we do. I try to put the yarn labels in the kits so the users can see who donated the yarn. June Grossberg posts a list of yarn companies who donate to Handmade on the wall behind her cash register so everyone who purchases anything at her shop can see who contributes. The yarn companies support us and we support them!
As a result of the article in the PV Peninsula News, I have begun working on the 501(c)3 again. One lawyer has offered help. She directed me to a starting place and “linked” me to the first papers I have to fill out. Given that I really need more space, and thus more cash donations, I will get busy on these papers. Once we have the official non-profit designation, we will be able to request and accept donations from large corporations. You see how everything is connected. But first things first. I’ll keep you posted on the 501(c)3. Volunteers welcome.
I also need a volunteer or two who know Facebook. I want to use it (and other forums such as those on Ravelry) to publicize our need for more scarf makers.
Thanks to all of you who have requested yarn kits. I have sent out quite a few and received back some very nice scarves. I look forward to sending out more kits (it costs $4.95 to ship a package with one kit in it; it also costs $4.95 to ship a package with 4-5 kits) and receiving more scarves.
In next month’s Newsletter, I will give you an update on how many scarves we have set aside for delivery in November (we will need 1,000 for Thanksgiving baskets) and December (the shelters have requested 2,000 for holiday gifts to all). Then we can size up the task that awaits us and get busy making the desired scarves. If we meet our end of year goals, we can consider adding to the number of shelters we serve. At present, I can’t see taking on more shelters if we can’t meet the needs of those we have now. Here’s hoping we can increase the number in 2010. I have a 17 page list of the shelters in Los Angeles County alone. The need is great.
If you want to donate scarves or yarn or if you want to send a check, please mail to:
Handmade Especially for You c/o Leslye Borden
30065 Grandpoint Lane
Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275