October 3, 2009
We distributed more than 2,150 comfort scarves so far this year; 2,350 since we began
I connected with many knitters/crocheters on Ravelry
The generous contributions from yarn companies are key to our growth and success
We applied for the 501(c)3
We have 600 scarves already made for Thanksgiving and Christmas distribution
And now for the details:
We distributed about 250 scarves again this month! The shelters’ directors are running out of new ways to describe their appreciation for what we do. They apologize for just saying the same things over and over. We love their thanks and want to keep that repetition going. Congratulations to all of you who knit, crochet, wrap, and donate $$$. You are making our project successful!!!
Somehow I figured out how to navigate ravelry.com. Ravely is an interactive website for people who love to knit and crochet. Many groups post activities on the Ravelry site and members sign up for the groups that interest them. They even have a charity knitting group that has over 2,000 members! This group has been very supportive of our cause. Many members have promised to send scarves to help us meet our end of year goals. Many others have requested scarf kits so they can make scarves. I have received so many requests for kits that making them is more than what I can do immediately. I had post a message asking for everyone’s patience. In the meantime, I am glad to report that the yarn meter and my shoulder are holding up just fine.
Another tremendous result of making friends on Ravelry is that several people contacted me asking to set up chapters of Handmade Especially for You in their own neighborhoods. I think that is a very good idea since domestic violence occurs everywhere and people in Naples, FL, for instance, might as well donate their scarves to a local shelter for abused women rather than sending them to me for distribution here in S. CA. Of course, not all of you who make scarves want to start your own chapter and I am HAPPY to receive your scarves. In addition to the Naples, FL chapter, chapters are starting in San Diego CA, Rogers AK and British Columbia. People in St. Louis and St. Paul have made inquiries. Here’s hoping they organize too. Last month I reported that Handmade was becoming more than a group of well intentioned women; that we are a movement. Little did I know how quickly the explosion would occur.
One of my new Ravelry friends wrote me: “I was one of those kids who showed up at a shelter with her mom looking for a safe place. It was full but they paid for a night at a motel for us. The next day, my mom caved and went back. I ended up in youth shelters and foster homes when I gave up on mom ever leaving him. . . . . . I would be happy to make some scarves for your wonderful project!” In another note, she finished her story saying that she and her mom “broke the cycle together.” Please remember, every scarf we give to an abused woman helps her break the cycle. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you are doing.
Yarn companies continue their generosity. This means a lot because I am making and sending out so many kits that I am going through lots of yarn. Crystal Palace Yarns has been an exceptional donor. Susan Druling sent us another enormous case of yarn containing lots of different yarns just 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! Sweaterkits and Mission Falls promised donations to the Naples chapter. Many of you just can’t see me without handing me a bag of yarn. Every little bit counts. I feel I can never have too much yarn, although my husband may not agree. Yarn is everywhere in our house.
My husband helped me apply for the 501(c)3. As soon as our corporate status is confirmed, I can apply for the tax-exempt status and then the good times will begin. Handmade needs a workshop (so several people can make scarf kits) as well as storage space. Once we receive the official non-profit designation, we will be able to request and accept donations from large corporations. Some of them may even have space they can donate. You know my motto: Keep that movie rolling. Let’s watch and see what happens.
We have just over 600 scarves set aside for distribution in November and December. Our current 11 S. CA shelters have requested 1000 scarves to include in their Thanksgiving baskets and another 2000 for Christmas. 600 is a start, but a long way to go to reach those goals. We can’t rest on our laurels. We need to keep knitting and crocheting. Of course, I don’t know what will show up on my doorstep in the coming weeks. I hope a lot. I thank you all in advance for your contributions yet to come.
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