June 3, 2010
We delivered 500 comfort scarves in May with the help of many volunteers
Shelters love our comfort scarves
Lion Brand Yarn Co. featured Handmade in their May 21, 2010 Newsletter
Chapter development is going strong
Yarn companies continue supporting Handmade
We now have PayPal so it is easier to give cash donations
I am recovering, growing stronger every day
And now for the details:
In May, we delivered at least 500 comfort scarves to 18 shelters in S. CA. We couldn’t have done this without the crucial help of many volunteers, and not just our wonderful scarf makers. Chris Needham, our regular scarf wrapper, was away for the month (lucky her), so Barbara Klein, Kathy Allen, Mary Gravlin, Myra Kumagae, and Therese Shafer came by and wrapped and tagged the scarves to prepare them for delivery. My husband, Phil, made and packed the boxes. And Barbara Klein again donated the shipping costs. What a dedicated group of volunteers. I don’t know what I would do without you. Handmade certainly would not be where it is today without you all. That include everyone—knitters, crocheters, wrappers, schleppers, and shippers.
Shelters love our scarves. Sister Christopher Mullan at The Good Shepherd, wrote: I have seen the scarves dressing up outfits and know that the newly arrived Moms were surprised and pleased with their scarves. . . . . The yarns are just beautiful.
Woojoo Han at CPAF thanked us emphatically for the beautiful scarves. They distributed them for Mother’s Day.
Peace & Joy Care Center sent us a “Certificate of Appreciation.” Lisa Corona, Program Director, wrote: We are grateful for your consideration and your generous scarf gifts.
Vicki Doolittle, Executive Director at Su Casa, sent us a certificate thanking us for our support of their programs. The certificate shows two child’s handprints promoting their “Hands are not for Hitting, Hands are for Hugging” campaign. Vicki says the handprints signify their commitment to not using their hands for violence and they send you a great big HUG for your kindness.”
Appreciations like these keep us going. We are thrilled that our work continues to be so meaningful for its recipients.
Lion Brand Yarn Co, one of our yarn donors, ran a feature article about Handmade Especially for You in its May 21, 2010 Newsletter. The response was incredible. I was truly overwhelmed. I couldn’t even open my computer for a few days. It took me until today to finish answering all the inquiries. I know the outcome will be very positive for Handmade. Many people offered to knit and crochet comfort scarves. We need them as we get closer to reaching our goal of donating comfort scarves to every shelter in Los Angeles County (Orange County, San Diego County, Ventura County, and—I could go on and on). Many requested free yarn, which is almost available again. I cannot make kits or boxes yet, but I will be able to soon. I appreciate their patience. Many offered to start chapters in their own areas, which is really great for the already started chapters. They got a big boost. I referred new members to already established chapters. And I sent info to those who live in places where there is no chapter of Handmade yet. I would really love it if chapters sprang up all over the US and donated comfort scarves to all women who were brave enough to escape their abusive environments. Here’s hoping that will come true eventually.
The most moving letters came from women who experienced abuse in their past and wanted to make comfort scarves to help those in shelters. Here is a sample of the letters:
My mother took my brother and I (sic) to a battered women’s shelter one morning while my father was at work. I know that while we were there it would have been fantastic if someone had offered my mother such a token of kindness and comfort.
12 years ago I took that first step to out of an abusive situation and it was one of the most frightful things I’ve ever gone through. We had less than an hour to pack and get out. I grabbed my 10 year old daughter, a few clothes, and left. I would love to be a part of this. I have such a tenderness and respect for the women that have the courage to leave.
As I have said many times in these newsletters, making the scarves often is as therapeutic to the maker as it is to the receiver.
Even without the impetus of the Lion Brand article, the chapters are doing great.
Renee Hoffman donated 20 comfort scarves to Interval House in Long Beach, CA
Ina Bonton donated 30 comfort scarves to the Women’s Resource Center in Oceanside, CA
Vicki Ringer donated 20 comfort scarves to Haven Hills in Canoga Park, CA
Suzanne Freehauf donated 10 comfort scarves to A Woman’s Place in Greeley, CO
Barbara Swanson donated 35 comfort scarves to the Emergency Shelter in Carrollton, GA
Lynette Metzer donated 20 comfort scarves to Family & Children’s Services in Carroll County, MD
Ellen Coppell donated 20 comfort scarves to the Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence Women’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, VA
D’Ann Gayler and Chris Hilfiker donated 20 comfort scarves to the Family Support Center in Taylorsville, UT
The idea of starting a local chapter is growing. Many are just getting started, looking for sponsors, scarfers, and donors. We are providing whatever help and advice we can but the chapter heads have to do the actual work. As you can see, they are doing it!
Despite my inability to make kits myself, we are going through yarn quickly. Luckily, our donors are very generous. Crystal Palace Yarns, Knitting Fever, Lion Brand, and Coats & Clark all sent huge cases of yarn this month. What would we do without them! You know my motto: without yarn, we cannot make scarves.
A few more special appreciations are due this month. Hilary Cohen has been making kits for knit comfort scarves. She comes over every week and picks up bags and bags of yarn and makes them into kits. Because of her efforts, for which I am very grateful, I feel OK about taking my time recovering. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be trying to make kits myself by now.
Lori Jeskey has been working on our website. She has made many improvements to it. I hope you have had a chance to take a look and see how nice it looks. Even more important, as promised, with Lori’s help, we finally finished applying for a PayPal account. She placed the PayPal button on several pages on our site for your convenience. We hope having PayPal will make it much easier for you if you want to make a cash donation.
So it’s been a great month. I feel I just finished last month’s Newsletter when it was time to start shipping May scarves. The Lion Brand article came out at the same time. I have been busy, busy, busy. I still have to rest in the afternoon—I even took a nap when the wrappers were here preparing the scarves. That is an amazing occurrence for me. Usually I won’t rest until the job is done. I guess I really am taking it easier. I’m doing the May Newsletter in June. But I am getting stronger. I feel wonderful. Just wish I could go to the beauty shop every day.
I am thrilled with Handmade’s progress and success. If you remember, by the end of 2008, we delivered 300 comfort scarves to 3 shelters. By the end of 2009, we delivered 6,500 comfort scarves to 22 shelters. Now we’re working toward donating more than 10,000 comfort scarves to well more than 25 shelters (that’s just here in S. CA). The chapters’ donations will increase these numbers. We’ve come a long way, baby. And we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. You make it all possible, even for me to sit back and recover. Thanks so much.
Remember, if you want to donate scarves or yarn, please mail to:
Handmade Especially for You c/o Leslye Borden
30065 Grandpoint Lane
Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275
If you want to donate cash, send a check to the above address or use PayPal on our website.
Thanks in advance.