July 31, 2011
So much exciting news I hardly know where to begin:
Thanks to Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals, Handmade has a work shop where we can store our yarn and make kits
We have over 1,000 comfort scarves ready to ship to our 43 shelters.
Yarn companies and others continue their generous support.
We’re fund-raising by selling discount tickets to Macy’s Shop for a Cause, August 27.
Several special people deserve mention
Shelters for abused women appreciate comfort scarves.
And now for the details.
Thanks to Supervisor Don Knabe and Rebekah Kim in his office for putting us in touch with Sheri Schrier. Sheri founded Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals 20 years ago. Our history parallels hers. In fact, she and I found so much in common between our two non-profits, that Sheri invited Handmade to use her warehouse to store our yarn and use as a workshop to make our kits. We spent the last few weeks getting everything organized, buying liability insurance, moving the yarn from my house, and now we are actually making kits there. Sheri’s generosity to us is incredible. We do not have to pay any rent, and while we have to put away all our tools, yarn, kits, etc. after every work session, we have so much space to operate that our kit making is much faster and easier. Sheri herself does a lot of good in the community through Happy Hats. Inmates at prisons make the hats. Volunteers decorate them. Disabled adults from Easter Seals put the hats in bags with coloring books and crayons. I’m sure there’s a lot more Sheri does that I don’t know about yet, but I will tell you as I find out. She is an excellent role model for me. I have already learned a lot from her that will benefit Handmade as much, I hope, as the works space she has provided. Thank you, Sheri!
Due to the crush of moving and the demands of my family (we have many birthdays in July), we did not ship scarves in July. But we have them ready to go and will send them out as soon as I return from celebrating our granddaughter’s 13th birthday. In last month’s Newsletter, I reported we had distributed 7,000 so far in 2011. Our July shipping will bring that to 8,000. That means we have only 7,000 more to go to reach our 2011 goal of 15,000 comfort scarves. We have reached shelters in most of the counties in S. CA. Once we contact San Bernardino, I feel we will have reached them all.
Of course, we could not do all this without the hard work of many people. First and foremost, our kit makers—Barbara Klein, Linda Friege, Marie Cortez, Sharon McCann, and Yumi Wu. They are a really great team. They know the goal ahead and are trying to make enough kits so reaching that goal will not be overly wild and crazy in November.
Again in July we had two wrapping parties. That’s the reason we have so many scarves ready to ship. Thanks as well to this dedicated group—Anita Stevens, Ann and Jessica Nye, Barbara Klein, Chris Needham, Enid Malm, Evelyn Dow, Kathy Allen, Linda Friege, Maria Cesca, Marie Cortez, Mary Gravelin, Nancy English, Sharon McCann, Teresa Copley, Therese Shaefer, and Yumi Wu. Not everyone comes to both parties, but the parties are lots of fun, lunch is good, and all the scarves get wrapped!
We wouldn’t have so many scarves to wrap without our core group of knitters at Concepts in Yarn. And we have many dedicated volunteers throughout the country who participate. We ship our kits (knit or crochet, so please specify which you want) to many; we ship boxes of yarn to the really big scarfers; and many contributors send scarves made entirely from their own stash. Groups associated with senior centers, such as the one in Culver City, make a lot (you can see them with their finished scarves on our website). As do church groups. Thank you all for making it possible for Handmade to distribute comfort scarves to so many shelters. We really couldn’t do it without you. Handmade is a big national community. We appreciate every participant!
Needing 7,000 more scarves means we need a lot more kits. Needing more kits means we need lots more yarn. Luckily, yarn donations were excellent in July. Susan Druding, Crystal Palace Yarns, came through for us again. Her Labrador and Whisper yarns make great kits. She sent us a sample scarf made from Glitter Ribbon and Whisper. It was inspirational and now we make kits like that. She’s the greatest. Tymon Warda, Knitting Fever, sent another huge box containing many of our favorites, especially Ella Rae. Westminster Fibers Canada sent a box (from Canada!) containing On Your Toes and Tiara. We mix sock yarn such as On Your Toes with solid colored knitting worsted such as Ella Rae to make exceptionally beautiful comfort scarves. One company’s donation works with another company’s. That’s the reason we call our kits “magic balls.” It’s magic how we put them together and magic how volunteers make them into beautiful comfort scarves. We use every donation. Thank you so much.
Individuals donated yarn as well. Anne Podlesak sent 3 boxes of really beautiful, soft yarn. Sue Welsh’s friend, Jackie Glid, who sold yarn at Knitter’s Guild meetings, decided to move and didn’t want to take all her yarn with her, so Sue donated 5 huge 55-gallon trash bags of yarn to Handmade. Annette and Alexander Maass, our knitting couple from Leutenbach, Germany shipped 2 boxes of yarn. I asked them if they own a yarn shop. But they don’t. They want to do everything they can to support Handmade because they like what we do. I am so moved by the outpouring of generosity from all our donors. Handmade’s participants are an incredible group! Even though lots and lots of yarn arrived in July, and lots and lots of yarn did arrive, it isn’t enough to make 7,000 more scarves this year. Please continue to donate. We will continue to appreciate.
One of the best things, in addition to getting the work shop, that happened in July is that we received a check from Macy’s for our participation in Community Shopping Day last May 8. This check was our share of Macy’s ticket sales for that event. We worked hard, and we got a lot from that event thanks to all of you who bought/sold tickets for it. Now we are participating in Macy’s Shop for a Cause event on August 27. It is different from the May 8 event in that the tickets cost only $5 each and you can use them at every Macy’s throughout the country. As before, Handmade receives 100% of the purchase price of the ticket. The benefit to you when you buy a ticket is that you get 25% off your purchases on August 27 as well as a chance to win a $500 Macy’s gift card. Now that Handmade ships kits to so many more volunteers and scarves to so many more shelters, we really need more money. We hope that you will buy a ticket (you can download the coupon from our website when you donate through PayPal) or you can send me $5 and I will mail you a ticket. Or if you don’t want to go to Macy’s on the 27th, you can send me $5, and I will enter your name in the drawing. You can even use the coupon for online shopping. Directions are on the coupon.
What would be even better for Handmade than your buying a $5 ticket (but please do that!) is if you would share this event with your email contacts. If you need more info, a blurb, etc. I am glad to supply it. We need to broaden our base so that we are not asking the same generous donors over and over to donate. And we might recruit new scarfers this way as well.
I must also take time to mention the support and patience of my husband, Phil. Since October, 2008 he has accepted the increased amount of yarn coming into our house. He didn’t complain (too much) as Handmade used our guest bedroom to store finished scarves, our front and back halls to keep boxes of yarn. He carried huge boxes out to the garage when our children and grandchildren came to visit. And then he carried them back in once the kids left. He believes in Handmade. Like me, he didn’t realize the power of our scarves to help abused women change their lives. And like me, he didn’t anticipate the outpouring of community support for our project. Once Sheri donated her warehouse space, ironically, as soon as he moved all the yarn from the garage, back hall, and guest room to Happy Hats, wouldn’t you know it, all the new yarn, mentioned above, arrived. It filled the guest room, the back hall and the front hall. It took me more than a week to go through the new yarn, send thank you letters, etc. before he could load it into the “yarnmobile” so I could take it to the work shop. But I know there was a moment when he was afraid he had just made room for more yarn in the house. Every time he sees me overwhelmed by yarn in my yarn room, he comes up with a solution. Over winter vacation, he built cubbies so I could sort yarn by color. When we moved the boxes and bags of yarn keeping the yarn in the cubbies from falling out, he saw how hard it was for me to see the yarn in the cubbies, so he went out and bought 40 clear plastic containers that fit in the cubbies. He helps me so much. He’s a big secret behind Handmade’s success. Thank you so much, Phil.
Annette and Alexander Maass are the only knitting couple (that I know about) in Handmade. Bonnie and Danya Jacobs and Ann and Jessica Nye are two mother/daughters knitters in our group. Bonnie and Danya (her teen daughter), are in NJ; Ann and Jessica are local. They come to Concepts in Yarn for our Wednesday evening knitting circles and to our wrapping parties. Jessica is only 11 but she knits a beautiful scarf! Maria Denzel’s two granddaughters visited her this summer. The 10-year old knits and the 9-year old crochets. Maria kept them busy making comfort scarves. I love the idea of couples knitting together, girls knitting/crocheting with their mothers and grandmothers. If you are scarfing with a family member, loved one, significant other, please let me know. Broadening our base and sharing your experiences are very important.
Now that we send comfort scarves to 43 shelters for abused women, we receive many letters of appreciation from them. I am so happy every time I receive one of these letters. I am glad we are on the right track making and distributing comfort scarves. These letters are meant for all of you who knit, crochet, wind, wrap, donate and work hard for Handmade Especially for You! You can see them on our website.
I thank you all, too. Over and over.
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 $$$$ or buy a discount coupon for Macy’s Shop for a Cause, visit our website www.handmadeespecially.org and use PayPal. Or send a check to the address above.
Thanks for everything,
Leslye Borden, Founder
Handmade Especially for You
501(c)3 EIN: 26-3529292