THANKS TO YOU!!!
Yes, thanks to YOU. On Thursday, Handmade shipped over 1,500 comfort scarves plus 130 baby items to all our shelters for abused women and we couldn’t have done this without YOU. Appreciation is important, and I want you to know that first of all, the abused women who receive our scarves are thrilled with them and love what we do, and second of all, I appreciate what you do to make this possible.
I have written many times that “it takes a village” to make and deliver 1,500 comfort scarves, but I can’t say it enough. Here’s who’s in the Handmade village:
It starts with generous yarn donors, both yarn companies and individuals, who contribute fabulous yarn, all textures and colors;
We sort the yarn by weight and color, then measure it to make into “magic balls;”
Volunteers pre-measure novelty yarn so it’s ready for winding into “magic balls”;
Volunteers wind the pre-measured yarn and novelty yarn into the “magic balls,” which are the essence of Handmade’s scarf making process;
We distribute the “magic balls” to volunteers and groups of volunteers, locally, statewide, and nationally, who want to make comfort scarves but do not supply their own yarn;
Concepts in Yarn hosts our charity, provides bins where volunteers can pick up “magic balls” and drop off finished scarves;
Volunteers throughout the country use their own stash, and mail finished scarves to us for distribution to our shelters;
Volunteers open these boxes of scarves, inspect for quality, make sure they have gift tags, etc. and prepare reports so we can send thank you letters;
Volunteers weave in loose threads, add fringe if scarves arrive without novelty yarn, add gift tags, and do whatever else is necessary to prepare the scarves for shipping;
Volunteers “wrap” scarves with colorful curling ribbon so each scarf becomes a personal gift to the recipient;
Volunteers pack boxes to ship scarves to the shelters;
FedEx, USPS, and volunteers deliver scarves to the shelters;
Donors contribute money to pay for the shipping;
Donors contribute tape, curling ribbon, office supplies, etc. to facilitate shipping;
Volunteers maintain the web site, keep the books, issue reports, etc.
Other volunteers do all the things I’ve forgotten to include on this list.
I know you did some of these activities. We couldn’t have shipped so many scarves and baby items without you.
But don’t stop now. Yes, pat yourself on the back. You deserve praise. But abuse doesn’t stop just because we sent out so many scarves. Domestic violence knows no calendar (even though many people believe it reaches its peak on Super Bowl Sunday). It occurs every day, among people in every socio-economic class, at every educational level, in every ethnic and religious group. That makes us all responsible for preventing it and helping those who have experienced this trauma to recover from it.
That’s where our comfort scarves fit in. They help victims of domestic violence recover from it. The women arrive at shelters with very low self-esteem; they believe they are responsible for the abuse they have received; they worry that their future is bleak. They receive one of our scarves, and even if for only a few minutes, feel someone cares about them, that because someone has made something beautiful for them, they must have some value after all. That’s the beginning of their road to recovery. The road is not easy, it takes a lot of education and therapy, sometimes they backslide, sometimes they even return to their abuser. But eventually, many of them make it to a life free from abuse. And we have helped them, in a small way, to be sure, but in a big way overall. So we all have to keep scarfing, keep on doing whatever we have been doing as part of the big village that comprises Handmade. We have to make sure our comfort scarves keep arriving at the shelters.
In like manner, we have added children’s hats to what we want to send to the shelters. The women arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their children. The children, who themselves have often been the victims of abuse and certainly have witnessed it, think abuse is “normal.” The father or man of the house, the abuser, is a role model for the son; the mother, the victim, is a role model for the daughter. At the shelters, they unlearn thinking these behaviors are normal. The directors tell us giving the children something we have made will help them in the same way as our scarves help their mothers. So we have started making hats for the kids. We have almost 200 right now, but not enough to give one to every child at the shelters. We want you to make hats, yes, but not at the expense of your making comfort scarves. Of course, you alternate between making scarves and hats.
Help the Handmade village grow. Recruit your friends. Let’s get more volunteers so we can contribute more to the shelters. The power of our needles is very strong! Keep them clicking. Thanks for all you personally have done and will continue to do to help abused women and their children.