Handmade has had a really good year. First of all, unlike many non-profit charities, we survived Covid. We kept going throughout the pandemic. We couldn’t meet in person for our lunches and wrapping parties, but we continued because so many of you came to my house to pick up “work” you could do individually, at your own homes. You wanted to keep busy while you had to stay home and that kept Handmade going smoothly.
Second, none of our group got sick. Almost everyone in our group not only got vaccinated but also has received the booster. We followed the guidelines. We didn’t meet. We stayed home. We washed our hands. We wore masks. We were careful. So here we are, alive and well. Strong. Able to work hard to make our community better.
After a year and a half of stay at home restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid, things have improved enough (so far, maybe not with the arrival of Omicron) so that women have returned to work and children to school so they’re not stuck at home with their abusers. That’s a big improvement. Despite the fact that several shelters closed during the shut-down, most have reopened and are full, still protecting abused women who have fled their abusive environments. Now they are getting back up to full speed with therapy, education, and legal interventions. And they are accepting comfort scarves! They still regard our comfort scarves as an important part of their programs to help women live the rest of their lives free from abuse.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, we all have been making scarves and hats like mad. We had a huge inventory so we have reached out to homeless shelters as well as shelters for abuse survivors to find recipients for our scarves and hats. We also reached out to community facilities that help needy families and underprivileged children. Our scarves and hats were gratefully received at these locations.
Here we are at the end of the second year of the Covid disaster. You all have continued making comfort scarves for women who have fled abusive environments and hats/beanies for their children in record numbers. We are lucky to have each item you have made because there are so many who need them. Community centers want children’s hats, for instance, because most of the families they serve don’t have heat. The children wear them to bed, just to keep warm. A small reminder of how lucky we, who live in heated houses and apartments, are.
My thanks to all of you who have continued participating in Handmade. To all the yarn and money donors, to all the measurers and winders, to all the knitters and crocheters, to all the wrappers, and to all who have supported me in my vision of giving back to the community by using yarn creatively. I know there are many more ways many of you have contributed to Handmade. If I haven’t mentioned what you personally do, I want you to know I know who you are. I appreciate all our contributors. I value what you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Finally, in case you forgot or didn’t realize, you and Handmade have done a lot. Since 2008, when we started, we have made 154,000 comfort scarves and 14,275 kids and adult hats/beanies and donated them to 70 shelters for abused and homeless women. In 2021 alone, the year that’s ending now, despite all obstacles, we made 10,458 comfort scarves and 1,671 kids and adults hats/beanies and distributed them to 70 shelters for abused and homeless women, several community centers and even to a non-profit that helps women who served their time in prison (many of whom were abused) readjust to living in the community. We have received many letters of gratitude. We will post them on our website. They will warm your hearts.Give yourself a big pat on the back for the good work you have done and will continue to do, I hope. Follow the advice of all the health experts to avoid getting Covid, in any of its variations. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy 2022.