I always want to thank all our participants for their important contributions to our scarf project. We wouldn’t enjoy our huge success without each and every one of you. Just to review, in case you didn’t know or forgot, here’s the process of making a comfort scarf and then shipping it to a shelter.
Yarn and $$$ donations. Every scarf starts with yarn. Sometimes we get huge yarn donations (see note about Trendsetter Yarn’s donation below.) Sometimes we don’t get all the yarn we need to make comfort scarves. Thenh I have to buy yarn, often Caron One Pound and ICE fun fur. Couldn’t buy yarn without $$$ donations from so many of you. Also couldn’t ship to our shelters without $$$ donations.
Measuring the yarn. We have two teams of yarn measurers. Paula, Meredith, and Joyce measure the fun fur or other novelty yarn that we knit into the beginning and end of every comfort scarf. Karen, Bonnie, and Paul measure the B yarns.
Every week, I select from the measured B yarn, find a matching or coordinating fun fur/novelty yarn, and pick an A yarn. I package them into bags and give them to Karen, Kayoko, and Paula to wind into Magic Ball kits.
Ann finishes every kit with a gift tag (made by my husband) and the “directions.” Then she and I distribute them at a parking lot in Torrance, or we mail them to the various volunteers who want to make comfort scarves.
Ronnie and Theresa host bins of Magic Balls on their front porches. Alison and Janet pick up Magic Balls in the parking lot at Michaels where they also drop off finished scarves. The full bins keep everyone who wants to make comfort scarves supplied with kits. Dropping off finished scarves means they get wrapped and prepared for shipping. Womaning the bins is a crucial step in our system.
Many knitters/crocheters make Magic Balls into comfort scarves. Everyone who receives a kit gives back a finished scarf. Then I distribute the finished scarves to our team of wrappers: Chris N, Chris F, Carlyn, Carole, Sari, Elizabeth, Sharon. They wrap the scarves with curling ribbon. Then they’re ready to ship.
Ann, Chris and I ship the scarves to some of our shelters on a monthly or quarterly basis. Before Covid, the schedule was more regular. Now it seems we ship when shelters request scarves. As I told you last week, in September, we shipped almost 2,000 scarves to 30+ shelters. Wow. We couldn’t have done this without your contributions, whatever they were.
Some of the behind the scene unmentioned important jobs that keep our project running smoothly include box opening (Chris N), quality control and scarf repair (Sharon), and bookkeeping (Ann). I know I’ve forgotten something or someone, but not on purpose. I want to mention each and every one of you and each and every job. If I forgot any, please remind me and I’ll include it next time. You can see making comfort scarves is MORE than casting on 10 stitches and knitting them. Every comfort scarf is the result of team effort and you’re an important member of the team. Thank you so much.
And now for the really BEST news. We’re already getting grateful responses from most of the shelters that received the scarves we sent in September. Amy Lakin, Executive Director of Casa Youth Shelter, wrote: “Our clients love these scarves. They have said they are beautiful and so soft. They can’t believe someone cares so much for them to take the time to make these. Thank you again so very much.” Her note expresses what others said. Ann has posted some on our website's THANK YOU tab - https://www.handmadeespecially.org/thankyouresponses.html. Really, shipping makes me so happy. As you saw above, it’s the last step in the making of comfort scarves. It causes so much joy—not just for me, but for all of you who participated and especially for all the women who receive them. Thanks again for doing your part.
Finally, you know we depend a lot on yarn donations. Over the years, Trendsetter Yarns has been a constant donor of really valuable and beautiful yarns. We so appreciate what they have given to us. Last week, Barry Klein, the CEO, sent a 38-pound box of their fabulous yarn selected by Heidi Berger. I sent a thank you letter to them today, and I want you to see what Barry wrote back. I think his comments will warm your heart.
Leslye, The numbers are staggering and you and the group should be really proud. It’s our pleasure to be a small part of what you do and we’ll have more yarn as I go through our sample boxes in the next few days. Heidi is your “gatherer” around here so she’s got you covered.
I hope the family is all safe and healthy and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Virtual hugs from here.
Virtual hugs all around!
Remember, Handmade’s mission is to help abused women who have escaped their abusive environment and sought the protection of a shelter. Evidently, no matter how many comfort scarves we make and distribute (151,264 since the end of 2008 when we started), there still are plenty of women who need the comfort of our scarves. Keep your needles clicking! Thanks for all you do to help these vulnerable members of society.