November 2018 Newsletter
Thank you to everyone who supported the Book Sale. We raised just over $300. This will be the last Book Sale, I am getting older and it is harder to sort and carry the boxes of books, we are running out of space for storage, and there were 35 boxes of books left over for the VNSA to collect. So, that being said, thank you for all the support over the years that we have been doing the annual Book Sale. I will need to think of another fundraiser to help support our Chapter.
It was decided at the October Bee that the group would like to have a Pot - Luck lunch at our November Bee, so, please bring a your favorite dish to share and please NO turkey!
It has come to my attention that members of the Chapter are not receiving emails and think that they have been dropped from my address book. If you know someone or 'hear' of someone that is upset that they haven't heard from me, would you please let them know about the many difficulties I am having with email and ask them to visit the website. I will continue to write the newsletters here, but I am hoping with a few weeks 'break' that I will be able to work on the email situation and hopefully send them out 'individually' again.
November's Bee will be the last one of the year, we won't meet again until the end of January, 2019. Please, even though we will all be busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas don't forget about making blankets! We are slowly catching up! January is usually one of our biggest months for the amount of blankets being donated so hopefully this will continue.
Believe it or not, this is all I have to tell you. Thank you for another wonderful year of Project Linus. As I have stated many times I can not do this 'job' without you. I appreciate all your support and continued dedication in creating 'blankets' for the children in crisis of the west valley. Unfortunately, there is a greater need for our help in giving these children some extra love.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
October 2018 Newsletter
Some of you may have wondered why there was not a newsletter composed for September. I really do have a good excuse. For those of you that did not know, I underwent a total knee replacement on September 19th. I am thrilled to let you know that I am recovering well. Walking around the house without my cane, exercising as I have been told to do and working hard on getting back to normal. All that hard work has paid off and I did make it to the Bee, even though it was only for an hour or so, later in the morning.
Thank you to Chris, Trish and Faye for running the September Bee. As was reported earlier, we have been short of blankets.
Everyone worked very hard getting the blankets out for September delivery at the Bee. Thank you to all who attended the Bee, who helped label and quality control the blankets that were donated (465). At this time, I would like to thank the people who help me set up every month. Jackie F., Gay and their husbands, as well as Susie help me with the process of getting everything ready for the meeting. Sometimes we are lucky to have Linda M.and her husband come and help as well. Also thank you to Stella B.for delivering to Thunderbird Hospital for me as I was not able to do so as well as Julie and her husband who delivered my other deliveries. Thank you Karen K.for running the raffle etc as Marlene was not able to attend. I appreciate everyone's help, the Bee ran smoothly.
I am hoping that we are getting ahead with blankets again. Please continue to work that little bit harder, perhaps donating 2 blankets instead of 1,so we can get ahead. We will be donating 50 blankets to Teen Outreach (for their babies) and 50 blankets to Shop with a Cop participants (run by Peoria PD), larger sized blankets please for the children that will be 'shopping', at the beginning of December. These blankets are above our normal delivery quota.
Our annual Book Sale will be occurring at the October Bee. We have a lot of books for your perusal and hopefully it will be a successful fund raiser as in years past.
The next Bee, same time (9:00am), same place, (17621 N. 25th Avenue - FSEC building) on October 27th. 2018. Only two Bees to go until the end of the year. October and November. Then we will not be meeting until the end of January 2019.
Happy Blanket making!
August 2018 Newsletter
Can you believe we are half way through August? The year is flying by at an alarming rate. Even our 'lovely' summer months have passed by quickly. The stores are full of Autumn, Halloween and even some Christmas items! I, for one, will be happy when the humidity goes away and the mornings and evenings are cooler again.
Thank you to everyone who attended the July Bee. I appreciate you all coming out into the heat to bring your blankets and get them ready for deliveries. Also, thank you to all the Blanketeers that drop off your blankets, even though you don't attend the meetings. We donated 547 blankets in July. Now for the 'small' problem we have, at the end of the July Bee we did not have one blanket for August. For those of you that have been with me since the beginning, you know we have always been ahead. I am a little concerned that we will not be able to fulfill our deliveries for August. If I have to, I will give the facilities fewer blankets and hope that we can then 'catch up'! Please, please would you all work a little harder? There are so many children in the area that benefit from our blankets, giving them security and extra love when they need it most.
One of our Blanketeers has kindly donated a quilt that we will be raffling at the Bee on August 25th. Thank you Donna E. for your donation of this lovely, cute quilt. $1 per ticket, $5 for six tickets.
Please don't forget the Book Sale will be held in October this year instead of September. You may bring your books to the August or September Bees. This is always a good fundraiser for our Chapter.The left over books are boxed and a volunteer from the VNSA comes to collect the boxed books, which they will sell at their annual Book Sale which will be held in early Spring next year.
It was decided at the June meeting that we will not be sending blankets to Snowball Express this year. If you have already made a fleece blanket or quilt with a military theme please bring it in, we will save it for Camp Corral next year. Red, white and blue blankets will be added to the bags to help towards August's deliveries. If we have some patriotic left over, we will save them for Camp Corral as well.
As most of you know, this is just a gentle reminder, I am having knee replacement surgery on September 19th. I hope to be able to attend the September Bee, at least that is my goal, but just in case I will leave you in the capable hands of Chris and Trish. If I don't respond to emails, you will understand why. Apparently I will be under the influence of pain killing drugs for a 'few' days.
Thank you to all of you that support Project Linus, especially our Chapter. I have to find a way to reach the Blanketeers that do not attend the Bees and although I did tell everyone that the newsletter was going to be posted on our website due to email problems, I am sure that not everyone is actually going to the website. This might be part of the problem of us not having enough blankets. Plus the fact that it is summer time and people are away. If you know someone that mentions not receiving an email, would you please direct them to the website.
August Bee, Saturday the 25th. Hope to see you!
July 2018 Newsletter
The saga continues. I continue to have problems with sending emails to everyone. I phoned Cox and asked them what I should do and they suggested that I divide the emails into smaller groups. This I did, I now have seven groups to send to and guess what? Correct, it didn't work! Phoned again and they suggested that I send at different times instead of all at once, yes, I tried that as well. That didn't work either. So, I will be calling Cox again but in the meantime, time passes by and it's time to send out another newsletter. So, the plan is, the newsletter will be on the website from now on. I promise that I will try to write the newsletter in the middle of the the month.
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of another wonderful, supportive Blanketeer. My friend, Carol Kent passed away on June 29th after suffering health problems for a year or two. Carol was a master crocheter, always willing to help, whether it was teaching someone how to crochet, or finish a blanket that needed 'help' or go with me to a blanket making event. Carol has been one of my biggest supporters, having been with me since I took over as Coordinator of the Chapter. Another void in our lives, we will all miss Carol very much. I was able to share this news at the last Bee but some of you that knew Carol were not in attendance. Our thoughts are with her family.
On June 24th Chris, Trish and myself traveled down to Oracle to participate in the registration process of Camp Corral 2018. No adventures this year, the trip went smoothly, if you don't count that Eve was driving her husband's car which has a braking system completely different to her own car! We were happy to see some of the same counselors from last year. Apparently word got round to inform the new counselors that Project Linus would be attending and that not only would the campers receive blankets but so would the counselors. Young men and women were walking past the table, looking to see what blankets they might want! As usual, we were surprised with choices the campers made. For the camp next year, we will need a bigger variety to try and help the campers find their special blanket. Sports, military themed, animals, patriotic. brightly colored crocheted or knitted, solid color crocheted or knitted, quilts, super heroes the list goes on. Obviously we can't provide everyone with their blanket of choice but we did very well. I think most of the campers were happy! Certainly the counselors were!
We will continue to save the tops from water bottles, milk jugs, orange juice containers etc as well as pill bottle tops, anything food related tops are needed. I had a few people email to tell me that this particular charity is a scam, however, I checked with my source and she seems confident that this is a legitimate charity. I will let you know if I find out anymore about it.
July 28th, same time, same place. 17621 N 25th Avenue, Phoenix. 9:00 am. 370 blankets were donated last month, I hope you have all been busy creating blankets this month. We are a little behind and I would love to catch up again. I am receiving emails from existing facilities needing more blankets than we have given them, yes, they are running out. I am also receiving emails from new facilities asking if we could donate to them. I have to refuse the latter as we have to reach our commitments first. It makes me sad that there are so many children out there that need the comfort of a new, handmade blanket. I hope that you have been hibernating and making blankets as the summer progresses.
As always, thank you for all that you do for Project Linus and especially for our Chapter.
June 2018 Newsletter
A huge thank you to everyone who attended the May Bee. 429 blankets were donated, labeled and bagged ready for delivery. Will came to sharpen scissors etc. don't worry if you forgot, I will invite him to come back and see us in a few months time.
Thank you everyone for your extra work for the children that will be attending the camp. I phoned the camp this week, they are ready for our visit, 217 blankets are needed. I am driving down on Sunday, registration day for the 'kids'. I will take a few photos and I hope to have some stories to tell.
While visiting the Dr's office a couple of weeks ago, the receptionist and I started talking, (Imagine! Me talking?!!) about Project Linus and what we do. I told her about us saving 'pop' tabs for Ronald McDonald House and she told me of another charity that I would like us to participate in! Very simple, plastic tops from water bottles, milk containers, orange juice containers, etc. For every 1,000 collected, someone receives dialysis. 1,000 seems a lot but just think about all the tops you put in recycling every week. They can not be tops from detergents etc just food containers. How I would love to be able to take these tops to the Dr's office and donate them to this very worthwhile cause.
Annual Book Sale:-
During the last meeting, it was decided that we will hold the annual Book Sale in October instead of the usual September meeting. I am having replacement knee surgery the middle of September and am hoping to be at the Bee but I know I won't be able to get the books out and have them ready for the sale. You may bring books to the next few Bees, hopefully I will have a day at the office, sorting etc. before surgery.
I hope you all like the new way of how I am getting the newsletters to you. It seems to be working and saves me a lot of frustration! I sent you all a quick email to let you know the newsletter was posted and I think you all received it. Much better than the 'old' way when only half of you received it. I plan on doing the same this month.
I am thrilled that JoAnns is 'working' on becoming a partner with Project Linus. They are now offering to be a drop off location for us. I have dropped off a bin at my local store, 83rd Avenue and Bell Road and I hope to get bins dropped off at two other locations, Desert Ridge and McDowell/Dysart roads, once I have checked with Patty (National President) that no one else has left bins there. I called Patty before I left for my vacation and she was going to check this out for me. Her husband has had to have repeated eye surgery and I haven't wanted to bother her. I will call her next week. Two wonderful Blanketeers have said that they will collect for me at these two locations. Thank you Karen and Janet.
Make a Blanket Day:-
As we meet every month and I ask a lot from each and everyone of you, I have never organised a MAB day, However, talking to the group at the last Bee we have decided that we will meet twice in March or April of next year to sit and make blankets. This means that we won't be 'working' but will have a pleasant day, sit, chat, create blankets and have fun! National typically has a MAB day in February of each year, we won't be holding it on the same day but we will participate. I will let you know the date once I get the day 'booked', it will be at FSEC, where we hold the meetings.
Knit and Crochet-a-thon:-
National has announced that for all the knitters and crocheters out there that there will be a 'challenge' for you in the early part of 2019. I don't know all the details yet, but I know the patterns have been chosen. Our very own Blanketeer and delivery person, Cathrine McClure has created both patterns that will be used. Congratulations Cathrine! For the quilters among you, there will be another Mystery Challenge for 2018.
Blankets for immigration children:-
As of today, National has advised the Coordinators that there are no plans to distribute blankets to the children that have been placed is foster care or wherever after being taken away from their parents. Apparently some of the places do not want the help. I will let you know if there is call for extra blankets. At this time, we have to commit to our monthly deliveries, I don't know if we will be able to help if the need arises, as we are donating over 200 to Camp Corral. We will do what we can!
On a personal note, Richard and I have just returned from our Alaskan Cruise. What a wonderful experience for both of us. I know lots of you have this trip on your 'bucket lists' and take it from us, you will not be disappointed! So much so that we have left it on our list, we would both love to go back again. From the scenery, glaciers, to wildlife (humpback whales, seals, sea lions, eagles and the best of all a pod of Orcas (killer whales) with a baby!), to the towns, to the shore excursions, the weather (rainy, 50's and 60's - awesome), food - all amazing! A fabulous trip to say the least.
Same time, same place. 9:00am, FSEC office, 17621 N. 25th Avenue, Phoenix. I am looking forward to another busy but worthwhile day. Thank you to each and everyone of you - what a difference we make to so many children.
May 2018 Newsletter
Will, our wonderful scissor sharpening guy, has graciously agreed to attend the May Bee (meeting) on May 26th. Please have your items to be sharpened in a plastic bag with your name on it, this helps Will keep track of your items. Remember he will also sharpen shop tools, hedge trimmers, salon scissors etc. Scissors are $4, knives $2. He does NOT sharpen rotary blades, not worth the time, effort or cost when you can buy new blades in JoAnn's with a coupon!
The next edition of the Blanket Beacon will be available for your reading pleasure soon. Blanket Beacon? It is available on the Project Linus National Website, an online publication featuring news and information about Chapters across the country as well as news from headquarters. Register to receive the Beacon. The Blanket Beacon is published a few times a year.
National announced that as of the end of our first reporting quarter of the year, that 7,020,362 blankets have been delivered to children in crisis, since the inception of Project Linus in 1995.
Hopefully we will have enough blankets for Camp Corral. We are well on our way to the total needed for the campers who will be attending the 2018 camp. If you are wanting to donate to this very worthwhile cause, please have the blankets ready for the May Bee. Camp is early this year and we will need to deliver the blankets before the June Bee, which means we need to have the blankets bagged and ready to go by the end of May. This camp is for the children of fallen or disabled military personnel.
Our annual Book Sale is looming on the horizon! If you would like to donate books, you may bring them before the event. Please do not donate books on computers or other technical issues, they are mainly obsolete! Old, worn books will be discarded. This is a great fundraiser for the Chapter. The books that don't sell are donated to the VSNA for their annual Book sale. All types of books, DVD's, audio books, children's books, CD's etc can be donated.
May 26th, same time, same place. I look forward to seeing all that are able to attend.
April 2018 NEWSLETTER
I finally did get in touch with the YMCA camp with regards to Camp Corral. The previous Director has moved out of state, no wonder I could not get hold of him. The new director is happy that we are planning on taking blankets to the campers. He was in attendance at the camp last year and remembers Project Linus. I have to do an accurate count but think we have gathered around 100 blankets. 181 campers are registered and there will be 35 staff members, so if my math is correct we still need 116 more. (I don't want to know if that is the wrong answer!) We have two Bees to gather the rest of the blankets. I know the awesome Blanketeers of the Phoenix West Valley Chapter of Project Linus will 'come through' and we will have more than enough blankets for Camp Corral. I ask, you comply! Camp starts June 24th and because of this date, I will need the blankets by the May Bee. Thank you to everyone who has already donated to Camp Corral, you know how much I appreciate all you do. It is heartwarming when the 'kids' find their perfect blanket. More often than not, one you would never think that they would pick. Some of you might wonder why we give to the 'adults'. Average age, around 18 to 20! Most of them are from a different country (we met counselors from Australia, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, England and Canada last year) and I like the idea of spreading goodwill to these kids who are far from home and need some extra love! The comments we heard last year, from being amazed that the Blanketeers create blankets for children they don't even know, to we REALLY can have a blanket as well? Yes, I can occasionally break the rules!
Pet Hair- PLEASE make sure your blankets do not have pet hair on them. We receive blankets with hair woven into the blanket, I CANNOT give these blankets to children. In some cases they are so awful, I can't even give them to Project Snoopy. (Humane Society or equivalent). Someone has spent a great deal of time and effort in creating these lovely blankets only to be put into the garbage. Most of us have pets, please keep them away from your work.
Ends and Tails - PLEASE make sure your tails of yarn are woven into your work. Running the tail through a few stitches doesn't keep them from unraveling. They need to be woven forwards and backwards. Some of the blankets that are getting processed ready for delivery are coming undone, imagine what happens when they are washed! Also, tying knots doesn't work either! All the hard work that the Blanketeer has done is a waste of time, also the child will be disappointed when their beloved blanket unravels and has to be thrown away.
The April Bee will be held April 28th. Same time, same place. As always, I am so grateful to each and every one of you. Whether you lovingly make one or a hundred blankets, each one is deeply appreciated. Thank you to the Blanketeers that continue to drop off rather than attend the Bees, some of which I have never met in the eight years I have been doing my 'job'. What can I say but thank you for your continued support.
Take care, happy blanket making, hope to see you soon.