NEWSLETTERS 2021

                                                September 2021

Good Wednesday evening. I hope everyone is keeping well. Summer is almost over, half way through September, only three drop off days left for the year.  Unbelievable!  

Not much news for you this month.  Blankets are still coming in and the best news is that I am getting blankets out to as many children as possible. We had 486 blankets donated and I was able to donate 693.  I donated 50 blankets to Peoria PD for their Shop With a Cop event. Also 66 blankets were donated to Billy's Place. I am happy that we have been able to donate to these two yearly events, instead of having to wait until November.  

Please remember, no knots to finish your knitted/crocheted blankets, 6 inch tails must be woven through the stitches, forwards and backwards. Knots come undone! Also, no scented plastic bags. If you do wash your 
finished work, please no scented fabric softener. Also, no smoke or odors of any kind and PLEASE, no pet hair. If you have a pet, please keep it away from your work.  Many of our blankets go to ill children, many have allergies.  

The registration for the Mystery Quilt Challenge is still open.  Please remember to add our Chapter if you should sign up.  Registration is through our National Website.  

Now for some sad news.  Personally I have had a couple of weeks with nothing but bad news.  I have lost two close friends. We have also lost two of our Linus family members, Linda Miner and Laura Stawicki.  Linda had been having some health issues over the past couple of years. I saw her at the end of July and thought how well she looked, she seemed so much better.  Linda has been part of our Chapter since before I took over as Coordinator. Very dedicated and supportive. Bob and Linda used to come to the office on a Friday to help set up for our Blanket Bees. I will always treasure a cross stitch picture of Linus that Linda made me years ago.  I will miss you Linda in many ways.  I heard Laura passed away from a mutual friend, who had seen a post on Facebook. Laura did not attend our Bees on a regular basis but it was great to see her every few months. Thank you, Laura, for your support as well.  Our sympathy to both of the families that have lost their loved ones. 

Covid-19!  Numbers are still soaring, so many people contracting it and what makes me sad is, so many children are also getting it.  

                              We will not be opening any sooner than 2022. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas will no doubt 
spread the virus even more.  We will continue to have drop off only days on the last Saturday of the month in September, October and November.
Our September drop off day, will be on the 25th.  Masks are required during drop off.

I hope to see you then. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and stay safe.  It's still a good idea to wear your masks if you are in the stores etc., we need to do our best to help 
eradicate this horrible virus.

 
****Please note that this October has 5 Saturdays. Drop off day will be on October 30th. 


 

                                                   August 2021

Good evening.  Hoping that all is well with everyone.  Half way through August, time is flying by isn't it? Lovely to get some stormy weather with rain, just as long as there is no damage. 

Thank you to every one who dropped off their finished blankets at the end of July. 480 blankets were brought in, 650 were donated.

I was able to donate to Ronald McDonald house again. I am happy to tell you that next time we deliver to them, they will be accepting beverage pull tabs. This is great news, as I have been collecting all along and just hope we won't need a U-haul to deliver them!

It is almost time for the Mystery Quilt Challenge to start, the first clue will be coming out soon. If you would like to participate, please register on the National website, starting August 23rd. Please mention our Chapter (Phoenix West Valley) so that the registration fee will be allocated to our 'account'. 

Fry's community rewards - if you are interested in participating this year, please update your information on the Fry's website. If you don't normally shop at Fry's, our Chapter receives a small percentage of every dollar that is spent in the Fry's grocery store. 

I was hoping that we could start to 'open' up again but that is not going to happen. As we all know, vaccinated people are getting the new variant, schools are back in session and no mask mandates are in place. Covid cases are rising in Phoenix. At this rate we won't be opening up until 2022. We still need to be very careful and not put ourselves at risk. Obviously, if anything changes for the better, I will decide how to go forward with our 'Bees' once more. 

Please remember, no scented plastic bags, no pet hair, no odors and please, please weave in your 'tails' on your crocheted / knitted blankets. Do not knot the tails, believe it or not the knots do come undone. What a shame to spend your time and effort on a gorgeous blanket to have it come undone during the first wash.  

Drop offs will continue to be the last Saturday of every month. I hope to see you on August 28th. 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  








 

                                                                                             July 2021

Happy Rainy Friday! How lovely to see cooler temps and rain!  I'll even put up with the humidity.

Sorry for the delay in publishing this month's newsletter, it's been a crazy few weeks, with a birthday celebration that lasted a week. I'm not complaining, just busy.

I have been trying to help the Blanketeers in the East Valley and Renee continues to take blankets to some of the facilities over there. 

I didn't announce the total of blankets for May because I was still donating blankets when I published the newsletter. We received 636 blankets and donated 910.  In June we received 553 and donated 572.  

Donna and Barb took the blankets down to Camp Corral. An email from Andy, Camp Director, stated that the campers were thrilled with their blankets! Thank you, Barb and Donna for driving down to Oracle and delivering our blankets.

We are 'gathering' blankets for Shop With A Cop, I have been assured that Peoria PD will be hosting the event this year.  Also please remember that we are collecting Christmas/Winter for Billy's Place. Both facilities will need these blankets by November. 

 

For the quilters amongst you that like to join in the fun of the Mystery Challenge, registration for this year's Mystery Challenge opens on August 23rd, 2021. The theme for this year is "Oliver in the Doghouse!"  As most 0f you know, Mary Balagna creates and designs the pattern for the Challenge.  The themes are always named after one of her grandchildren.

Another reminder. please no scented bags, detergent or fabric softener. 

It has been brought to my attention that Big Twist yarn (bought from Joanns) is machine washable BUT NOT to be machine dried.  I have bought some of this yarn in the past but will not be buying in the future.  However, one of our Blanketeers made an afghan and not only washed it but dried it as well.  She did this twice and I am happy that there didn't seem to be a problem. There maybe kits out there using this yarn, we will continue to use up what we have.

 

I was hoping to announce our plans for opening up so that we can meet in person.  I'm sure most of you have been watching the latest information, Covid cases are rising dramatically. We will have to wait yet again. I realize that some of you have been vaccinated but now that masks are not required how do we know who has been vaccinated and who hasn't. Even going about your daily lives, we are at risk again.   

 

I am assuming that you have noticed there are five Saturdays this month.  I will be available for drop offs on Saturday, July 31st starting at 9:00am until 12:30pm. Thank you for continuing to support our Chapter of Project Linus. I look forward to seeing you soon. Enjoy the weather, 75 degrees outside while I am writing to you!

                                                                                             June 2021

Good afternoon!  Summer has arrived, 111 degrees as I type this month's newsletter.  We all know that it is a dry heat and it is time to hibernate! More blankets will be produced!

My goodness it has been a busy month. We were given a huge donation of fabric, which needed to be sorted, put into kits and stored ready for the quilters.  Fabric that we couldn't use has been donated to Stitches of Love and to American Legion friends. Joanns had yarn on clearance and on sale, so of course I took advantage of both!  

 

Thank you to my 'team' for all your help over the past few months, especially trying to get the blankets processed and ready for delivery. Sorting fabric, making yarn and fabric kits, all take time and I appreciate all your help.

125 blankets are on their way to Camp Corral.  Joe and Donna from Sleep in Heavenly Peace came to collect blankets from us - I am so happy to tell you that we donated 200 blankets to them and we will donate to them on a quarterly basis rather than monthly.  Renee from the East Valley came over and collected blankets from us to give to Gila River Hospital. I was able to donate most of our deliveries, some places are still not accepting. 

Please remember that our blankets can not have pet hair, smoke, perfumed detergent or fabric softener. 

Now for the main question of the month - I know you are all waiting to see what we are doing about opening up again.  We are trying to decide how best to approach this. I am not planning to open until probably August, maybe September. One of the problems that I am facing is that we will not be able to have a full house.  More details to follow as decisions are made.

Drop off day will be June 26th, from 9:00am until 12:30.  Please note, the room will not be open to everyone. Thank you for your continued understanding. 

See you soon and stay "cool".

                                                                                             May 2021

Apologies for the delay in publishing the May newsletter. I have been very busy with personal issues (nothing bad) and lots of things for Project Linus. Many donations of fabric as well as yarn sales.  

We had 730 blankets donated at the April drop off. I was able to donate 600. 

 

During the extensive sorting of fabric, we have come across some denim pieces. If any of you would like this material for your own use, please let me know.

Good news, Camp Corral is going to be offering the camp for the children of disabled or fallen military personnel and they are going to allow Project Linus to donate blankets again.  A sad note, only 75 campers are expected this year, but at least we can reach out to them.

We have a new organization that is requesting our blankets.  Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a national organization that builds and donates bunk beds to children in need. I am so happy to let you know that we have donated 100 blankets and they would like to accept more on a monthly basis.

Will the "scissor sharpener" has suggested that if you are in need of having items sharpened, that you get in touch with him directly or visit your local hardware store. If you are interested in having Will sharpen them, you can call him at 623-583-1858. By the way, Will's cost would be $4 for scissors, $3 for knives.  If we wait a few months and have him attend a Bee, the cost will be a dollar more. 

When are we going to open up and have our Saturday Bee's?  I realize what the CDC has told us this past week, however, I am not willing to risk having 100 people in our small room just yet.  I would like to see if cases truly begin to decline before we get together again. If the vaccinations and not wearing masks work the way we all want them to, then hopefully we can 'open' up in the near future!

I appreciate all the drop offs on our Saturdays.  The next drop off will be Saturday May 29th, 9:00am to 12:30pm. Yes, this is Memorial Weekend.  I hope to see you then. 

 

                                                        April 2021

Good afternoon, hoping all is well with everyone.

Thank you to all of you that came to the drop off day at the end of March.  We received 966 blankets!  Good grief!  I have to send a quarterly report into National, we have donated 57,412 blankets since March of 2010.  Amazing!  Great news, I was able to donate 970 blankets this past month.  

Some of you may know that we donate to Phoenix Fire every month.  This past week there was a news report on Channel 12 about the department.  There was a segment that showed a shelf of donations, yes, I saw a blanket and yes, it was a Project Linus blanket!  Hooray!

Some of you wash your blankets before you donate them, thank you for doing so, however, please do not wash in scented detergent or fabric softener.  Obviously, we have to be cautious of children and allergies. Also, please don't use scented plastic bags to deliver your blankets to us.  

I have 'heard' from many of you with regards to you having your vaccinations, the answer is still no, we won't be meeting until the CDC says it is safe to do so.

We are having another drop off day, the 24th April. 9:00 until 12:30.  

Just a short newsletter this month. (I can hear the cries of delight!) Hope to see you on the 24th.  


 

March 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day! No, I don't celebrate but I did wear shamrock pin today!

I have a long newsletter for you so please bear with me.

First of all, I need to send out many congratulations to our friend and fellow Blanketeer, Tracey Dutson.  Some of you might have seen Tracey's news if you participated in the National Mystery Quilt Challenge, Lucy's Love Notes.  Another wonderful pattern designed by Mary Balagna. The Challenge is offered every year. Blanketeers create the quilts from clues given every week.  Once the quilts are finished the quilters may enter a photo of their quilts to be voted by their peers. I am so proud to announce that Tracey won 3rd place. Well done Tracey! Thank you to everyone that participated and supported our Chapter.

Thank you to everyone who dropped off their blankets at our February 'drop off day'. 974 blankets were brought in!  What an amazing number of blankets. I will be contacting the 'on hold' facilities, hoping that they will be accepting once again.

I mentioned this last month, but in case some of you missed it, I will repeat myself. We will NOT be holding any of our Blanket Bees until the CDC has deemed large gatherings are safe. It does not matter if you have had your vaccinations. We are not 'out of the woods' yet. Remember, we have 50 to 100 people attend our Bees.  I think and am hoping that there is a little glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel but we have made it this far, we can wait a few more months.  It's great to see you when you drop off, we will celebrate when we can reopen!

 

I would like to remind you about Go With The Flow. This organization's goal is to collect feminine hygiene products for the girls who live in the Phoenix area. These girls cannot afford monthly protection products and therefore don't go to school. I am collecting these items once again.  

 

Project Linus National is having another Knit/Crochet Along. A few of you have joined this fun group in the past, it's exciting to see the finished blankets. Like the quilt challenge, interested Blanketeers sign up and then for a few weeks clues are given and you create a wonderful blanket.  If you are interested in participating, please go to the Project Linus National Website for more information.

It is time once again to order t-shirts, sweatshirts and/or jackets.  Those of you that would like a new t-shirt etc., you need to pre-order.  The pre-order is available from March 15th until March 29th. The link is https://projectlinusshop.org    Delivery can be expected the week of April 19th.  Please remember the 'sale' is only offered twice a year.  Also, please note, these items are bought through Western Associates and are not bought through the Project Linus Store. 

Thank you for responding to my request for boy themed blankets. 

Finally (did I hear a thank goodness), a huge thank you to all that donated to our annual fundraiser. We are well on our way to raising the $500 needed for our chapter.  If you forgot, there is still time to donate, and I will be accepting donations March 27th.  

I look forward to seeing you at the end of March, (Saturday, March 27th 9am-12:30pm) for another drop off day.  Please remember to wear your masks. Same as before, no coming into the building.   

February 2021

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have been busy collecting blankets from the drop off sites. 156 blankets were collected since the end of January! During the next couple of weeks, I will get in touch with the facilities that were on hold for January to find out if they are ready for delivery.  The good news is that most of the facilities were happy to receive our blankets.

 

Our Covid numbers seem to be dropping and so the plan is to have another drop off day, at the FSEC office, the last Saturday of February, 27th. Starting at 9:00am and ending at 12:30pm. Please wear your masks and please stay outside.  We still need to be careful. I have been asked if Blanketeers have been vaccinated, would I open up and hold our Bees again.  The answer is no.  We are going to have to wait a few months longer, then see what the CDC advises everyone to do.  I miss seeing everyone and I know you all want to get back to 'normal' but we are going to have to wait patiently.

As we have been processing the blankets we have found that we are lacking boy themed blankets. All sizes are needed.  We are still collecting for Luke AFB - red, white and blue, please. Another reminder - please, please do not knot your ends from your crocheted or knitted blankets. At least a six inch tail needs to be woven into the stitches. Running this tail through a few stitches does not work either, they come undone and so does the blanket! After all your hard work, lovingly creating your blanket, please take the time to weave the tail backwards and forwards. 

I need to thank my team of helpers, that have been giving me so much of their time over the past few months. I know a lot of you have offered to help but at the moment I am restricting it to a small group.  As I keep repeating, we need to be so careful!  Thank you, for ALL the help and as of yesterday we are caught up. 100 yards (or more) of fleece was cut, blankets have been bagged, quilts have been checked for pins and labeling has been done. 

It recently came to my attention that the East Valley Chapter has closed.  That makes me sad, but I am trying to help those Blanketeers as much as I can. A couple of Blanketeers that live in the East Valley are helping, thank you Donna and Jeanette. They are going to collect blankets from various drop off locations, but I have told the East Valley Blanketeers that have been in touch with me, that their blankets will not be delivered to their side of town.  Thank you Cindy for being their Coordinator for the past year or so. 

We are not collecting scraps etc. for the pet beds - the need isn't there at the moment and I don't have the space to store these bags.  So until further notice, please don't save your selvedges and other stuffing scraps.  We are also, no longer saving water bottle tops. If you have pop can 'tabs', you may bring those, we will continue to save for Ronald McDonald House.  They are not accepting any donations at the present time. 

I have been asked about our fundraising for this year.  For those of you that have attended our meetings on a regular basis, you know that we are required to raise funds to be able to run our Chapter.  The answer is yes, we still need to fundraise.  Project Linus continues to operate nationally and we need to contribute. The goal is to raise our $500, of which $100 is kept by National office and the other $400 is put into our 'account' to pay for insurance, state taxes etc. Most of you know that this is the part of my 'job' that I hate but it has to be done.  As we are unable to have raffles etc to help raise the money, we are accepting monetary donations with a minimum of $15. Donations will be accepted at this month's drop off. Please consider helping! 

 

I look forward to seeing you on drop off day.  Stay safe and happy blanket making.

January 2021

Happy New Year! 

 

I am hoping for a better year for all of us.  

 

I have been busy, trying to find facilities who will accept our blankets as some of our regular deliveries are on hold again due to the Covid pandemic.  I donated 205 blankets to Hamilton Elementary School, 50 to the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders, 100 to Sunshine Acres, and another 50 to a refugee group. We also have a new monthly facility, Glendale Fire Response Assistance. 

The website has been updated, with the help of my daughter Sam (thanks Sam) with hopefully all updated information. Please let me know if you see anything that needs to be corrected.

Unfortunately, due to the high numbers of Covid cases, we will not be holding the January Bee. We will not be able to have a drop off either.  We have bagged January and February's deliveries. Hopefully, the numbers of cases will drop after the Christmas/New Year surge is over. As Arizona is number one in the world, I think we need to be careful and not put anyone at risk. Hopefully, we will see numbers drop and will be able to plan at least a drop off day at the end of February. 

We still need blankets so please keep making them!  Please keep your finished blankets at home until the end of February, when we can hopefully get them processed and deliveries can be resumed.  

I have been working on various reports for the Chapter.  I am happy to tell you that we donated 3,690 blankets this year which is amazing considering we were on hold for approximately 6 months.  THANK YOU! We gave 3,690 children some extra love.  

My family and I were honored just recently.  The founder of Project Linus, Karen Loucks-Rinedollar published a book/journal (through Amazon) called Small Steps, Big Feat.  It is "A Prompted Pandemic Journal".  Why am I sharing this with you?  Karen dedicated the book to my husband, Richard, who most of you know was a victim of Covid last March.  There are no words to express how much this meant to our family.

No other news for you.  As usual, I will publish a monthly newsletter, generally the middle of the month.  Thank you for all you do for our Chapter.