NEWSLETTERS 2022

September 2022

Blankets in 277
Blankets out 422
Hoping to see you, September 24th, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the FSEC office / our storage facility. 

Good afternoon. I hope you have all had a good month. Have you noticed there is a very subtle change in the weather? Not enough to say, “Hooray the summer is over” but we know it won’t be too long, another few weeks. 

August was a quiet month.  Not many blankets were donated but things are picking up again. 

We are getting ready for a busy few months.  Billy’s Place and Shop With a Cop will be needing blankets by the end of November.  I will be donating to Sleep in Heavenly Peace at the end of September.  We donate approximately every quarter to this wonderful organization.  

I have had a special request from Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  The Fiesta Bowl has ‘adopted’ our local chapter of SiHP, a recipient of Fiesta Bowl Charities. Joe (the Coordinator) was asked if there could be some blankets donated in Fiesta Bowl colors, Joe had told them about Project Linus. This came from the Fiesta Bowl committee. So, Blanketeers, I am asking for special help once again! We will need these blankets by the middle of December. I just found the logo - the colors are yellow, orange, red and white.  Quilts, fleece, crocheted will all be accepted. I will find out from Joe how to apply for a grant, perhaps we could be accepted.  :-) 

One of my pet peeves needs to be addressed one more time.  We have a Blanketeer that is wonderful. Her blankets are top notch, fabulous work. She donates frequently, I appreciate her hard work and talent.  The problem? Pet Hair. The blankets arrive covered in hair.  We have tried to save the blankets, using a lint roller but alas, the hair seems to be stuck in the fabric / flannel. Washing will not work either as the hairs penetrate the fabric even further.  These blankets can not be donated from Project Linus, for obvious reasons.  PLEASE keep all your blanket supplies away from your pets. I can’t tell you how upset I am not to be able to donate these blankets!

Only three more drop off days until the end of the year. It’s so lovely to see everyone as they drop off their blankets. We can chat for a while, spend a little time together. Long time Blanketeers are amazed at the change in ‘our meeting room’. They completely understand why the need to change our way of collecting the blankets.  

As always, thank you to each and everyone of you that continually support our Chapter of Project Linus. 

 

                                                             AUGUST 2022
 

Blankets In: 642

Blankets out: 699

Drop off day - August 27th 9:00am to 12:30pm



The dog days of summer! Here we are half way through August, we’re almost ‘done’! I’m loving the rain but hating the humidity. Another few weeks and we can come out of hibernation.
 
Three boxes of blankets were packed and shipped to Uvalde, Texas ready to be distributed to the staff and children when school resumes. A HUGE thank you to FSEC, they paid for the boxes to be shipped. What a great feeling that we were able to donate to this community.
 
It is time, once again, for the Mystery Quilt Challenge. Registration starts August 22nd. If you would like to be part of the challenge, please don’t forget to mention the Phoenix West Valley Chapter of Project Linus, your registration fee will then go to our Chapter.  We have enjoyed seeing the finished quilts that some of our Blanketeers have created following the clues over the past few years. Mary Balagna always has such wonderful ideas, the finished quilts are gorgeous. 
 
I started writing this a couple of days ago, since then I had a/c issues. Second time this summer however, this time it was a little more serious.  May I just say, a huge bubble in the ceiling could have been a huge problem. Fortunately caught it in time before too much damage. Two clogged pipes and an overflow tray were the culprits.  
 
Sorry this newsletter is so late.  Looking forward to seeing you next Saturday.

                                                             JULY 2022


Blankets in for May 233                    Out for May 856
Blankets in for June 417                   Out for June 430

Drop off day Saturday, July 30th.  Remember five Saturday’s this month. 9:00am - 12:30pm. 


Half way through July, rain last night, clouds today, what could be better?  I suppose the only thing that would have been better was if I had sent out a June newsletter. I mentioned in the May newsletter that I was going to be attending the Project Linus retreat in Missouri and that I might be late in publishing.  Well, the retreat was great, loved seeing everyone, at long last a little bit of ‘normal’. Came home with a head cold, humidity, in and out of a/c etc all play havoc with my head!  Sam thought I ought to take a Covid test, why? It’s just a cold! Ok, two different tests later, positive!  Never gave it a thought!  I called our President Patty to let her know, and she informed me that 4 of us had tested positive!  Three days later 20 of us were diagnosed as positive! There were approximately 100 of us at the retreat!  The telemedicine Dr decided that I had a mild case, no anti viral medication was needed. 5 days of oral medication.  I decided to self isolate, even though he said 5 days and I would be fine.  I didn’t feel fine so I stayed home.  I then ‘strained’ my neck, ending up in Urgent Care and then two days later a trip to the ER and the suspicion that this was still Covid.  Muscle relaxers and more rest, needless to say I was ‘out’ of it for about another week!  

I hope you understand now why there wasn’t a newsletter!  

One of my favorite things to do for Project Linus is deliver blankets. One of my delivery places is Banner Thunderbird.  I was waiting for my nurse friends who come and collect the blankets from me, outside the main entrance.  A nurse was waiting with a young patient who was going home.  On her lap was a P L blanket.  I spoke to the young lady but she was too shy to respond, however the nurse spoke to me.  She has worked with the pediatric patients at Thunderbird for 12 years, handing out our blankets!  She was so grateful to us for providing our blankets, what an awesome organization, she couldn’t say enough good things about us.  The patient’s mother had parked her car and was helping her daughter get in the car, she realized who I was and thanked me profusely for creating and donating our blankets.  She said it was such a kind gesture, made a scary situation much easier to handle.  We both had a few tears!

June was Camp Corral month!  Camp Corral is a camp that children of fallen or disabled military personnel. We have donated to this camp for many years. Numbers were lower this year, because of Covid restrictions but we still donated 185 blankets. Staff members from the Y - camp in Oracle, came and collected the blankets for me, they were amazed and happy as we stuffed their vehicle with blankets!  

You may be wondering if Project Linus is participating in doing something for the children that went through the horrific events in Uvalde, Texas.  The answer is yes! The Project Linus President and the Board have promised to send every child and staff member of the school district a blanket!  The Phoenix West Valley Chapter has pledged to send 50 blankets for the children and 10 quilts for the adults.  We needed to donate over 4,000 blankets and within hours of the notice going out to all the Coordinators, the total needed was met!  I love Project Linus!!

A HUGE thank you for my team who took over the last drop off day. You know how much I appreciate all of you! 

I hope to see you on Saturday, July 30th for the drop off of your finished blankets.  

JUNE 2022

No newsletter - see July's newsletter for more information

                                                             MAY 2022


Sorry that this newsletter is a little late. I have just returned home from San Francisco after attending my granddaughter Catie’s, graduation from the Academy of Art University. Catie earned her degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. How proud the family is, yes there were a few tears! 

Blankets brought in last month - 769.  Blankets donated - 566
Thank you to everyone who donated their blankets. 

Not much news for you. Things are opening up more and more. We seem to be getting back to normal. 

As I have explained in my last few newsletters about our future Project Linus meetings, things will be changing. Since last month, I have been advised that another ‘office cubicle’ is being constructed in the meeting room. That makes a total of five, which means less room for all of us. Unfortunately this means, we will not be able to meet the way we did before. There won’t be a meeting portion, I will give you all the news in the newsletter. No breakfast, no raffles, no lottery. In other words, you are welcome to stop by, drop off your blankets, say hello, but we won't be able to socialize as we have in the past. I will have supplies available, as before.

We may need help every now and then, in which case I will mention it in the newsletter. The "team" that has been helping for almost two years and myself have managed to organize everything. At one point a few trusted Blanketeers that dropped off their blankets took blankets home to label. We were receiving many, many blankets at that time and it was necessary to ask for help. This has not happened for the past year, blankets are processed at the office, labels do not leave the building. We are still able to use the storage rooms, which I am very grateful for. We would have to rent a storage room or something if we didn’t have this space.

We have had a lot of fun over the years, but FSEC is growing and needs their space back. A lot of Chapters don’t have monthly meetings or even drop offs unless blankets are dropped off at the Coordinator’s home. We have been so lucky to have the space and storage that we have had for the past 12 - 14 years, yes, even before I became Coordinator. I hope we can work something out to have a get together but please note, it will be a much smaller group. When I announce that event (later in the year when the weather cools off) you will need to sign up and it will be a "first come, first served" situation - SO READ THE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER! I am thinking it will possibly be in the middle of the month, instead of a ‘working’ Saturday. More details to follow.

There are about 30 of you that have read the newsletter over the past two years, dropped off your blankets, supported me and the Chapter, supported Project Linus and lovingly created blankets to be donated to children in crisis. THANK YOU! I must also thank the ‘team’ and the delivery people. As I have said many times, I appreciate all of you and can’t possibly do my ‘job’ without you! 

Next month's newsletter maybe late. Sam (my technical advisor and publisher of the newsletter) will be going to San Francisco to bring Catie and her belongings home and I will be leaving to attend the Project Linus retreat. We will be at the office on Saturday, June 25th. - usual Saturday, last one in the month, usual time. 

We will be at the office on Saturday, May 28th if you want to drop off your blankets and say hello. From 9am - 12:30pm. I look forward to seeing you. 

 

                                                             APRIL 2022


Good evening,

As usual I am amazed how time is passing by so quickly. Project Linus is keeping me busy, lots of interest and new Blanketeers.

March’s total of blankets brought in 624, we donated 695.  Thank you to all who donated.

Not much news this month but a few important reminders.

First of all, please remember we save soda tabs for the Ronald McDonald Houses. Also we donate feminine hygiene products and bags to put them in, for Go With the Flow. (This is a charity that donates the hygiene products to girls here in the Phoenix area, who don’t attend school because they cannot afford to buy their monthly supplies.)

We have a need for baby blankets. Please make these blankets 36 x 40 inches. We do receive baby blankets that are way too small.  Please choose baby friendly colors, we have a lot of blankets that are very cute but unfortunately are not appropriate baby colors.  Also if you are sewing or quilting blankets please use baby prints  - again, some prints for the baby blankets are too ‘old’. There is also a need for boy blankets. We receive so many girl blankets, please consider the boys, for all sizes. 

Please remember when you are quilting or sewing, to leave at least a quarter inch seam allowance, anything less than a quarter inch allows the seam to open. This results in either someone trying to mend the problem or even having to take the whole blanket apart. Also please cut off the selvedges from the sides of the fabric. When crocheting or knitting, please leave a six inch ‘tail’ which needs to be woven in. This means that you need to go forwards and backwards and not just running the tail through stitches. Again if this is not done we have to fix the problem before we can the blankets be delivered. Please DO NOT tie knots at the end of a row or change of color. The knots come undone when the blanket is washed. 

A few months ago I received the following email:

‘Hi, I just wanted to thank this organization for our Project Linus blanket. We adopted two children from Arizona Children’s Association in 2017 and 2020. In 2018 I believe, we were given a blanket maybe as part of a ‘go bag’ that ACA gave us and in there was a Hello Kitty USA quilt. I never noticed the Project Linus tag until my children made a ‘fort’ under my desk and the blanket was part of it.’
Since I received this email I have been in touch a few times with ‘Mom’ and she told me a few more things about this wonderful family.  I also need to say Thank you for a very generous donation that this family made to our Chapter.

I am very happy to let you know that we reached our goal for our annual fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who donated, you know how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

I’m hoping to have some information for you by next month’s newsletter with regards to opening up once more.  As I have written previously, the way we have our meetings will be changing because of lack of space in the room. As most of you know, we are able to use the office building for storage and for the meetings free of charge and have done for the past 12+ years.  We have to honor the fact that the business is growing and they are running out of room and are making offices in the big room. Thank you FSEC for allowing our Chapter to use the building for storage and for processing our blankets.

Most of you know that I am not very technical when it comes to producing the newsletter every month.  I have to rely on my daughter, Sam, to help me with this task. That being said, thank you Sam for taking time out of your busy life to help me publish the newsletter. On occasion we maybe late in getting the newsletter out, please be patient. You're very welcome :) 

Next drop off day will be April 30th. Five Saturdays in the month this year.  9:00am to 12:30pm. Take care, happy blanket making and as always, thank you for all you do for the children that receive our blankets.




 

                                                             MARCH 2022


I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather, the cool mornings and evenings but warm during the day.  Hopefully not suffering too much from allergies that seem to plague us at this time of year. The trees are in bud, flowers are blooming, a gorgeous time of the year, just keep those tissues handy!

At the end of February we received 879 donated blankets and we donated 470.  

Thank you to all of you that donated to our annual fundraising event.  I also applied to a couple of Walmarts for a grant.  We were so lucky to be awarded $500 from one of the three I applied to. What is the money that we raise used for?  National uses some of it to allow us to have a Chapter. They pay for insurance, state taxes, licensing etc. I use the money for items needed to run our Chapter. 

If you have looked at our National website you will have seen the results from the Mystery Quilt Challenge have been posted. Oliver is in the Doghouse is a really cute. 39 quilts were entered into the Challenge. The top six are pictured, all different, such talented women. I know some of our Chapter members joined in the Challenge, thank you so much for donating and creating your Oliver quilts.

For those of you that don’t quilt, the annual Knit and Crochet Along started a couple of weeks ago.  Blanketeers that are interested may join in, $20 for each pattern. Every week, for 8 weeks, a clue is revealed and you knit or crochet a blanket using these clues. This isn’t a contest.  Even though the fun has already started, you may join in before the last clue is revealed towards the end of April.

I know the question you are all waiting to ask, when will we get back to our in person meetings?  The answer is I don’t know.  Things are opening up again.  However, I’m not comfortable allowing everyone to attend as we have done in the past. Another reason that I am hesitating has to do with FSEC itself.  Most of you know that the building we use for our meetings has been graciously donated to us by FSEC. I’m happy to tell you that the business is flourishing (some of you have been asking if ‘things’ are ok seeing that we lost Richard) and the open space we used to use is now being taken by new offices downstairs, Space is extremely limited. I may end up having a sign up sheet allowing some of you to join us bi-monthly. I think this might be a solution to the small space problem. It’s now been two years since our last meeting, so a change in the way we meet hopefully will be accepted by everyone.  I hope that we could have a quilt making day or a crochet / knit day once in a while. By the way, we won’t have food as we have done in the past. I will probably change the hours of the ‘meeting’ as well but will let you know. More details to follow.

For this month, we will have a drop off day as we have been doing for the past 18 months. Saturday, March 26th from 9:00am to 12:30pm. 

Thank you for all your hard work, we are still reaching as many children as we can, more and more each month. What a great Chapter of Project Linus. Please keep creating blankets, let’s keep giving children in crisis the extra love they deserve. 

                                                            FEBRUARY 2022


Another month has passed by so quickly.  I hope everyone is well and that you have been enjoying the spring like weather. I was hoping to wear a jacket, at least in the mornings for a little while longer. Oh, well, we will still have some cool days before May!

I have some sad news to share. We lost another Blanketeer, our friend Jody Savage passed away a few weeks ago. Jody had been part of our Chapter for many years. I will miss her smile and her support of the Chapter, she crocheted many beautiful blankets for us. Sending our sympathy to Jody’s family, especially to Jody’s granddaughter Addysen, who, as you may remember, attended many Bee’s with her Grandma, helping me with anything she could. 

What a great start to the year!  We received 1078 blankets at the January drop off and donated 805 blankets. An awesome number. Thank you Blanketeers!

Happy Trails Quilt Show is this upcoming Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. 17200 W Bell Road, Surprise. As I mentioned last month, the Quilters are huge Project Linus supporters. A huge thank you to all the wonderful people who are part of this group. Our Chapter receives the many gorgeous quilts that they make for children in crisis.

I also mentioned last month about our annual fundraising. Thank you to everyone who paid their $20 last month. A few of our Blanketeers even mailed me checks, thanks so much. I will be collecting again at the end of February

Covid case numbers are dropping, which is what we have been waiting for.  However, we will still be having a drop off day for the next few months. We need to make sure that another variant doesn’t appear. It will be interesting to see what happens after the golf tournament this past weekend. Will numbers rise again? Children are still spreading the virus. Let’s be safe, we’ve been able to get blankets to the children, all is well!

No other news for you. I hope I will see you on Saturday, February 26th from 9:00am to 12:30pm, when you drop off your blankets. Thank you for continuing to support our Chapter of Project Linus, allowing us to reach the children who deserve some extra love.

                              JANUARY 2022


My goodness, It’s January 21st. Protocol says it’s too late to wish you a Happy New Year but guess what?  Happy New Year!  I am hoping that everyone is well and staying safe.  I have heard of so many vaccinated and unvaccinated people getting the Omicron variant. 

First newsletter of 2022.  I am so happy to let you know that we donated 7,587 blankets in 2021.  Since March of 2010, when I became Coordinator, we have donated 62,418 blankets. What an achievement!  I am so proud of our Chapter. We are amazing. Thank you, each and everyone of you that have come together this past year, to drop off blankets. Whether it is at our facility or at a drop off location. I realize that nothing is as normal as we would like it to be, thank you for ‘hanging in’ and supporting the Chapter. I see the same smiling faces every month, please know how much I appreciate your dedication, your support through the years and especially the past year or so. 

We will continue to do what we have been doing for the past 18 months, which is to have Blanketeers drop off their blankets at FSEC or to the drop off location of their choice.  I’m hearing all sorts of rumors, this will be over with by February. What will? This particular variant or ?  No one can predict the future of Covid at this time, so we will not be having a meeting (Bee) until it is safe to do so. The past few days, I have noticed the number of cases dropping, we are only having 17,000 a day! A step in the right direction but still too many. 

Every year, we have to fundraise $500 for the Chapter. This money is to be used for insurance, state fees, licensing etc. National keeps $100, the rest goes into our ‘account’ which is used to buy the items needed to run the Chapter. A few years ago it was decided that we would have one collection of money instead of fundraising throughout the year.  I collect the money in February every year. As with everything else, prices are rising.  A suggestion this year, is that we all pay a one time fee of $20. While I am discussing money, another way we raise money is to join the Community Reward program through Frys grocery store.  If you shop at Frys you can sign up Phoenix West Valley Chapter Project Linus to benefit from your shopping trip. We receive a quarterly check from them which goes directly to the Chapter.  The last check I received was for $150.13. Thank you to all of you that participate in this program. 

A reminder, the Happy Trails Quilters are going ahead with their quilt show this year. The show dates are February 18th and 19th.  The quilters are HUGE supporters of Project Linus. If you get a chance and you love quilting, you will be amazed by the beautiful quilts (not just for Linus) that are on display. 

A long time Blanketeer came to the office at the November drop off day.  She didn’t know we were ‘back in business’, she had not read the newsletter. Please, pass the word on.  The website address   www.projectlinus-phxwv.org   Let your friends, who are part of Project Linus, know that we are still donating blankets to children in crisis.

I am excited to be starting my 12th year as Coordinator for Project Linus. Looking forward to donating many more blankets.  

Hoping I will see you on drop off day.  January 29th at the FSEC building.  9:00am to 12:30pm.