Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A HAPPY Crafty Angels Update!

Angels and friends –

Here is the update you’ve been waiting for, and it is FULL of good news!

New Archangel in Chicago!

While I am working on establishing a base here on the east coast, we have a new Archangel in Chicago! Sandy Rice, long-time Crafty Angel, has offered to head up “Angel operations” in Chicago – and I am so happy that she is taking on this role. She is in charge of all Chicago operations, and will oversee the collection, sorting, storage, and delivery of all of your yarny goodness love gifts. Sandy is a whiz at organization, and has already been on the job getting things ready for the rest of this year and next. Sandy can answer any questions you may have about our Chicago efforts – you can email her at tasmann98@sbcglobal.net or call her at 773-792-0372. Long-time Angel Anita Hohenstein has volunteered to be Sandy’s able assistant, and I am so happy that Anita is willing to add this to her busy schedule! She is Sandy’s second in command, and will help Sandy make sure things go smoothly.

Chicago Activities

Here is the latest on our Chicago efforts:

1. Our next gathering will be on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM in the Chapel at Edgebrook Covenant Church (6355 N. Spokane Ave., Chicago, IL 60646). Angels will sort through all the boxes of yarny goodness that have arrived and put the items into storage bins, discuss plans for next year, and work out general logistics. You won’t want to miss this event! If you would like to bring some treats to share, please let Sandy know.

2. Our second gathering for the fall will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 10:30 AM in the Chapel at church, and its focus will be putting together spa bags for Swedish Covenant Hospital. We have TONS of spa cloths, and if you would like to donate travel-sized bottles of bath gel and body lotion, we would be very happy to receive them.

3. We’ll be supporting FIVE organizations: Swedish Covenant Hospital, Cornerstone Community Outreach, the North Park Friendship Center, A Just Harvest, and Edgebrook Covenant Church’s prayer shawl/comfort afghan ministry. Given limited storage space and shipping funds, we’ve decided to focus on these special groups in Chicago because of the impact they have on the needy in Chicago. A little further down I’ll outline what is needed for each organization.

4. Our goal is to distribute your yarny goodness very early in December as we usually do, so that our supported organizations can distribute them before it gets really cold, and/or as part of their holiday gifts to their clients.

5. Our space in the church has been finalized, and we are ready to take in shipments of your yarny goodness! WHOO HOO!!! You can drop items off at the church Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday between 10 AM and 2 PM (please call first at 773-763-4230 to make sure our church secretary, Ginny, is there to let you in) or you can mail them to: Sandy Rice/Crafty Angels, Edgebrook Covenant Church, 6355 N. Spokane Ave., Chicago, IL 60646.

6. Given our reduced funds, we won’t be able to ship yarn to Angels around the country. In the past we were able to do that, but our finances just won’t make that possible right now. So consider this a GREAT opportunity to reduce your stash!

Supported Organizations

We have decided to scale back our support for various organizations at this point, due to space limitations for storage at church. That is why we are currently supporting only five local organizations. If you have made things for Project Red Scarf, Afghans for Afghans, Mother Bear Project, or Christmas at Sea, please feel free to send your love gifts off to those worthwhile groups yourself. All of them have a HUGE demand for your love gifts, and will be most appreciative of them. You can easily get shipping specifics on their websites – just Google the organization.

What is Needed

Here is a list of what is needed for the five Chicago organizations we will be supporting:

1. Swedish Covenant Hospital – baby blankets, caps, sweaters, and booties. There is also an expressed need for preemie sized blankets, and as soon as I get some definitive information on what size Swedish Covenant Hospital would like those to be, Sandy will send out an email to all of you.

2. Cornerstone Community Outreach – hats, scarves, mittens, socks, slippers, and sweaters for all ages; afghans; shawls; and soft toys for children.

3. North Park Friendship Center - hats, scarves, mittens, socks, slippers, and sweaters for all ages; afghans; shawls; and soft toys for children.

4. A Just Harvest – black hats and scarves for the men served at this community soup kitchen.

5. Edgebrook Covenant Church Prayer Shawl/Comfort Afghan Ministry – prayer shawls for women and afghans for men who have suffered a loss in their family, a critical illness, or other life-altering situation.

6. Given our limited storage space, we are not accepting donations of yarn at this time. If that changes, I’ll let you know.

The Newsletter and the Blog

Given everyone’s time crunches, we’ve decided to let the monthly newsletter and blog stay “on vacation” for a bit longer. I’ll be updating the blog with the information contained in this email, but we won’t be putting up photos yet. Once I get established here on the east coast, we’ll start that up again. Until then, Sandy and I have agreed that good old email is the best way to communicate with each other.

East Coast Efforts

I’m going to be staying here in Maryland and have already discovered that there is a very, very great need for your yarny goodness here. I’m looking for a home church, and have joined a couple local organizations that support local hospitals, food pantries, and shelters in the Annapolis/Baltimore area. Once I find a church or organization that is interested in hosting the Crafty Angels (I have a tiny condo with VERY limited storage space), I’ll let everyone know about them, the groups they support, and what is needed. Until then, the focus of the Crafty Angels will be on the five groups in the Chicago area.

Thank You!

I really want to thank all of you Angels for hanging in there with us during this unexpected transition. So many of you have been emailing me to say that you’ve been continuing to make yarny goodness and have been stockpiling it – just waiting to send it in. You are all so special, and are such a blessing to me – and to all the recipients of your love gifts. Before I left Chicago, I shipped out everything we had to Afghans to Afghans, Mother Bear, Christmas at Sea and Red Scarf Project. AND I took a HUGE car-load of baby things to Swedish Covenant Hospital. The folks at Swedish were truly appreciative of your gifts – they had distributed the things we gave them last year at the holidays within a couple of months!

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to Sandy, Anita, and the Trustee and Executive Boards at Edgebrook Covenant Church. Without them, and their blessings, we wouldn’t be able to continue doing what we do. They believe in what you are doing, and are just thrilled at the impact you all are having on those in need in Chicago. Keep doing what you do – changing your neighborhood, country, and the world – one stitch at a time!