April 2015 Newsletter

 

Hi Blanketeers! 

     It’s hard to believe it’s already mid April – where has the year gone?  Hope you’re having a lovely start to springtime and are enjoying your blanketeering. We are grateful for your support, helping us provide comfort and security to children in crisis and need through your generous gifts of handmade blankets and supplies/donations for our chapter. We couldn’t be here without you!

     First things first – we hope you can join us for our April meeting this Tuesday evening - 7pm April 14th at Mary Kelly’s house (1366 Milton Way San Jose 95125).   And looking ahead, our May meeting will there too – Tuesday May 12th at 7pm.  Mark your calendars for both dates now. J

    Our numbers for the first quarter of this year were wonderful – 1889 blankets donated and 1402 blankets distributed (January 690 blankets in, 406 out; February 501 in, 585 out; March 698 in, 411 out). Our chapter total to date is 63,407. This quarter we gave blankets to: CASA, First5Kids, Gilroy Social Services, Indian Health Center, an individual, KAPFA, KAPFA Receiving Center, Kaiser Hospital – NICU and Pediatrics, O’Connor Hospital – NICU and Pediatrics, Public Health, Regional Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House, San Jose Family Shelter, San Jose Social Services, School Health Clinics, Valley Medical Center and Camp Sanctuary.  We have also been collecting blankets for TAPS for the annual Good Grief Camp in Arlington VA on Memorial Day as well as for Camp Corral in July at the Y Camp in Pescadero.  We committed 100 blankets for TAPS this year, and we’ve received 100 already so I have them boxed up and ready to go.  Thanks for your timely response.  Our Camp Corral challenge (1 extra skip-stitch blanket per month January-May) will be wrapping up soon too, so we’ll have what we need well before the camp in July.  Thank you to all those who chose to support these special events which are for families of fallen and wounded warriors of our military. We were invited to support another such activity in March - Camp Sanctuary (“Where Military Families Reconnect”) which was held at Mt. Hermon. We received a number of charming thank-you cards from those families.  We’ll try to get them on our web site so you can enjoy them all. A sampling includes (in a youngster’s big printing): “Dear pat, thank you for making a blanket for me and for my friend and my sister I have the puppys on myn. from teaghan”. J  and “It means a tremendous amount to my children and myself, but mostly to my husband who is a US Army veteran. Please accept our deepest gratitude. R. absolutely love the airplanes. You’re an awesome person and please stay the way you are! Thanks again.”

 

     * ATTENTION QUILTERS * As Barb’s getting organized for another extended vacation this summer (June-September), she’s got a special offer for our quilters. (From Barb) – Ladies, it is time to "shop" for fabric for quilts to make over the summer.  We will have lots of fat quarters and fat quarter kits, 9 strip quilt kits and other fabric.  You need to have patterns with you so we know how much fabric you need of each print.  The exceptions are the Linus scrap boxes and 10" square boxes (the 10" squares are not made but the fabric is big enough to make them).  We have a couple patterns that use them.  The dates are Friday, April 24th beginning at 11:00am and Saturday April 25th beginning at 10:00am.  Appointments will be set up for every half hour.  You need to contact Barb to reserve a time to shop (sjlinus@gmail.com or 408-295-2287).  

 

     Another thank goes out to Vicki Field and Bon Apetit Management for their continued support. Not only does Vicki send us their empty ink cartridges, she also prints many of our brochures and blanket tags.  Vicki recently contacted the company’s printer Paul Doherty to see what it would cost to have them done professionally, and after hearing the Project Linus story from Vicki, Paul agreed to (professionally) print, cut and punch the holes in 10,000 tags for us for free! They look great!  Thank you Vicki for having the idea and asking, and thank you Paul and your organization for being so generous.  

     Speaking of empty ink cartridges, we haven’t been getting many recently and we are in need of as many as you can provide this month. As you probably know, we turn them in to Staples to earn credits for many different supplies as well as UPS shipping for TAPS. Since we’ll be shipping 5 big boxes of blankets to Virginia in early May, we need to turn in as many empty cartridges before the end of April as we can (otherwise we’ll need to use some our limited funds for shipping). So if you bring them to the meeting, drop them off with me, Barb or Mary, or turn them in with your blankets (double wrapped to prevent damage) we’ll get them turned in on time. Thanks in advance for your help.  (If you’d like to help with the TAPS shipping costs, if we can’t cover it all with Staples Rewards, please let me or Barb know.)

     We sent out a special request a few days ago – explaining our urgent need for help with the sorting & bagging process for at least the next few months. (We wish Beth and Trish quick and full recovery of their health issues.)  We thank those who have contacted us and volunteered so far. We have tentatively scheduled a training session for Saturday May 2nd morning (details to follow).  We still NEED A FEW MORE SORTING / BAGGING HELPERS. Again our goal is to staff two ‘teams’ so each team will be needed only every other month.  Please contact Barb if you can help – and let her know if you prefer mid week or weekend.

     With each newsletter, we like to mention a couple hints that new blanketeers may not know and long-time blanketeers may have forgotten…

  1.  For those making skip-stitch crocheted edge fleece blankets, please BE SURE that you CROCHET LOOSE ENOUGH that all FINISHED EDGES LAY FLAT (especially around the corners). Of the 100 TAPS blankets I recently packed up, half may have been skip-stitched and at least 15 didn’t lay flat. (Many of the tags had names of blanketeers that have been with us for years, so just a reminder to us all…) J
  2. Mary and John Kelly graciously open their home to us for our meetings.  Please respect their family time and meal schedules and arrive no earlier than 10-15 minutes prior to the meetings.  Thank you.

 

    A final thank you for this month – we want to remind you of the great retail locations that are drop-off locations for us, as well as our blanketeers who offer drop-off boxes at their homes.  We appreciate everyone’s support, as well as the liaisons to the stores, who regularly pick up blankets and get them ready for distribution for us. If you drop off your blankets at any of these locations, please be sure to thank them for this service for us. We have been adding new locations lately, so check our web site anytime for the latest list www.sjlinus.org. There might be a new one more convenient for you.

San Jose – Beverly’s Fabrics, JoAnn Fabrics-Almaden Expwy, Mary Kelly’s home, Green Planet

     Yarn, Ray’s Sewing Machine Center, and Sewing and Vacuum Center.

Sunnyvale – Helen Farnham’s home, Purlescence Yarns

Cupertino – Sharon Lee’s home, JoAnn Fabrics     Mountain View – Sarah Rahamim’s home

Morgan Hill – JoAnn Fabrics, Quilts and Things     Gilroy – The Nimble Thimble

Salinas – JoAnn Fabrics (N. David Rd)

 

Happy Blanketeering!


 

Sharon (sjlinus@comast.net, 408-252-1858) and

Barb (sjlinus@gmail.com), 408-295-2287