October 2015 Newsletter

 

 

Hello Blanketeers! 

      Wow – here it is October already – where did the summer go?  Hope you had a great one and you are enjoying your blanketeering. We are grateful for your support, helping us provide comfort and security to local 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 October meeting this coming Tuesday AFTERNOON October 13th at 1pm at Mary Kelly’s house (1366 Milton Way San Jose 95125).   (We had switched the meeting to afternoon by a request from Barb, since she was supposed to be back by now, but a major problem with their vehicle is delaying their return into November – disregard the return date on her email “Vacation Message” if it still says October 10…). And looking ahead, we will be having a special guest at our November meeting (maybe Barb will be back too) – Tuesday November 10th at 7pm. Mark your calendars for both dates now.

 

      Our blanket numbers for the summer months (June-August) were: 1440 blankets donated and 1082 blankets distributed (June 545 blankets in, 372 out; July 502 in, 295 out; August 393 in, 415 out). We will soon start distributing the 9-strip quilts and fleece doubles that have been set side for the large fall, annual requests.  Our chapter total to date is 68,893. This summer we gave blankets to: CASA, CPS Receiving Center, El Camino Hospital - NICU, Good Samaritan Hospital - NICU KAPFA, 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, Valley Medical Center, Camp Corral and Camp Sanctuary. (In addition to supporting Camp Corral (at the Y Camp in Pescadero) in July, we also provided blankets for Camp Sanctuary recently (at Mt Hermon, Felton). Both groups are for children who have lost a family member in military service.)  

      With the coming of fall come invitations to Volunteer Fairs and corporate ‘Make a Blanket’ community service events. Thanks to Kathy Whitesel for covering Los Gatos High School, Sandy Crane for representing us at the Morgan Hill Quilt Show (we displayed a variety of our various blanket types), Kathleen Stuart at the LDS Church Street Fair in So San Jose, Mary & John Kelly at Bark in the Park (SJ), and Linda Skipper at Lexus of Stevens Creek Teen Volunteer Fair.  Deb Bragen and Kathy Whitesel are helping me with this month’s 4 IBM Blanket sessions. (Deb and I will be a bit late to the meeting Tuesday because the meeting time change and one of one of those sessions – we’ll join you as soon as we can – Mary will get the meeting started with maybe a little Show & Tell, raffle drawings and a few challenges…

 

      I have a couple thank-you’s to share:

* CASA sends us a nice letter each month thanking us for our donation.

* We also received this one from Valley Medical Center:

Dear Project Linus, I want to thank you for your generous donations of ~100 blankets. The items that we receive always surprise our patients and give them a smile. The thought that someone in the community cares for them is very heartwarming and your gift has helped us make our patients’ stay a little easier. We understand it must have taken much time and dedication, and we truly appreciate your generosity. I’m sure that the members of our community are also very thankful for your efforts in donating. Thank you so much! Gratefully, SCVMC Volunteer Services

 

      After months of generous service, some of our sorting/bagging team members are no longer able to help in this area, so we are in urgent need of 2-3 new volunteers for our Thursday team (the next Thursday date is Nov. 19) and 1-2 new volunteers for our Saturday team (next sorting/bagging is Sat. Oct 31). 

 

     The teams meet at 9am (at Mary’s house) to organize the blankets we’ve received, sort them by type and size, then bag them for each specific group, so our deliverers can come pick them up and take them to the recipient organizations. Each team only bags every other month. PLEASE contact me if you can help – even if just for a month or two. We can’t distribute blankets without this step. We thank those members who have helped in the past for their great support in this area.

      We’re refocusing on fund raising as we wind up our year (especially with the big day after Thanksgiving sales coming)… it is integral to our success and we can use everyone’s help. Thanks to Theresa Gadbois for submitting grants to all the Walmart stores in our county for us this summer. Walmart is a great supporter of many chapters across the county, so we decided to try their program this year. I was able to get 2 IBM community grants for us this year ($1000 each). John Kelly has earned donations from Apple by volunteering hours with our chapter – Apple will donate $25 per employee hour volunteered.  (If you work for Apple or know anyone who does and is a blanketeer, remind them of the generous program Apple offers). Other companies may match donations; Elizabeth Tang-Kong got donations from her colleagues at Toshiba and the company generously matched all those donations. Some companies (like IBM) include our chapter as a recipient organization for their annual employee charitable contribution program going on now. If you work for (or retired from) IBM or know anyone that does, remind them of this easy way to donate (through Oct. 23rd). Check with your employer for other options. I also have letters (printed by PLHQ) that you can send companies you do business with (eg doctors, dentists, optometrists, and other service providers that support charities) as well as friends and colleagues who may be considering making some donations around the holiday season. Just let me know if you’d like some of these materials. They are very easy to personalize.

 

      Thanks to everyone who is signing into Amazon through our web site for their online shopping. It’s starting to add up and as we approach the holiday shopping season, please remember to use this option (NOT Amazon Smile – we get at least 10 times the benefit if you sign in through our website first). Tell your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues about this simple way to support Project Linus. It’s SO EASY and we benefit greatly!

 

      We have restarted the Rewards accounts with Staples, so we’re back in business and looking for ink purchases to fulfill our requirements to keep these new accounts active (Minimum $30 of ink purchased every 180 days).  If you need ink, let me know. I can beat Amazon’s best price and ship it to you directly in most cases. Though we won’t be able to use them for UPS shipping as in the past, we get many other supplies ‘for free’ using our Rewards (eg delivery bags, mailing labels, duct tape for bags, printing of bag tags and inserts, ink / paper / card stock for special signs and printing needs, banners, etc).   Thanks for your support with this program.

 

     You may have heard, but there’s a new feature film coming out in November based on the Peanuts characters, including Linus of course. In anticipation of it, they have some fun things on the web – here’s a chance to Peanutize yourself at www.peanutizeme.com. Have fun!

 

     Just a reminder, we are still in need of more ‘boy blankets’ every month, for every age – please consider adding a boy blanket to your next donation if you can.

 

     Here’s a closing thought for this month, sent in by a fellow blanketeer:  Sunday after church, a mom asked her very young daughter what the Sunday School lesson was about.  The daughter answered, “Don’t be scared, you’ll get your quilt.”  Needless to say, the mom was perplexed; later that day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the mom asked him what that morning’s Sunday School lesson was about.  He said; “Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming.”

 

Happy Blanketeering!                                                                                                  

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

still vacationing until early November Barb (sjlinus@gmail.com 408-295-2287)