Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm Participating in the Circles of Service!

I hinted about this project back when I made the brown man hat but the project was still a secret. Now it's out in the open and I figured I would share with all of you :) The women's group at my church just launched our Circles of Service project where we will collectively make items for 5 different charitable organizations over the next several months. Each project has a 'circle' of women who have committed to make certain handmade items. Each group is holding weekly meetings to teach those who would like to learn or just for some company while you spend your time in service :)
As you can probably guess from my man hat, I am involved in the knitting group :) I'm helping the lady in charge to teach others who don't know how to knit but want to participate. Each Tuesday we are meeting at the coordinator's house for our group. Last week was our first meeting and I'm so bummed I didn't take any pictures! It turns out that the coordinator and I are the only ones who have ever knitted before, so I was pretty busy teaching the others how to cast on, knit, and purl. Some arrived later than others so a few only learned to cast on last time so I'm sure tonight we will be doing a refresher and then conquering knitting and purling. Hopefully some will be able to start their actual projects.

The project we are working on is called The Ships Project - this organization collects handmade hats and booties for submariners (knitted, crocheted, or sewn) since it gets so cold underwater, as well as 'cool ties' which are strips of fabric filled with water absorbent beads for the soldiers to soak and then wear in desert regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm really excited about this project and so far we have about 8 ladies involved with our group plus a few more who are making their objects at home.

Being me (with my crafting ADD plus my love of helping out these types of causes), I am of course signed up for a few other groups as well :) Here are the other projects we will be helping with.

Handmade With Love Just For You -  This is an organization that collect hand crocheted scarves and gives one to each woman who check into an abuse shelter. It's just a special gift to congratulate them on getting out of their bad situation all while helping to keep them warm and cozy :) This is another project that I am helping with. Sadly I can't make it to the meetings (Tues at 10am at the coordinator's house as Wed at 7pm at the church), but I have already started making scarves. At first I was hesitant since I'm committed to the knitting on and I have another large project for something else that will begin in a few weeks, but I was really inspired when I saw how much the other women were accomplishing in a short period of time so I decided to take the plunge. I went to Walmart and bought 3 different nice yarns and I know I will be able to make at least 4 with all of it. The group asks that each member make at least 5.

Project Linus - Just as the name implies, this organization give homemade blankets to children in need. They give them to children in hospitals, children who lost their home to a fire, children who have been through a natural disaster, etc. Our group will be making fleece tied blankets - how simple is that? Technically they won't be 'tied' - Project Linus prefers just the slit and pull through method but that's still just as easy to make. I believe this group meets Wed night at the church.

Quilts of Valor - This is a wonderful organization that gives handmade quilts to wounded veterans. This is one of the bigger undertakings of our groups, but they will be working on quilts together as well as individually to lighten the load :) I believe this group meets every Mon at the coordinator's house.

Happy Mail - This is one of the simpler projects to be a part of. This organization is called Hugs and Hope and they provide all the information you need to send Happy Mail to a child with a terminal disease. All the kids on their list have diseases that they are not expected to recover from so they really emphasize that you shouldn't say things like "I hope you get better" or anything like that. They just ask that you send them a nice card or letter maybe with a coloring page or something else that the kids are interested in (they list all their interests on the site). The mail is designed to just brighten their day. How great is that? My husband and I have already picked out a few kids to start off with (we found a little boy who likes cops!) and we will be sending out some mail probably this week.

Aren't these great projects? I wanted to blog about them because no matter where you are from, these are national organizations and I know they would appreciate as many volunteers as possible. If you would like to participate in any of these, you can email me at ShowAndTellMeg@gmail.com and I can get you all the information you need. Even better if you are in the Titusville area and would like to help out, I can give you the information about meetings. Our group is organized by the Relief Society ladies at church, but none of these projects are church affiliated and we would love to invite anyone who would like to help no matter what religion. We have set a goal to make 300 separate items by the middle of January and we would love any help at reaching our goal :)

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