Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Good Thing

I am getting in under the wire today - too much work, too many errands, can finally relax after 11 PM!!! (that's NOT the good Friday stuff! :))


I love to crochet, to knit, to create. I don't have a lot of people in my life that like to get handcrafted goodies. Even if I did, I make too many things to NOT give things away. So, I do.

Actually, I often see a good cause and say, "Yes!" and then scramble to mail the promised items in a timely manner. Finishing them is generally no problem. Getting them to their intended distributor? Often a problem.

A couple of years ago, I was looking for local causes - well, local to me, even though the reach is far. I had a few motives besides the generally altruistic ones that overcome my sense of the time-space continuum.

I wanted to be able to have 'in person' contact periodically.
I wanted to make some new friends.
I wanted to help others, but not be in charge.

I belong to a number of Yahoo! Groups and the founder of Handmade Afghans for our Wounded Warriors Project wandered in to one of them.

It turned out Deborah lived pretty much 'up the street' from me. I live in a fairly rural area, but I pass her exit every day on the way to work. That's close enough for right up the street! (I looked it up -- that was May 2006.)

The website linked above and to the left does justice to the details better than I ever could. But, to give you a little taste...

Volunteers -- in almost every state and a few non-US countries -- crochet and knit 6" x 9" rectangles in machine-washable, worsted acrylic yarn - all colors EXCEPT pastels and other 'girly' colors. These rectangles make their way to other volunteers in Maryland who sort them by color and store them until a Put Together Event is convened.

At a Put Together Event, even more volunteers (and those local to the event that are rectangle makers and gatherers) assemble at a donated venue and design afghans using the mountains of rectangles.

It takes 49 rectangles to make one afghan the size of hospital bed. Each designed afghan is pinned in precise piles, matched with a skein of yarn to crochet it together and bagged up ready for the next step.

These designed afghans are sent out with still more volunteers that crochet them together. When they are crocheted together, the finished afghans are returned to Deborah for a wash, a photo shoot, and special packaging that honors our wounded warriors.

Finished, washed and packaged afghans are hand delivered to a few locations in the Washington DC area by volunteers. Others are mailed off to hospitals in Germany, Afghanistan, Washington State, Texas, Georgia and more.

Pictures of the designed afghans, the completed afghans, the put-together events and more can be seen at the Shutterfly link on the website.

Yarn workers are needed. Local non-yarn workers can design or store or transport or serve lunch or whatever! Non-local non-yarn workers can sponsor a mailing (postage on mailing afghans can be high!) or send funds to help buy put-together skeins or other supplies needed for everything to run smooth.

This is an ALL VOLUNTEER group. Everybody. Nobody profits from the cause and donations may not be tax deductible. 503(c)(3) non-profit status has not been, and will not be, requested. Again -- you'll find all the information at the website:!

So Good For a Friday!

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