Sunday, November 24, 2013

Is One Charity Better Than Another?

My grandmother was a person who taught me about volunteering and giving back to others and she made and gave away beautiful coats to children in need.  Grams also volunteered for the Ladies Republican committee and where she could that was close to home because she didn't drive.

When I got older she had me volunteer for a local hospital as a Candy Striper and a school for disabled children during my lunch hour at the school next door.

As I got older, I volunteered for the PTA, Scouts, Women's Organizations, etc.  and it has never been in me to just sit and not reach out.

I donate to Angel Tree, Deborah Heart Institute, Saint Judes, Shriner's Hospitals, etc. and I take unwanted items to the local Hospice second hand store, give gently used clothing and coats from the kids to the schools for the children in need. I do not give anything with a hole, a tear, a stain!

We all see disasters and the organizations that jump in and help like the Red Cross, World Vision, Catholic Charities, Christian Relief Services, Peacecorps, Americorps, etc.

Then there are smaller organizations in our communities from our churches to Love Inc., Community Action Programs, Rural projects that donate food to their communities, gardening plots to help feed people.

There are so many, we never know who to donate to or in my case I never have enough time or money to help everyone I want to help or who have helped me over the years.

Then there are smaller organizations dedicated to comforting and keeping people warm such as:
  • Warming Families - A charity that encourages quilters to make quilts for those that are homeless in their area.
  • Binky Patrol - an all volunteer, national, non-profit organization making and distributing homemade blankets to children born HIV+, drug-addicted, infected with AIDS or other chronic & terminal illnesses, those who are abused, in foster care or experiencing trauma of any kind. Our recipients are from 0-18
  • Project Linus - Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
  • 100 Clubdedicated to standing behind the men and women who stand behind the badge. For more than 40 years, the 100 Club has provided assistance to statewide public safety agencies, officers, firefighters, paramedics, and their families.
 I could go on and on but I think we all get the picture that if there is something or someone you are looking to help, you will most likely be able to find an organization to help that pet project or concern of yours.

We become arrogant when we believe their is ONLY ONE organization that can help everyone.  Because no matter how hard anyone tries, the truth is one organization cannot do it all and many do not want to do it all. From the ASPCA to the Red Cross, each have created their own niche in the world.

A quilting friend of mine who has a heart the size of her long arm machine has given freely of her time, skills, money and training to help Layers of Hope and the people in the Philippines, Binky Patrol and more.

Many times she engages her students to reaching out and helping and in turn they are learning skills such as sewing, quilting, shipping, measure twice and cut once, etc..

Imagine when one of her honor students came in and said another teacher, an economics teacher of all things, told them they should not be making quilts or stuffed animals or collecting anything for the people of the Philippines because that should be left up to the Red Cross.

He went further to tell them that those of us who quilt and send things are only 'Feel Good Charities,' and nothing we send will help the people in the Philippines. Only Red Cross can do that.

I was dismayed to hear that a teacher would say such discouraging things to his students and about others who do so much to reach out around the world to comfort a stranger.

The teacher friend asked him about it and he told her that he would not back down because he believes these are a waste of time having himself served in the Peace Corps.

I wonder if he has ever spoken to a child who has been bitterly cold and received a warm blanket if it made a difference. I wonder if he ever spoke to a child who lost its favorite toy in a flood how that little stuffed animal made them happier.  I wonder if he has ever talked to a child while its parents were trying to kill each other and when the child comes into a police department that stuffed animal they are clinging to makes them feel.

If you just pack up blankets and animals and ship off to no one in particular, you may not be helping, but when you have a contact asking for these things, then yes sir, we are doing a good thing for those wherever they are and whatever crisis they are going through and so are her students.

From what I could see, she had at least 10 large boxes packed up and heading to the post office for shipping to the Philippines on Monday. Don't tell the people that will share in the blankets or the children that will share in the animals they don't matter.

Red Cross's issue is they are a huge organization, they have a CEO who commands a huge salary, employee's that need to get paid, overhead, policies and procedures and that all adds up to red tape, miles and miles of it.

However, there are other organizations who can hit the disaster areas running and be there on scene within a few short hours to a few days and they are equally as important...whether they be providing food, medical, water or even something like TIDE does with portable laundry facilities, everyone works to help.

I hope these students do not become discouraged. I hope they know they are making a difference, each one of us who chooses to can and will be able to whether it is a stuffed animal, a quilt, a box filled with hand sanitizer, fresh socks, coloring books to occupy children or even M&M's, all of it helps to brighten the day of someone who just perhaps days ago was living their life happily and now are walking around in shock!

I hope this teacher realizes not all of Red Cross funding gets distributed as quickly as it should because it has to go through channels and those channels at times clog up.

I do not advocate sending your dirty socks, ratty shoes and purses, etc. to a disaster area, have a heart and give, but give what you would want to receive and never tell someone trying to help that they aren't when if you aren't in the mix of the mess, you don't really know! 

Never, ever just put things in a box and ship to anyone in a disaster area. Have a plan, have a contact, find someone who has contacts and can help and if you are sending money, verify the agency you are sending the money to is legitimate.

Discouraging these children is taking away their blessing. They want to reach out and help others, they want to make a difference, we should not discourage that in our young people!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Quilt For Someone Enduring Chemo

Sorry about the blur, I had 2 wiggly and giggly 12 year old girls helping to hold it up! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Midwest Tornadoes

I have not been asked at this time to supply quilts for dispatchers in the Midwest, but if I do, I will post it in the pages at the top of the home page.

We still have quilts to get out to the Colorado dispatchers and their families as well as I am in desperate need at this time for assistance with postage.

If you can help with postage or want to contribute to getting this page up and running, please check out the side bar where I am accepting donations.

I realize it is holiday season, but any amount you can help with is so appreciated and so needed and I am grateful for!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Letter Only A Mother Could Write

If you want to know if our quilts make a difference, they do!
If you want to know if they make it to their destinations, they do!
If you want to know why I do what I do and others reach out to help us, look no further.

This letter was sent to Beth by the mother of fallen Granite Mountain Hotshot, Joe Thurston on the quilt she received!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Quilt For Someone In Need

This is the beautiful quilt Brenda B. made for dispatcher Tiffani who is undergoing Chemo therapy. I know this will keep her warm and cozy and bless her in many ways!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thank You For Your Input

Until the completion of our new background design, this blog is going to be a continual work in progress and one that I very much welcome and appreciate having input on.

You will notice the addition at the top of 'pages,' that was an amazing recommendation and lots of wonderful assistance from a wonderful blogger who volunteered to reach out and help me.

Today, I received a comment that everything was overlapping and if I could check it through Firefox. I so appreciated her comment and while I will admit to being technically challenged, I went in and hopefully cleaned it up a bit and made it look nicer! 

Anytime you see an issue, please let me know so I can look into it and try to figure out how to improve!

Thank you all!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

911 Dispatcher Needs Cards of Support

I am writing to ask for support for our friend and fellow dispatcher, Kari Gonzales. Kari has been in public safety for 23 years. She dispatched for the Loveland Police Department for many years and is currently working for Colorado State University dispatch.
Kari’s daughter Mykalah was born with severe intestinal issues and received a transplant shortly after. The first few years of her life were quite a struggle. Mykalah is now 20 years old and has grown into a beautiful young lady. Last week she began to have severe abdominal pain and spiked a fever of 105 degrees. She was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Denver. After many tests, doctors believe that her body is beginning to reject the transplant. This is causing multiple additional health issues. Mykalah is now being flown to University of Nebraska hospital in Omaha, Nebraska for more specialized treatment.
Kari, understandably, is not planning to leave her daughter’s side. Her specific needs are unknown at this point, but Kari will be out of work for an undetermined amount of time. Because she will be in a different state and away from home, family and her support system, we are asking for prayers, thoughts and any support through gift cards you may be able to help with.
Please send any cards of support to:
Loveland Emergency Communications Center
911 Cares Activation
810 E 10th St.
Loveland, Co. 80537

Dispatcher Lose Home In Fire

I was notified last week of a dispatcher that dispatched responders to her own home that was on fire. The incident happened on 09-25-2013. The house was a total loss. She is a single mom of 4 kids and is now living with her parents. She owned her home and has a mortgage but her insurance had lapsed therefore there is no coverage. After dispatching the fire she had to stay on duty until relief could be brought in. Below is her contact information. She has been a dispatcher for Roger Mills Co Sheriffs Office for 7 years and prior to that she worked as a dispatcher for Beckham County Sheriffs Office for 2 1/2 years. If there is anything that can be done to help her then that would be great. Below is her contact information.
Christy Hartley
9374 Hwy 30
Reydon, OK 73660

kids: Girls: Jacey-14 Kaley-12 Joley-9 and a boy: Braegan-7
Lance Terry
Communication Systems Manager
Norman, Oklahoma

Together We Can Make This Happen

I am so very grateful to the two people who reached out and have thus far donated to my Go Fund Me site that I have set up to help me get this blog turned into a professional looking website so we can reach out to more quilters and they can see this is legit!

Right now, I have raised $50 of the $172 needed to pay for the unique design and a year of website costs. I believe in this project, I know we, all of us, you and I and all those to come believe in this project, so I am asking each of you if you feel led to please help me reach this goal.

Perhaps you can't afford to donate a few dollars and if you can't that is okay, but would you be willing to post this need to your blog and let others know about it as well.

Please, I really believe in what I am doing and I have seen that each one of you believe in it or you would not have donated over 100 quilts in the past year.

If you can afford $1, $5, $10 or more any amount would truly help get this off the ground in a way it should be reaching so many people!

Bless You All!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Helping Others, Bid and Win at Sew Cal Gal's Charity Auction

If you have never visited the blog or Facebook page by the amazingly gifted Sew Cal Gal and wonderfully generous quilter and auctioneer, you must visit her today or tomorrow or anytime between now and December 2nd.

Last year she staged/promoted another auction for the wives of our military personnel for an amazing huge baby shower and I was the winning bidder for one of the items.

This year the auction she is holding is supporting three charities that support and help fight Childhood Cancer, A Charity that reaches out to the poorest of the poor in Romania, Hypothalamic Tumors and the Greenville Humane Society a no kill shelter.

If you don't want to bid, you can purchase raffle tickets for the items and take your chances that way for a $10 donation.

I have known Sew Cal Gal for several years now and I can assure you she is 100% above board and an amazing lady to take on these huge auctions each year.

This year the prizes are pretty amazing from: 
  • Accuquilt Go Baby
  • Aurifil Thread Set
  • Gift Certificate ($50) from Fat Quarter Shop
  • Gift Baskets she is still putting together
**Not all of it is open to residents outside of the United States, so please read the entire description prior to bidding on the items and happy bidding!**

I know you will find a new blog to follow and a new blog friend!