So what’s the official plan, you ask?
Well, I’m kinda making it up as I go along… But I’m totally open to comment and ideas and the like! In the meantime – here’s what I’ve come up with:
Hand craft one item for each of those homeless students.
- These students are ages 5 to 18 – so pretty much just about every size needed!
- If you really want to send your thinking into the realm of radical – start thinking about the fact that each of these kids has got a parent or guardian or two, and some non-school aged siblings…
- Yeah – no – not gonna turn stuff away if we – by some miracle – get more than 1617 items – there’s plenty of need – we can make sure someone who needs something gets matched up with something lovingly made.
Keep items small-ish – these kids don’t have room to house a lot of stuff. In fact, it’s not unusual for them to have to be able to carry all of their belongings with them very easily.
- I’m thinking hats, scarves, mittens/gloves, socks…
- There has been an expressed thought that it might be nice if anyone is interested in making a small blanket for each of the kids – it would be well-received. It would need to be something warm, but relatively light-weight. (Wish I were a quilter – wouldn’t a lap quilt for each of these kids be awesome?!)
- It’s all about the love. It’s all about the fact that Jesus loves each and every one of us. This is just a little way to put hands and feet to this love.
- It needs to be hand crafted. It doesn’t have to be knit. It could be knit. It could be crocheted. It could be sewn. It’s more about the fact that I really believe the best way to convey the fact that we care is to put a little effort behind it – right?
- Teach kids how to care for hand-crafted items. I think it would be super awesome to have little “clinics” to teach them how to hand-wash and dry their gifts. It’s a skill that will serve them well for life. And – hand washing can happen pretty much anywhere there’s a sink. Convenient, huh?
Things you should know about homelessness…
If you sleep in a shelter – it’s not unusual for there to be a 3 night limit. How would you feel if 3 nights in a row was the longest you slept in one place?
If you leave your stuff behind when you go somewhere – the likelihood that it will be gone when you come back is very real. Even if you’re a school child. Imagine carrying all of your worldly goods with you to school each day.
If you are a family that has become homeless, chances are fairly decent that your family will be split up.
Getting things laundered regularly – well – doesn’t/can’t always happen.
Now – brace yourselves – I’ve got some awesome news…
I started talking to someone who knew someone who works at a yarn company. Said someone said, “Hey, you should talk to my friend – I’ll bet they’d love this project!” I thought, “Cool – maybe they’d be willing to give our crafters a little bit of a discount when they need yarn!”
Little did I imagine that they’d donate yarn.
But they did.
And they’re not the only ones.
I’ve started to get donations from yarn companies – who are SO into this project.
Not only that – but some of the local yarn stores are pretty excited about partnering with us, too. They’re talking about inviting us to join in with their Knit Night events, and helping us spread the word, and just generally want to be supportive and give us a hand.
How cool is that?
(I mean seriously – I’m getting choked up over this. THIS, my friends, is what community is all about.)
I’m pretty excited.
I keep getting asked what our target “finish” date is.
I have no idea.
Right now I’m thinking I can probably knit a couple hats a week. That’s barely a raindrop in the ocean of need, you know what I’m saying? But if we all partner together… Isn’t it important to make sure that our lovingly crafted items are put to good use when before the need is acute? (I.e., before it gets super cold, or snow flies, etc…)
AND – even bigger a thought – does it ever “finish”? ‘Cause in my mind – there’s no finish until there’s no more homeless. CMBC is trying hard to work toward helping – with the food pantry, supporting and being involved with Blanket Coverage, and now the new effort to get homeless kids into housing throughout our church body… Maybe we never finish. Maybe we just shoot for crafting enough NOW – like by Thanksgiving or something – and never say we’re done – we can continue to trickle stuff to BSD as long as there is a need.
(Can you tell I’m making this up as we go along?!)
So – here are some more details that are important:
If you don’t know how to knit or crochet – we can teach you.
We found out a couple of years ago when we initiated the YarnFest events that willing hearts and hands were the most important element.
Wish I could say I could teach you to sew – but um, yeah – not a good idea.
We’re gonna need to get together – ’cause it’s just way cooler and more fun to hang out together some when you’re working on a common goal.
I’m working on different venue possibilities… but things that come to mind…
New Season’s on Cedar Hills Blvd has a knit night – I gotta get more info – but meeting up there and hanging and knitting together would be pretty cool. For that matter – we could always meet up at a Starbucks with a little extra elbow room (like up at Forest Heights) and sip coffee and knit for an hour or two.
Knit|Purl has a weekly Knit Night that’s fabulous. It’s on Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Yeah – I know – it’s downtown, and for some, it’s a challenge. BUT – it’s
right on the corner of 11th & Alder – can be reached by public transportation galore, and well – we could always carpool, too!
I can always fit about four or five people in my front room – and I’m happy to have people over – it would be a particularly intimate setting for folks who are just
learning how to knit and/or crochet.
If you can fit more in your home and are willing to host – just say the word! Email me, comment here, or call me, and we’ll get you on the schedule!
Getting the word out is going to be super important.
I’m going to email pretty much everyone I know and ask them to email pretty much everyone they know. It’s gonna take that many folks to get this done.
I’ve already been asked if folks who live far away and want to be a part can be. Why not?! If you know of someone who falls into this category – let me know, and I’ll get them my address to send completed items, okay?
I’ve got yarn for anyone who needs it.
If you have your own that you want to use – groovy! Go for it!
When should we start? About a month or two ago. So – get going! Now’s the time!
Have I mentioned lately how awesome you all are? I wouldn’t even begin to think about this as a project without you – my knitting, crocheting, sewing friends – an important part of my life. You’re the coolest!
Now – let’s get started!