Summer 2012: Scarves for Troops Update

A new guest-post from our Scarves for Troops Project coordinators:

Busy Hands, Happy Heart! We wish you all a wonderful and restful summer! Hot as it may become outside, we urge you to “Think Winter Cold,” and start creating toasty warm scarves and caps for the 2012 Operation Gratitude Holiday Drive! In touching base with faithful workers now, it is our hope you will be inspired to pick up those needles to ensure that we are successful in including a hat or scarf in each package! That means we need 50,000!! You are welcome to begin sending your items as early as August and September. If possible, sending boxes a few at a time over the months between August and December ensures we have items to send on each of our assembly days. 

We are continually motivated by the overwhelming thanks we get from all who receive one of these made-with-love items!  

Just to let you know I’m a soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan. And today I received a box with this scarf in it, and I would just like to say thank you so much, it warms my heart to know that there are still great people in this world. God has truly blessed me in my life, this is currently my fourth deployment and it’s very hard being away from my family; So thank you so much for your kindness. GOD BLESS AMERICA. SFC D. F.

***

You and your organization are a blessing to our country. Thank you for the tremendous time, money, and love you put into your packages.  The food, snacks, cards and hygiene goods are all right on the mark.  I even sent the stuffed animal home to my kids.  Love the knit hat from Myrtle N. Your gifts and thoughtfulness are well received especially this time of year when being away from loved ones and the comforts and traditions of home can be challenging.  Your gratitude and generosity provide comfort and hope and reinforce that we have a country worth serving and protecting.  Thank you for your dedication to organize and carry out your service to the troops and our countryLT C. K.

Knitter Mary Sayers from North Carolina shares this story with us:

I do have to tell you a story from a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I went out for dinner and as usual, I took my knitting. I was sitting there knitting when a waiter came with our dinners and then stood looking at my knitting. I explained that it was a watch cap for the troops via Operation Gratitude, etc. He replied that was really neat and kept looking at how I was knitting it, etc. It turned out that he was a knitter and was very interested in what I was doing and said that if I gave him the pattern, he would knit for our troops as well. So, I guess it pays to take my knitting wherever I go even if I look a little silly.

You do not look silly at all, Mary!! And neither do these ladies…

About a dozen residents and volunteers from Eisenberg Village in Los Angeles have contributed their time, energy, and knitting talents to making our troops warmer. Read the full story here: Knitting Scarves for Troops

Such a treasure — these ladies are THE BEST!

Although we do have ladies in the military that would simply adore receiving a lovely scarf or hat such as the ones pictured here, we were asked to bring it to your attention that if you are spending money to buy yarn, please choose a type and color that will be suitable for a man or a woman. However, if you have donated yarn, please feel free to use it. If one person is unable to use an item, it will gladly be shared with another.

Here are a few good links for knitting and crocheting ideas and patterns. Keep in mind that the patterns may require altering in order to comply with our scarf size restrictions of 5”-6” wide – 48” long.

Beginner Ribbed Crochet Hat Pattern (Men’s/Unisex)

Peacock Scarf Pattern

Operation Gratitude’s {scarves…hats…cool-ties} Pinterest board

You can also subscribe to the following sites for fantastic ideas and inspiration:

http://www.AllFreeCrochet.com
http://www.AllFreeKnitting.com

A few guidelines for new comers and reminders for past scarf/hat makers:

Requirements

Any type of fiber may be used — wool or acrylic is fine — please use what you prefer.  For the safety of the recipient, please mention the fiber on the note you attach to the scarf (with your words of appreciation and contact information).

Any pattern may be used, but we recommend keeping the scarves and caps very simple!  A basic stitch with a soft yarn and a subtle color is perfect, but please adhere to these measurements as closely as possible:  5”-6” across and no more than 48” long! No fringe please.
It is sad to receive a beautiful scarf that cannot fit into a care package, so the size is very important.

Where and When to Send

Beginning in August the Van Nuys Armory will be accepting items for our 2012 Holiday Drive, so please hang onto your scarves and caps until then.

Please download and send this Donation Form in whatever packages you send or deliver to us. Find helpful shipping tips, cost-saving ideas and important information here at our blog: SHIPPING & DONATION INFO.

Here is our address: 

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Attn: SCARVES

If you want confirmation of delivery on your shipments of item donations prior to receipt of our acknowledgment letter (allow up to 12 weeks), please use the tracking system provided by your shipper.

In honor of Sharon Howard, our friend and creator of Scarves for Troops Project, let’s make 2012 a great Holiday Drive.  We thank each one of you in advance for your help and support!

With Gratitude,
Sharon Howard Scarves for Troops Project Coordinators

QUESTIONS? Send an email to Kelly: Opgratscarves@gmail.com

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to say "Thank You" to members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages.
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9 Responses to Summer 2012: Scarves for Troops Update

  1. scaryteddy says:

    Can we deliver in person to save on shipping?

  2. Chris Umberson says:

    Cannot pull up the crochet hat or scarf you show, please help
    I do not blog, or twitter or facebook keep it simple

  3. Thank you so much for mentioning AllFreeKnitting and AllFreeCrochet! We’re so glad you find them inspirational. :) Please feel free to mention our patterns as often as you see fit.

  4. las artes says:

    Part of my goal with the scarves I made was to create something masculine but that would also work for a female soldier and for the stitch pattern to reflect that I put thought and effort into it. My first two scarves were made using Tunisian crochet. This type of crochet (featured in the two lightest colored scarves) creates a knitted look, but doesn’t work up nearly as fast as traditional crochet stitches do. By the time I was well into my second Tunisian scarf I realized my progress was moving along way too slow and I needed to pick up speed. That’s when I switched over to the bulky yarn you see in the green scarf. It was a super fast scarf to create, but the extra bulk concerned me since I’ve read that ideally the scarves shouldn’t dominate too much space in the care packages. Back to a more regular weight of yarn I went.

  5. bunkerville says:

    Thanks for a great story.

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