Today’s blogpost is brought to you by our gifted and talented Scarves for Troops project coordinator, Elaine Campbell (pictured, right):
Hello! To start out, we want to share some correspondence from our Heroes, reminding us who we are doing this for and how much it means to them!
“I’m currently deployed and received a gift box in the mail and I want to thank you for my stuff. My favorite gift was the scarf. I’m glad that we have people like you in this work that care enough about us. Thank you once again Pfc J.A.”
“We received your package and are so grateful. I am wearing the green scarf that was in the box. It has been on many cold nights with me and is a close friend of mine now! I take it everywhere. I just wanted to say thanks and we all appreciate your support. V/r, WO1 Al P.”
“I just wanted to take the time and say thank you for the wonderful scarf you all sent me. It is beautiful. In my day to day work I ride around on a gator and it has been getting colder here as the season is changing. I put my new scarf around my neck under my fleece today and I could feel the difference. I am forever grateful. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may his love, mercy and kindness repay you 100 fold and may he give you peace during this holiday season…Thank You! Sincerely, WO1 T. C. PS. My wife is also a service member (Air Force), please keep us both in your prayers…”
A Wonderful Idea: I often hear that purchasing yarn imposes a burdensome expense on our knitters. Below is a great idea one of our local knitters had which has proved to be tremendously successful. I hope it inspires some of you to consider something similar. There are many people who may not knit or crochet or have the time, but who would love the idea of sponsoring one or more scarves or hats by covering the cost of the yarn!
Alllow us to introduce you to Denyse and her husband Steve, (pictured, left) who started volunteering at the armory during the Holiday Drive and quickly became twice-a-week volunteers willing to do anything they were asked. Denyse loves to crochet, and she began crocheting scarves for the troops!
Curves Gym Sherman Oaks graciously allowed Denyse to set up a display and invite the gym members to sponsor a scarf by donating funds to purchase yarn. When a Curves member sponsors a scarf for $2.00, or 3 for $5.00, they can add their name on the beautiful flag donation cards that Denyse prints at home. She brings in the completed scarves, attaches the cards with a yellow ribbon minus a bow and leaves it there for the donor to complete by tying the bow. The members are encouraged to hold the scarf or scarves next to their heart and say a little prayer for the troops to keep them safe and bring them safely home. The ladies are aware of the huge sacrifices our troops make to keep us safe at home and love to show their appreciation in this way.
In Denyse’s own words: “Special thanks to all who helped me accomplish my goal of 365 scarves for our troops this year, including the members at Curves of Sherman Oaks for sponsoring 210 scarves and members of my family and friends for sponsoring 155 scarves. Your generous contributions paid for 100% of the yarn needed to make the scarves. Thank you Renee Scott, owner of Curves of Sherman Oaks for allowing me to use the table at the gym for my Operation Gratitude scarf display and for sharing your Curves 8th Anniversary celebration with the culmination of my scarf project and welcoming Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude, to visit the girls.
More from Denyse: “Last but not least. Thank you to my great husband Steve for all his help: He cooked and cleaned so I could crochet, he went to the store with coupons so I could get a better deal on my yarn purchases, he untangled the yarn, took care of ribbon cutting, prepared the cards, signed each and every one of them, set up and took down the displays at the gym, and found room in his garage for all those huge bins holding 365 scarves until I can deliver them to Operation Gratitude in the fall.”
We are grateful for Denyse’s hard work and generous spirit! She is an inspiration to us — and we hope to you, too!
And finally, I wanted to share the news that Lorene Van Ark-Miller has graciously agreed to help me with email correspondence. Lorene has been a volunteer with Operation Gratitude since the beginning as a knitter, cool-ties maker and letter writer!! She’s the BEST and knows a lot about the organization! Please feel free to email her with questions and/or suggestions about our on-going craft projects to support the troops: LoreneM@socal.rr.com
Look for upcoming blogposts on How To’s and Tips for making scarves and — for the upcoming summer months — cool-ties! Stay tuned!
With love and gratitude,
Elaine Campbell and Lorene VanArk-Miller, Scarves for Troops Project Coordinators