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We Believe...

..that the solution to inequality, pain, suffering, and lack in the world is ‘those that have’ sharing willingly from the heart with ‘those that have not’ who are sick and/or needy.

Warm clothing and bedding for babies, quilts for the aged or ill, books for the disadvantaged, essentials and household goods for those who have lost everything in floods, house fires, or due to job loss; these are just some of the need we assist with. You can help.
 

Archive for Money Saving Ideas

A fun way to be organized and efficient when taking supplies to charity work meetings or to a friends house to work together on projects!

Relief Share home office has something wonderful to share with all our volunteers who are on the go.

Our new craft and yarn carry-all from Miragoods was donated to us in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and we love it.

Watch the video to see why: Click here for the Youtube video from President Carol Green

This yarn storage bag is made with beautiful lilac pattern, high quality PVC coating, includes lots of storage pockets and an additional pouch for extra space and and has a detachable shoulder strap. You can purchase it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FU5OZD2

We are quite excited about this product. The bag holds quite a lot of supplies and the extra pouch allows us to stay organized. Its’ zipped closure will keep sharp sewing accessories safe and knitting needles together. There is also one zipped pocked inside the bag, so the needles could be stored there, too, for extra safety. The exterior layer of the bag itself is of PVC coating to keep items safe from moisture or spills from water or beverages.

We love sharing fun, pretty, and economical ways to keep all of our charity volunteers effective and happy. What kind of a tote or carrying bag do you use for craft and charity projects? Be sure to share with us your thoughts with an email to info@ReliefShare.org.

Keep putting your “Love in Action” for the sick and the needy! You are what makes miracles happen, and we love YOU for it!

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Science Has Spoken – Giving Makes You Happy!
By Eve Pearce 

Helping babies makes us happy and makes them happy, too!

Relief Share believes that the true solution to the inequalities and suffering that occurs every day in the world is giving… by sharing toys with children whose parents may have lost everything in a natural disaster, bedding with those who who cannot afford to stay warm, quilts to keep the aged cosy, we play a small part in curing social ills which could be eliminated on a collective levels. Interestingly, numerous scientific findings reveal that when we give, we don’t just help the recipients of our donations; we also take our first steps on a journey towards greater personal happiness. These findings should be shared with the world, for they are likely to lead to further giving. In this post, we share important research work on the link between giving and personal joy:

Happiness is a cycle: Researchers, Isen and Levin conducted a study which revealed that people were more likely to help others when they were happy; those in a positive mood were also more likely to lend a helping hand to researchers. Similar observations have subsequently been made with children. In another study, Rosenhan et. al. randomly assigned positive or negative mood states to children by asking them to reminisce, talk and think about specific memories. They were then given some candy and money, which they were told they could give away to other children. While both groups of kids consumed more sweets than the control group, the happy children gave larger amounts of money to other children. As is the case with adults, similar positive mood states (achieved through a sense of competence or success) resulted in greater giving.

Happy people have been found to help others more in many contexts, including the work context: In one study, inexperienced workers with more positive moods and outlooks were found to be more likely to go the extra mile when helping customers by trying hard to find what the customer was looking for, and making a greater effort to provide quality customer service.

Giving also makes us happier: In an excellent report on giving, L. Anik et.al. run through the most useful recent studies on the subject. One study mentioned, carried out in 2007 showed that when persons donated money to a food bank, the ventral striatum region of their brain was activated. The This area of the brain is involved in the experience of pleasure and reward, showing that giving does inherently make us happier. In Germany, meanwhile, Meier and Stutzer (2006) showed that those who performed volunteer work had greater life satisfaction. The study is vital because it shows that giving doesn’t always have to be about money. Sharing one’s time by making blankets or toys for needy children, for instance, is an equally important way to make a difference.

Everyone can help!

Giving is good for young and old alike: One particularly touching study involved elderly retired volunteers and infants. In this study, 10 elder volunteers with a mean age of 70 years were asked to massage infants at a nursery three times weekly for a period of three weeks. The elderly were also given massages at other times in the week. The researchers sought to observe the different effects caused by giving and receiving. The scientists found that “immediately after the first- and last-day sessions of giving massages, the elder retired volunteers had less anxiety and depression and lower stress hormones (salivary cortisol) levels. Over the three-week period, depression… decreased and lifestyle and health improved. These effects were not as strong for the three-week period when they received massage.” This is a particularly strong indication of the bond human beings share – the love for children and the need to care for others are almost universal feelings that we can fulfill by giving.

Volunteering and giving keeps awakens us to current problems facing society: When donate blankets, art supplies or toys, or volunteer our time to entertain children or the elderly, we begin to fully realize the vulnerability of the human condition. ‘There, for the grace of God, go you or I’ is a saying many volunteers repeat to themselves when faced with the devastation caused by poverty, HIV, and disease, not only in our area of the world, but in third world countries as well. As we meet other volunteers and patients, we share and discover vital information such as the link between poverty and STDs, heart disease and Type II diabetes; or the devastating child poverty rate, even in so-called affluent countries. In this way, volunteering stops us from turning a blind eye to social problems and opens our eyes to the important role we can play in helping even just one person – with a little help, maybe that one well-fed, warm and happy child will one day change the world.

So….GET HAPPY! Get involved. Clean out your closets for a good cause!

Added to this article by President Carol Green/Relief Share:

Here are some of the items needed – go through the list, pick some, and send them to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 65483-2225. Be sure to include your shipping information so we can send you a tax deductible receipt/thank you letter! We appreciate you!!

Baby Items: diapers, receiving blankets, sleepers, hats, booties, onesies, outfits, pants, tops, socks, swaddlers, baby cocoons, hygiene items (like soap, diaper cream, baby wash, q-tips, cotton balls, washcloths), diaper bags, soft toys, quilts, afghans, etc

Children’s items: clothing, toys, books, coloring books and crayons, videos, hair accessories, video games (these goes to the hospital to keep kids occupied when spending long periods immobilized after surgery), soap, shampoo, conditioner, food (yes, many of our children don’t get enough to eat) – healthy snacks or Wal Mart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to go get what is needed, such as milk, bread, cheese, oatmeal, basic fruits and vegetables etc. Quilts, afghans, etc

Adult Items: Clothing, quilts, afghans, books, hair items – brushes, combs, curling or straight irons (for women who are in homeless shelters or crisis centers due to domestic violence trying to get ready  to work), hygiene items, washcloths, towels, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, conditioner, food (basic healthy food items are great, WalMart gift cards for our volunteer shoppers to get what is needed is wonderful, too).  Just think what you would need if you suddenly found yourself homeless and without anything – that is what is needed.

Animals – collars, food, litter, litter boxes, leashes, bedding, toys, flea and tick prevention products.  We help a number of animal shelters with donations of needed items when they are donated in.

Supplies for volunteers to work with to make some of the items needed:

Knitting & Crochet supplies: knitting machines, yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles (addi turbo circular knitting needles in all sizes are a huge blessing for our volunteers to use – if you want to pick a size, the 14″ or 16″ length in size 7 is the most popular but we need the smaller sizes, like 5 and 6 for knitting booties and preemie hats, and larger circ needles for afghans are wonderful as well) We can never have enough knitting needles!  Stitch markers. Yarn winders are really needed right now! Patterns.

Quilting supplies – fabric, thread, needles, templates, patterns, batting, rotary cutters, mats, etc

Sewing Supplies – fabric, scissors, thread, elastic, velcro, lace, binding, embroidery thread, sewing machines, sergers, fabric cutting machines, etc.

Office supplies – paper, labels, price tags (for our flea market booth), post it notes, pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, computers, speakers, printers, copiers, digital cameras.  We have more than one location and when a machine breaks, it slows down the work.

Our dear volunteers and donors:  Thank you for everything you do – from sharing your smile with someone to giving of your time to sew, knit, crochet or simply spread the word.  We love all our volunteers who share their time, efforts, funds and love to make the lives of God’s sick and needy better.  Volunteers unselfishly drive our donations to where they need to go, spend time going to flea markets and yard sales to try to get what is needed to stretch our dollars, people who spend countless hours listing and shipping charity auctions on ebay for us, and wonderful people like Eve Pearce who wrote this article for us to help others understand what it is that Relief Share does to make the world a better place is what makes the miracle of love happen. Thank you so much!

 

 

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Re-cycled crayons - lotsa fun!

I just spent hours in the kitchen making fun crayons for the church nursery.  If you want to do something fun for your kids or a family in need that has children who like to color, you may consider re-cycling crayons.

I had a large bag of crayons – some broken, paper missing, some okay, some with just chips left.  My Mom taught me “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”, so I rarely throw anything away (much to my husband’s chagrin) but I do have the neatest quirkiest things to work with when I decide to DIY (do -it yourself) or craft.  At any rate, after homeschooling our 6 children on and off throughout the years, I had a horde of crayon leftovers that Santa would have been envious of.

As luck would have it, I saw something at the local flea market that I thought would be useful and it triggered the notion to re-cycle the crayon leftovers.  What I saw was an alphabet ice cube tray set for $1.  Perfect, I thought, exactly what we need in the church nursery….ABC crayons!  Hmmm, that got me thinking.  I also have silicone molds for stars, hearts and shapes.  I bought the alphabet trays and headed home.  As soon as I got home I got a hold of my daughter who had already made her own crayons for my grandchildren – she used muffin tins. Between the two of us, a couple of webpages on the net, and experimentation, I now have a nice box full of all kinds of fun crayons for church tomorrow.

Want to know how to make them?  Here is what I did.

1.  Lay all the crayons out – if they are near new and whole with the wrapper on, set them aside (I have a large tin of them that I didn’t use set aside now for grandchildren’s visits).

2.  Separate the crayons and bits of crayons into colors.

3.  Using a pin, score the paper wrapper down one side of the crayon all the way through – this will help you remove the wrapper a lot easier without having to peel it off (saves sore fingers).  I was tempted to use an exacto knife but decided I liked my fingers intact, so didn’t in case the knife slipped on the round crayon. The pin worked great.

4.  I used Dixie plastic disposable bathroom cups, because that’s what I had handy, but you can use two small similar size plastic containers of whatever you have at home. Two yogurt containers will work well.  You are going to need 10 to 12 sets of them.  One set for each color.

5. Put water in the bottom of one cup – approx 1/2″.  In the other cup snap the crayons into smaller pieces and fill the cup 1/4 to 1/2 full of pieces.  Don’t put too many in, it gets seriously messy if you do.  (You don’t want to see the inside of one of my microwaves when the blue popped with a pocket of air because I filled it too full – it looks like a Smurf blew up in there).  It does clean up, but who wants a big mess if they can avoid it?!

6. Set the cup with the crayons inside the cup with the water to create a mini double boiler. The hot water helps the crayons melt easier with no hard spots.

7.  Microwave the crayons for 1 minute at a time.  Let it sit for a few more seconds after nuking it so the hot water will help melt the crayons, and then stir.  I used a bamboo skewer to stir with – you can buy a whole pack of a lot of them at Wal Mart for very little money – I already had them in the house handy. Depending on what brand of crayons you use, you may have to microwave them from 1 to 3 times.  Crayola and the cheap brands microwave well. Prang does not – those crayons get gluey and almost refuse to melt – they are too hard.  Do not – I repeat – do not microwave metallic crayons (yeah, don’t ask – just take my word for it, don’t!).

8.  Carefully pour the hot wax crayons into the mold you have chosen – fill it full.  I only filled the mold part way and when I was getting the letters out they broke because they were too thin – imagine how much use they are going to get from the children- make them thick.  Regarding molds:  I really liked the results from using the plastic ice cube molds – the crayons came out bright and shiny, almost like I bought them at the store from Melissa and Doug products.  However, I didn’t really like how they came out when I used the silicone molds because they came out matte and a little dull.  I liked them a lot better using the plastic molds.

9.  Let the crayons cool – it doesn’t take long. I left mine for an hour or two but then I was making crayons for hours so I didn’t pay attention to how long it took to cool.  Oh, do not spray anything in the molds, it will leave a film that interferes with the crayons coloring okay, and it’s not needed.  The crayons will pop right out with no problem.  If you want them to cool faster, stick them in the freezer for a bit.  Gently rap on the counter and the crayons will pop right out.

If you break or chip a crayon or don’t like how it turned out – no problem.  Just re-melt it and do it over.  Voila! Lotsa fun on the cheap using something you didn’t have to go and buy :-)

Carol Green
President
ReliefShare.org
info@ReliefShare.org
facebook.com/ReliefShare 

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Its been a very chilly month and seems to be staying cold.  Relief Share volunteers love everyone to be comfortable and warm, especially the very old and the very young. Donations of warm scarves, hats, coats, clothing, bedding and mittens have come in and been donated out to where the need is the greatest.  Boxes of darling handmade dolls, knitted balls, warm double receiving blankets and yummy soft scrumptious flannel, fleece and minky fabric arrived at Relief Share home office and is quickly being made into needed items.

Twin size quilts are being sewn and hard working caring volunteers are tying the patchwork quilts as fast as they can at fun quilting bees held at the home of the main project co-ordinator. Jan is amazing and has ‘rallied the troops” to work fast, efficiently and joyfully to provide 240 twin size quilts for Shriners Childrens Hospital in St Louis.  Relief Share completed 240 quilts for the hospital two years ago and we are doing it again ;-)

Volunteers Larry and Linda Smith spent hours working on our four Relief Share flea market booths that are donated by H & K Flea Market in Houston, MO.  Everyone gets involved in donating items to fill the booth to raise funds for supplies and needed items to help the sick and needy.

President Carol Green went through her home and de-cluttered to bring a truck load of items to fill the booths.  You’ll find everything in our booths – Carol jokes that if it’s not nailed to the floor and needed to sell to get the yarn and fabric needed – it’s going to wind up in the flea market booth.  Her children grew up knowing that if they didn’t clean up their stuff and left it lying around, it got sold!  (one way to get children to tidy their rooms ;-)

Dottie Schafer and Carol Green spent an enjoyable afternoon taking donations to where they are very much needed. Dottie went through the clothing she had saved from when her children were little and donated boxes full of very nice clean and excellent condition baby and childrens clothing, along with a bag of much needed children’s shoes.  The recipients were so glad to get the items and it made Dottie feel good to share her precious treasures from when her kids were little.

There is joy in giving service and goods to others!

 The feeling you get in knowing you are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing helping your brothers and sisters in Christ is amazing.  In a world where its easy to get caught up in political problems, personal conundrums and depressed with how difficult it is to get by these days, it is a blessing to be able to wash away negativity with positive actions.

Here are some ideas on how to make your life joyful and productive – even more than you are doing now (and you may already be doing these things):

1.  Clean out your closets and home for a good cause. You will feel a lot better owning your possessions instead of having them own you.  Put the excess that you know others need and you don’t, into boxes and mail them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  We will send you a thank you letter and tax deductible receipt for your donations.  We know the price of shipping is getting higher – so if you can’t afford to ship your donations to us, consider calling a local charity and have them pick up your donations.  One man’s excess is another man’s treasure, especially when they don’t have what is needed. Your old snow boots may be a life saver to someone else and you’ll love the extra space in your home.

2.   Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need? It’s one of our favorite songs we hear regularly at church, and it is a good litmus to see where we are in our humanitarian service.  Make yourself a promise that you will help at least one person per

Ask yourself – have you done any good in the world today, have you helped anyone in need?

day.  It doesn’t have to be earth shattering, like an entire truckload of donations or enough money donated to help others that temporarily hurts a tad in your budget (even though that is nice), it can be opening the door for someone else with a smile, cleaning the kitty litter box – even though it’s not your turn, or making someone else’s bed for a surprise.  How about calling someone just to tell them you love them, or giving them that sweater of yours they love and comment on every time they see you wear it and you don’t need the sweater really as you have  others.  Put on your thinking cap and ‘move it, move it’ to help others.

3.  Pray daily for your fellowmen. Oh, we don’t mean the rote prayers that are memorized, or the ones that are really generic, we mean the heartfelt prayers where you are chatting with your Heavenly Father and letting him know what is important to you.  We have a precious volunteer and friend who has really struggled with terrible bouts of cancer.  Honestly, if it was according to medical knowledge, she should have died by now, but through prayers and positive attitude, Vonnie is alive and kicking and in remission.  That was one of the best phone calls we have ever gotten – she is in remission because of love and prayers offered on her behalf, a doctor who just wouldn’t give up on her and her own marvelous attitude and relationship with God.  Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.

Well, we have a lot of other suggestions but these three are good to work on right now.  We must walk -  in learning to serve God and others – before we run, trip and get discouraged.  Take life a day at a time. Never mind yesterday, it’s gone, but today …..  today is such a marvelous gift from God – share your ‘today’ with others.

Happy hugs and lots of love to you from Relief Share :-)

Prayers matter.  Choose carefully what you want to pray for, or who, and then do it daily.  Think of it as daily vitamins for the soul.
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Relief Share Comfort Toys Change Lives For the Better…You Can Help!

Knitted gnomes donated for sick and needy children

In the aftermath of a disaster, one of the most powerful tools in a rescuer’s armory is the ability to distribute soft toys to children who are traumatized. This has long been recognized as an effective way of helping traumatized children, and it is worth considering exactly why this is. It also helps us to understand the importance of the work we do in sending handmade items, such as toys, to aid agencies.

The Invisible Power of Toys

We all know that children love their soft toys, but have you ever wondered about the psychological reasons behind this attachment? Researchers Bruce Hood, of the University of Bristol, and Paul Bloom of Yale University  conducted a study into the phenomena of attachment items – blankets or toys – and their results were striking. They ascertained that children believe that their toys have an ‘essence’, or life force, qualities that cannot be replicated. When offered the chance to have their toy ‘duplicated’ an overwhelming majority chose the original item over the duplicate. Professor Hood comments, “We anthropomorphize objects, look at them almost as if they have feelings. The children know these objects are not alive but they believe in them as if they are.” This behavior can be seen in adults too. After a burglary, even if the house contents are fully protected and stolen items replaced with identical ones, there remains a sense of dissatisfaction and loss. The new object never seems to replace the original. It seems that imbuing objects with special significance and regarding them as having an essential essence is not confined to children. In fact, it the cultural norm in some cultures. Professor Hood points out the some eastern beliefs centre around the idea that all things have a life force. Some cultures even find it hard to live in other people’s homes as they have a strong belief that there is ‘something intangible’ left behind by the previous occupants.

Transitional Objects

With this research in mind, imagine a child losing everything in a natural disaster? Imagine if their precious toy was lost forever, and they had to cope without comfort, in the midst of chaos and possibly bereavement. This is where aid shipments of toys can really help rescuers. Because even if the soft toys they distribute are not the ‘originals’, they still offer huge comfort to traumatized children. Many children in disaster areas will never have owned a soft toy of course. For these children, having something soft and comforting to hold, such as a toy or blanket, has shown to be highly effective in emotional recovery. In the west, up to 70% of children have a comfort object, since they tend to sleep apart from their parents at an early age. This is significant. Children in societies where this is not the norm may not have soft toys, but the importance of the parent in a sense of security is consequently even higher. To lose a parent in a disaster for these children is psychologically devastating. ‘Transitional objects’ (a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond) become even more crucial in the days before proper support can be put in place in the rebuilding of a country.

Rescuers

Rescuers find that important links can be made with children in disaster areas or war zones if they are able to give them a soft toy to hold. There are several charities in the US who make sure that firefighters and policemen are kept stocked up with teddies for their vehicles, just in case they have to deal with a traumatized child. Their testimony proves that soft toys make a big difference.

Toys Change Lives

Aid workers in danger hotspots around the globe provide similar anecdotal evidence. The power of softness and comfort cannot be underestimated. Traumatized children can confide in a teddy bear in a way that may not be possible with an adult. Toys are frequently used in play therapy for this very reason, where they are known to improve feelings of social inclusion and pro-social behavior. The attachment that is formed between a child and the toy they are given cannot be more powerful. The gifts that you make and send abroad change lives, and bring comfort where there is despair. You can knit and sew in the knowledge that your work is making a difference to children somewhere in the world.

There are hundreds of free patterns for simple soft toys here.  Make some toys, or send supplies to make toys to:

Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

 

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Love in action - working together to help others.

This winter has been cold but filled with hearts made warm and cozy with lots of love in action from ReliefShare.org volunteers and donors from all over the country.  A huge thank you going out to all those who have been shopping, knitting, sewing, serging, tatting, crocheting, crafting and de-cluttering for the benefit of the sick and needy we are helping.

Recent donations received include:
- hand knitted and crocheted hats
- prayer shawls
- afghans – all sizes
- baby blankets and snuggler cocoons
- baby sweaters and clothing
- infant demise layette sets
- crocheted, knitted and sewn booties
- children’s clothing and diapers
- hygiene supplies for needy families
- food items
- household goods – kitchen items, bedding, towels, electronics, etc
- beautiful quilts
- knitted and woven soft toys, stuffed animals and balls
- videos, books and toys

Donations have been give out to hospitals, homeless shelters, crisis centers, individuals, pediatric clinics, and other organizations that help the sick and needy.

Honorable mentions for donations and service include:

Janet W – WV
Melody G – CT
Michele H – UT
Kimiko S – VA
Jennifer S – ID
Dan W – MO
Christine R – SD
Herbert P – TX
Mary S – NC
SharpShoppersClub – MO
USCybertek – MO
Light Speed Interactive – ID
LDS Humanitarian – ID
Brian J – AZ
K W – ME
John S – AR
Barbara L – CT
Ethel V – OR
Charlotte B -CA
Cynthia S – WV
Ozark Glass – MO
JC Auto – MO
Marla P – KY
Grace D – PA
Terry W – KS
Diane H – AR

May God bless each and every one of you who answer his call to help.  If you would like to help there are many things you can do.

- Spread the work and share our link of www.ReliefShare.org on your facebook page,  twitter feed, or website.

- Go shopping and have a blast at the sales, then put your purchases for the sick and needy in a box and send it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.

- Clean out your closets for a good cause, de-clutter your home, teach your children and grandchildren about caring for others at Family Home Evening, family gatherings or one on one times – reach out to others by using your talents God has given you.

- Share your ideas to make the world a better place with others and ACT upon what you know to be right.

Start right were you are, right where you stand with what you have available and bless the lives of those around you.

We love your donations and are happy to get them to where they are needed the most, but you can also donate and help locally to strengthen your community.

Bloom where you are planted and spread God’s message of love and hope in your own special way.  It may be a smile, a hug or a warm blanket.

In the words of a wonderful Christian leader of men, Spencer W Kimball - “Just Do It!”

With love and gratitude,
Carol Green
President
Relief Share

info@ReliefShare.org

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2012 is going to be a banner year. Relief Share volunteers have rolled up their sleeves, opened their wallets, filled their schedules with charity work and the results of dedicated love for the babies is showing up in a plethora of donations to where it counts the most!

Donation out to Texas County Food Pantry and Crisis Center, January 12, 2012 delivered in person by Relief Share Vice President

1 receiving blanket
3 pair mens pajamas
4 baby bibs
7 baby sleepers
4 coats
4 pants
1 roll masking tape
4 tops
2 baby onesies
1 pr mittens
1 dress
2 pr socks
1 dog bed and pillow

Donation to Newborns in Need, Springfield Chapter (run by a very lovely lady, President Judy McDuffie) Mailed Jan 10, 2012
4 baby afghans
8 baby bibs
5 shirts
10 crocheted children’s soft balls
16 knitted woven children’s soft balls
3 knitted hats
6 crocheted hats
2 pr pants
1 baby sleeper
1 pr baby shoes
1 toddler blue jean jacket
12 preemie hats
1 toy
7 baby onesies
1 baby jacket

Donation to local Church for needy in area.
2 large shelves full of warm adult sweaters – many large garbage size bags full. Thank you to Susan and Phil for delivering those items to where they are needed the most.

Donations to individuals needing items the first two weeks in January 2012:
Baby cocoon for little girl
Baby clothing and accessories for little baby boy
Warm hats to needy family
Sewing supplies for grandmother to make items for grandchildren
Sewing supplies to make items for chemo patients
Toys for needy family

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Warn knitted hat - one size fits children and adult

This entry in our Relief Share blog is bringing attention to the needs of those who are dealing with lack.  When we think that an item will be used for a specific purpose, those who have not may use it for our intended purposes, but also have the creativity and inventiveness to re-purpose it for other needs.

We were charmed to see what our Relief Share knitted hat wound up being used for by a sweet little girl who innocently showed us that there are different ways to look at and use the same things.  Thinking outside the box allowed her to spend happy hours caring for her baby doll in a soft cuddly bunting pod, and when it gets cold, she can immediately pop the baby dolls ‘bed’ on her head for a cute warm hat to protect her head from the chilly weather.  I guess you could look at it this way – warm weather, it’s a dolly bed – cold weather, it’s a hat.

Attention to detail makes the hat fit better and look nicer

Cute soft baby doll bed, re-purposed hat by a little girl - smart thinking.

Just a few extra minutes with a crochet hook and adding a button really puts that 'touch of love' message to recipients.

If you would like to donate knitted or crocheted hats to help the  sick and needy, feel free to use your own patterns or email us at info@ReliefShare.org for our pattern shown above.

Hugs to you – may your heart always be warm, your tummy full and you be willing to help others when the spirit of God touches you to do so.

Carol Green
President
Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

 

 

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Sewing cloth mama pads

What a wonderful time we are having at Relief Share to take care of the sick and needy. In under a week we have donated out 15 lap afghans to the wheelchair bound, boxes and bags of clothing and bedding to the sick and needy, and  toys to the children who need them.  Donations going out this week is a truckload of sweaters and t-shirts to Missouri residents (some  of them survivors of the Joplin tornado), boppies to nursing mothers, baby cocoons to the hospital and new mothers in the area, baby clothing to 3 soon to be babies, pacifiers to the hospital, afghans, blankets, infant burial layettes, dolls and toys, books for the homebound to read and more.

Relief Share has been blessed with very generous donations of fabrics that just came in. The boxes are filled with the most delicious scrumptious high quality fabric that our volunteers are over the moon with.  One of the directors kept exclaiming, “Do you know what fabric this is? It’s the very best! Oh my gosh, I LOVE this designer…come see the fabric colors!  WOW, this fabric is so soft and dreamy, I can’t wait to get it sewn up for the hospital, it’s perfect for the preemie babies.”

Yes, I listed to nearly an hour of folks thrilled with the fabric sent for our sick and needy.  I can’t thank the wonderful donor enough.  Everyone is so grateful for her knowledge of fabric and willingness to share it with us to help those who desperately need the items that will be made.

May God bless her as plentifully and generously as she has blessed the most helpless and needy of His children. She is truly his hands and feet here on the earth answering fervent prayers for needed essentials for the babies and their families.

Donations arriving

Boxes of much needed new baby clothing has also arrived from a wonderful long time donor, Terry W.  The timing was perfect, as usual, as requests for help had just been documented when her boxes showed up with everything in them for the babies.  Marianne C. has sent beautiful preemie afghans for the little ones in the hospital and Shirley B made the most beautiful little burial gowns that are so precious and appreciated.  Roberta M. always sends the prettiest blankets with gorgeous crocheted trim and lovely crocheted afghans along with dollies for the little ones in the hospital that love a dolly to snuggle with.  Her donations are carefully and lovingly packed with the greatest of care.  J. W. blesses us with lovely fabrics that are just perfect for the quilts we make for families to snuggle under.  Our volunteers love working with them.

We were also blessed by a sweet lady who was willing to trade some of her yarn stash with us for supplies we didn’t need so we would have the yarn needed to knit baby cocoons, hats, booties and chemo hats and prayer shawls.  Yarn is always in short supply and we are so grateful for donations of yarn of any kind and color. It’s fun when white or cream wool yarn is donated and we can color it with koolaide in the microwave for permanent coloring to make fun kids print colors.

It takes all of us working together to help answer God’s call to serve his most helpless and needy children.  Great blessings are in store for those who answer the spirit’s whisperings.

All donations can be sent to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225.  Do you know this is the same address we have had for 2 decades now? In a world that is constantly changing, it is nice to know some things don’t change. Our love for God’s children will never change and our efforts on their behalf will never cease.  Your efforts combined with ours create miracles.  Thank you so much.

unraveling sweaters to get yarn to knit into baby cocoons

What kind of donations are needed?

Supplies:

Sewing – fabric, thread, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, snaps, pins, needles, patterns, templates, sergers, sewing machines, etc
Knitting and crocheting – yarn (all kinds all colors), knitting needles (circular 16″ size 7 the most but all circular and straight needles, dpns) stitch counters, yarn winders, swifts, spinning wheels, patterns, books, crochet hooks, etc
Tatting – tatting shuttles, patterns, books, threads
Quilting – fabric, templates, quilters basting gun,  batting (a huge need), books, patterns, etc
Embroidery – thread, hoops, patterns, books, fabric
Smocking – pleater, pleating needles, batiste, quilting thread, embroidery and kreinik thread
Office supplies – paper, envelopes, cards, pens, TP, wet wipes, canon ink. digital camera (a huge need).

new and gently used baby and childrens clothing.
basic essentials – hygiene items, shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, combs, brushes, toothpaste, underwear (all sizes) etc.

Baby items: diaper bags, bottles, pacifiers (a huge need – all kinds for the hospital), baby oil, shampoo, lotion, diaper rash, wet ones, cloth and disposable diapers, toys, cribs, bassinets, monitors, sheets, blankets, afghans, hats.

We address a great deal of needs.  Any donation that is sent is used to bless the lives of the sick and needy.  All donations are accepted with a tax deductible receipt when requested.

Carol Green

President

ReliefShare.org

 

 

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Cocoon made with Love That Yarn stripe from Hobby Lobby

Experiment with color. Enjoy the process of crafting a remarkable item to share with those less fortunate or sick. You will be doubly blessed as you put your love for your fellowman in action through service and charity.

We make so many items for the hospitals and for the sick and needy that it can get pretty hum drum to use the same yarn and colors over and over.  To spice up our charity work and enjoy what we are doing again – we simply add variation and color.  We either change up the pattern just a bit to make it slightly different and interesting – adding seed stitch to our knitting or using a variegated yarn instead of solid colors – and the joy in creating comes flowing back in again giving us a renewed love for the projects we are working on.

I ran across a wonderful tutorial on youtube on how to get the most from your variegated yarn. The idea was simple but brilliant. Mike suggests pulling the yarn from opposite ends to get a color reversal to double your benefit from using variegated yarns.

One of our Directors also has a marvelous way to make the most of variegated yarns. Jennifer Sundquist is an experienced knitter and crocheter and owns “The Tiny Panda” business – you can see her facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tiny-Panda/177250085656698 Her technique for working with variegated yarns is to watch how the colorway interacts with the pattern. When she sees that there is too much of a color being added to the project, she ties off some of that color and omits it from the yarn being used. By doing this simple technique, she can control how much of any color being integrated in the pattern is impacting the final result. This is especially helpful when using your own dyed yarns if the colorway turned out different than what you wanted. Don’t toss it out or put it in the back of your craft room – simply use the tying off technique to get the amount of any given color you are looking for.

Dyeing yarn with koolaid

If you are in a rut with your charity knitting and crochet by being bored with color – make your own!  Another way to get the most from variegated yarn is to dye your own yarn. Wool is the best choice of yarn to work with and it can be dyed with koolaide and your microwave. Yes, it does work and the color is permanent. Jennifer has dyed some incredible colorways that are absolutely gorgeous. Using Koolaid to dye yarn to make beautiful colorway (variegated yarn)

Here is a tutorial on the internet on how to dye wool with koolaid: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html

Yarn dyed with koolaid - simply gorgeous

Some of the wonderful colorways you can purchase in variegated yarns are found at the major chain craft stores. My favorites are:

Hobby Lobby – the store brand of Love That Yarn is always a good choice. You can find two types of variegated yarns in that brand. The ‘stripe’ version of the yarn will give you, yes, you guessed it, stripes – but not just solid stripes. There are pretty accents in the stripes that make your finished items wonderful. The other type of variegated yarn made by Love That Yarn is the ‘ombre’ – the more traditional type of variegated yarn with spotches of color.

Ombre pattern turned in to argyle with just a tension change - how fun!

I discovered, by accident when working on a charity fundraiser cocoon, that the ombre also makes amazing patterns when you least expect it. When making a cocoon, I put extra tension on the yarn and the basic ombre or splotch coloring turned into an argyle pattern. Very beautiful and more complex coloring and completely unexpected and welcome!

Another colorway that I love to use is Caron Simply Soft. In my opinion, that is some of the best yarn to use for baby projects as it is silky and soft and drapes beautifully. I also discovered that Wal Mart has three colorways that just came out a few weeks ago, as Wal Mart is adding all their fabric departments back (yay, Wal Mart – we love you again!) and the colorways are gorgeous. They are not available at any other stores in our Boise, Idaho area yet so I quickly bought up all that I could.

If you have ideas and comments on using color with yarn in your charity or other projects, we would love to hear from you.  Our email is info@ReliefShare.org

Carol C Green
President
ReliefShare.org
ReliefShare.org/wordpress

 

Chow dog dyed to look like Panda

Oh – just a fun aside note:  Yarn isn’t the only thing people like to dye.  This is a picture of the latest rage from China – people are dyeing their dogs like other animals.  Its safe and fun and quite interesting, but that is an entirely different post altogether *smile*

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Dryer balls from wool yarn.

These are dryer balls – they save money and are environmentally friendly.   An average family will save approx $240 a year by using them as they don’t have to buy fabric softener or use more electricity to run the dryer longer.

The wool in the dryer balls wick away extra moisture, drying the clothes faster and with the quite  soft beating motion in the dryer from the balls makes the clothing soft and keeps the static down.  It is a huge plus to be free from the chemicals in fabric softeners and fabric sheets, too.

These are three I just made from wool yarn.  You can make them quickly for yourself, your friends and family and to donate to charity, too.

Here is the pattern to crochet them.

1 skein yarn
1 crochet hook

With wool yarn (we recommend Fisherman’s wool yarn from Hobby Lobby – the price is good and it felts well), and a crochet hook (we like size G) make a magic ring.  Here is a link to a youtube tutorial on how to do a magic ring if you don’t already know how – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg and crochet 8 sc in the ring. Pull tight and slip stitch into the first sc to make the first ring.

For the second row,  chain 2, dc in the same stitch.  Follow the instructions in the bracket to the end of the row – (dc in next stitch and 2 dc in the stitch after that) dc in last stitch that you just did 2 dc in.   Slip stitch in last stitch to close. This will make half of the cover – a domed shape.

Repeat row 2 for row three. That is the other half  of the cover.  You will now have 2 half domes that will be whip stitched together over a ball of yarn you have rolled from the same wool yarn. To roll the ball of yarn check out this tutorial on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=equs45JCHwo You will note in the picture that some of the balls have more than just three rows.  You can make the balls as big or as small as you like by adding or deleting rows.

These balls are quick and easy to do.  After you have them done, toss them in the washer with your laundry, pour the laundry detergent for the load right on the balls.  Use hot/cold setting for the load as the temperature extremes, soap, and washer agitation will felt the balls so they work better and hold together better with use.  Toss them in the dryer and leave them there permanently. I use approx 8 to 1o balls in my dryer as I tend to do full loads.  If you are doing small loads you can use 5 to 6 balls.

Use up your scraps of wool yarn as well by simply tying the ends of shorter pieces – as you crochet the tied ends wind up inside the covers so you don’t see them.   These dryer balls are a wonderful gift for a new mother as fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions in small babies. We make them for the refugee center and other places who are helping folks get on their feet with household goods.

The same pattern from acrylic or cotton or blended yarn makes wonderful soft toss toys for the children in hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and for individuals in need who would love safe toys for their children.

Do you have a variation on the dryer ball pattern? Please share, we would love to hear from you.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

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Cotton knitted dishcloths

These cotton dishcloths are earth friendly and last a lot longer than synthetic mass produced dishcloths – they work better, too.   They also save money when you use them instead of paper towels or wipes.

Make some for yourself and extras to donate to the refugee center, homeless shelter or crisis center in your area or send them to us at Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn. We like the Peaches and Cream cotton yarn.

Knitting Needles: Size US 7 or 8.

Pattern: Cast on 3 sts.
1st row: Knit.
2nd row: K1. Increase 1 st in next st. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 40 – 50 sts. (depending on how big you want the dishcloth.
Next row: K2. K2tog. Knit to end of row.
Rep last row to 3 sts. Cast off.

Note: This pattern makes a darling baby afghan. Use washable acrylic yarn and knit rows until it is as big as you want, then decrease.

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Relief Share volunteers have been very busy knitting, crocheting, sewing, serging and donating towards our baby cocoon project for the hospital.  Lots of questions have been asked and answered so for convenience, we are going to put most of the answers to questions regarding this project in this post for easy accessibility.

Question: What are baby cocoons?

Answer: Baby swaddling items that can be knit, crocheted, tatted, sewn and serged from either new or recycled material.  Here is a picture of a baby cocoon in use:

Baby cocoon for swaddling babies

Hand knitting pattern for “THATCHER’S COCOON”click here.

Machine knitting pattern for the baby cocoon - click here.

Sewing and serging pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

Crocheted pattern for the baby cocoon – click here.

The general sizes are:

The baby’s weight for the general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter 1.5 to 3 lbs
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across) 3 to 5 lbs
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across) 6 lbs to 8 lbs
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across) 9 lbs to 11 lbs
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 12 t0 15 lbs
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across) 15 to 17 lbs

The hospitals use the XS size the most, the the families we donate to use the S, M and L the most as well as the XL. The XXS are used by the hospital, some of them for infant demise.

Hints and tips for making cocoons have come in from many sources and the ideas volunteers have suggested are wonderful.  We’ve been scouring the thrift shops and our own closets for sweaters that are soft and made from yarn that can be washed, taken apart and the yarn used to make the cocoons.

A wonderful thrift shop in Breckenridge Colorado named “For Pets Sake” donated 4 sweaters, we also purchased many of them off their $1 sale rack.  Other thrift stores in Boise, Idaho, such as the Deseret Industries yielded beautiful sweaters that we got a lot of yarn from after washing them and taking them apart.  We bought a large lot of yarn on craigslist from money donated by caring volunteers to help make baby cocoons, hats, blankets, and layettes.  JoAnn Fabrics had a wonderful sale on yarn as well.  Use your imagination to come up with sources for materials to make the cocoons from.

Babies love the cocoons and rest peacefully swaddled in them.  They are so easy to use, quick and safe, and the hospitals and mother’s love them as well.

If you would love to help with our baby cocoon project, here is what is needed:

1.  Volunteers to make the cocoons and send them to

Relief Share,
6078 Lundy Rd,
Houston, MO 65483

2.  Donations of yarn, fabric, and sewing, knitting, and crocheting supplies are needed.

3.  Funds to purchase supplies and ship the items to where they are needed the most can be sent through paypal to info@reliefshare.org  – all donations are tax deductible.

If you have comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, please email us at info@ReliefShare.org – we would love to hear from you.  All Relief Share patterns are FREE for charity or personal use.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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Mason at just 3 lbs 2 oz.

Ever wonder “how tiny is tiny” when we are talking about the preemie babies we make things for?  A picture speaks a thousand words and this beautiful baby takes our breath away as we see his Daddy’s hand measured up against him.  How tiny is tiny? REALLY tiny.  Really perfect, really sweet and this little one is no different from thousands of other teeny tiny babies in that he has completely captured our hearts.

In less than one second, eyes are riveted to the picture and hearts committed to helping clothe and snuggle Mason in warm clothing and blankets. That is the power of ‘baby love’ that drives the volunteers at Relief Share.

Thank you to the volunteers who quickly responded to the call to action.

A package went out priority post for Mason filled with all kinds of goodies:

1 preemie afghan
2 crocheted incubator/carriage covers
1 blue outfit
3 preemie tops
4 preemie sleepers
1 preemie jacket
1 preemie snuggler cape
8 washcloths/also used for burp cloths and change pads for preemies
1 baby gown
1 baby bracelet
a number of knitted preemie baby hats
2 teddy bears
1 pair preemie booties
2 baby swaddling cocoons
pkg of 20 preemie disposable diapers
2 to a pk of bottle insulators

There was a lot of love put into this package.

Mason's care box.

The crocheted incubator covers were made by a precious little old lady in a old folks home in Missouri.  Her husband travels 2 hours EVERY DAY to go see her and pick up what she has made to donate to us.  She loves the preemies and continues to crochet for them on an ongoing basis.

Mason's care box.

I made the cocoons from a gorgeous baby blue sweater (this president loves to roll up her sleeves and participate) donated by the local Food Pantry to help us with supplies through recycling. The soft cocoons will keep Mason snuggly warm and comforted as it is like being back in the womb again.

Mason's care box.

The gown was sewn by a volunteer and has a matching crocheted hat that another volunteer made, they are from West Virginia. The bracelet was made by a third volunteer and the white blanket and booties by another.

Mason's care box.

The preemie clothing is brand new from Wal Mart and bought by yet another volunteer. Everything was donated and worked on with love. Mason has a lot of Relief Share Grannies and Aunties that love him ;-)

It is a miracle how all the hands and hearts come together in love to bless the babies and families we serve. No one is paid, we are just happy to help where we can.  Now that our care package has gone out to help Mason physically,  we will keep him and his family in our prayers ;-)   He truly is a gift from God.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

PS.  If you love babies and want to get involved, it’s as easy as 1, 2 3……

Mason's care box.

1. Get a cardboard box
2.  Fill it with anything a baby might want or need – either finished or purchased items or sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting supplies.  Items can be new or gently used.
3.  Stick a label on it to Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd, Houston, MO 65483-2225 and mail it.

Ta da! Done! You are now one of us, a Relief Share donor and volunteer and also counted in God’s book of heavenly acts on earth ;-)

Some of the items a baby needs:

sleepers, gowns, onesies, socks, booties, soft shoes, hats, tops, bottoms, diapers (cloth and disposable), burp cloths, diaper bags, swaddlers, cocoons, blankets, afghans, quilts, stuffed animals, crib bedding (sheets, bumper pads, blankets), moses baskets, cribs, swings, activity mats, rattles, bottles, soothers (pacifiers or dummies), bottle liners and nipples, breast feeding items, breast pumps, diaper lotion, baby shampoo, baby oil,  baby bath, baby food, formula, shorties, longies, baby slings, baby carriers, car seats (for safely rules they must be new), play pens, baby music CDs, bassinettes, baby brush and comb, baby chair, bath items.  Can you think of more?

Mason's care box

Some of the supplies needed:

fabric – all kinds.  Minky, chenille, micro fleece, flannel, knit, cotton – think baby!
thread, scissors, pins, quilting rulers, rotary cutters, rotary cutting mat pads, cricut machines and cartridges for quilt appliques, sergers, sewing machines, knitting machines, knitting machine weights, Kris Krafter garter bars for Bond knitting machines, yarn, all kinds, colors and types, elastic, velcro, buttons, zippers, appliques, interfacing, wonder under, knitting needles, crochet needles, tatting shuttles and needles, patterns, pincushions, bias binding, trims, laces, etc.

Clean out your closet for a good cause.  Recycle the items you no longer want or need – sweaters and tee shirts become baby cocoons, hats, onesies, gowns and stuffed soft toys.  Cut the buttons off of old shirts – they are fun down the front of a sleeper in all colors.

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Recycle sweaters and tee shirts turned into baby cocoons

After some very busy cutting and serging, 72 cocoons were delivered to the hospital today.  It did my heart good to hear the answer to my query from the nurse.  I asked her how were the cocoons working out and she said they loved them.   Some of the little babies tend to have a problem keeping their heat and the cocoons helped keep them warm and snuggled.  She also said it was a lot easier for new Moms to pop their babies in the cocoons to keep them snuggled up instead of trying to keep them swaddled in the blankets.

The cocoons are fun to make – they can be sewn, serged, knitted, crocheted, hand knitted, and machine knitted.  If you are really energetic, you could even tat one ;-)   The patterns are free and offered on our blog.  You can also google for free cocoon patterns on the internet and find a ton of them.  A great website for free patterns is www.ravelry.com

The cocoons in the picture are made from recycled sweaters and tee shirts, most of them donated from the local food pantry and crisis center.  They are 16″ long by 10″ wide.

Here is a quick way to make a pattern.  Take a piece of paper that is 16 x 10 (I buy roll ends

Shape of the cocoon

from the newspaper and it gives me lots of pattern paper to work with)  and put a dinner plate on one end and trace with a pen.   Cut it out so that will make one short end of the pattern rounded.   Then cut a wedge on either side of the other end so that the top of the cocoon slopes in towards the baby’s neck.

Extra Long knitted and serged cocoons

Lay the pattern on the sweater so that the top of the cocoon is the bottom of the sweater – this gives you a finished edge at the neck of the cocoon.   Serge around the cocoon on 3 sides with your serger. Ta da! Done.

The general sizes are:

XXS – 14″ long x 50 stitches wide (6″ across) – 12″ diameter
XS – 16″ long x 60 stitches wide (8″ across)
S – 18″ long x 70 stitches wide (10″ across)
M – 20″ long x 80 stitches wide (10″ across)
L – 23″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)
XL – 25″ long x 80 stitches wide (12″ across)

I made the extra long cocoons to test and my grandson is doing really well with them.  You can pull them up around the baby’s face in cold weather to keep them snuggly warm.

Long rib knit serged cocoon to snuggle baby.

If you are doing these cocoons for your local hospital or birthright center, be sure to ask them what size they want.   If you are making them to help us provide the 350 cocoons the hospital has asked for (yes, we love help!), they use the 16″ long by 10″ wide the most.  They also use the smaller ones as well.

Our address to send donations to of finished cocoons, knit and tee shirt material, sweaters and tees to cut up to use, thread -sewing machine and serger thread, and other sewing supplies is:

Relief Share

6078 Lundy Rd

Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this project. We appreciate the donations of sewing machines, sergers, knitting machines and sewing supplies so much. It takes all of us together to make miracles happen.

Carol Green
President
info@ReliefShare.org

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Donation of yarn being made into a baby cocoon

Sometimes folks wonder if donations sit around not being used for a while or if they get quickly used to help the sick and needy.  Here is what we received today in the mail from Pat S.  – a wonderful box of 14 balls of beautiful sport/worsted weight yarn to use for the babies in hospital.

Within a very short time it was being knitted on the knitting machine, donated by a wonderful donor, J W (who wishes to remain anonymous so only initials are used).  She has blessed many people with her ongoing donations to Relief Share.   Because of her recent donation of garter bars and needle stoppers, the work went even faster and very quickly a baby cocoon was completed.

Completed cocoon

A skilled knitter, Judi Meissner, shared with us how to do the decreases even faster so we could get more cocoons to the hospital sooner.

I am on a marvelous yahoo group, who are more than willing to share hints, tips and welcome advice on how to be more effective in knitting with the Bond knitting machines. The patterns shared are fun and the folks on the list genial and helpful. If you own a ISMor a USM knitting machine by Bond, we highly recommend the yahoogroup for a way to be more productive and enjoy with your knitting machine.

Go here to subscribe: incrediblesweatermachineclub-subscribe@yahoogroups.comincrediblesweatermachineclub@yahoogroups.com

Here is the cocoon being modeled by one of my display baby dolls:

Snuggly cocoon for newborn infants

Newborn baby size cocoon

This cocoon is 9″ wide (18″ circumference) and 20″ long.  The size that the hospital needs the most is 8″ wide (16″ circumference) and 18″ long.  I was trying to downsize a larger cocoon and didn’t quite downside the pattern enough.  Today I will make another cocoon the right size!

These cocoons can be knitted, crocheted, sewn and serged.  We make many of them from recycled sweaters and tee shirts.  The arms from the sweaters can be used to make baby pants and matching hats.

Our recycled sweaters are donated from the local food pantry and crisis center, then donated to the local hospital.   The TCMH hospital needs 350 cocoons – so far we have donated 15, and made another 6 for the crisis center.

Would you like to help?  We need yarn donated – worsted weight or sport weight is best but we use all types and weights of yarn as we make baby blankets as well.  We also need knitters, crocheters and seamstresses to help by making and sending the cocoons to us to take to the hospital.

Our address to send donations to is:

Relief Share
6078 Lundy Rd
Houston, MO 65483-2225

All donations are acknowledged with a thank you letter/tax deductible receipt. We are a 501 ( c) 3 non profit registered with the IRS.  The patterns for the cocoons are free and found on this blog.  We love sharing volunteer and donor patterns as well. If you have a pattern you would like to share with others for the cocoons, or for any baby item, we will be happy to include it on our blog.

Relief Share is staffed by all volunteers, no one is paid and no administration fees are taken out of donations – everything and every penny goes directly to help the sick and needy.

President Carol C Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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A HUGE THANK YOU to the Big Piney Sportsmen’s Club, 16866 Hwy B, Houston, MO 65483 for allowing our Relief Share volunteers to collect the used shot gun shells out on the shooting range whenever we need to.  We use them to make Christmas lights.   Relief Share is very appreciative of support for our charitable activities to take care of the sick and needy.

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Got your attention, did I?!  :-)

If anyone has some spent shot gun shells, we would love it if they would donate them to our charity.  Relief Share can give you a tax deductible receipt for them as they will come to our charity to be donated after they are made into Christmas lights.  Yep, you read right.  They make the prettiest Christmas lights.

I just finished watching my son in law and daughter make some for their Christmas tree this year.  Laura had ordered some off the net and when they came they were only 8 feet long.  Yeah right, that really doesn’t go far.  She came over to my house to see if I had more white mini light strings and I had a brand new box of 100 feet.  Josh had figured out how to make them himself and they turned that string of mini lights into the prettiest Christmas lights you ever saw by using spent shot gun shells – recycling at it’s best! Cost free, too.

I know a lot of folks that would love them.  Relief Share volunteers will make the shot gun shell Christmas lights up and donate them to the those who don’t have any money for Christmas decorations ;-)   We also have a charity flea market booth and when we can take care of all the needy,  if we have any left over, we will use them for fundraiser in our charity flea market booth, though probably next year for the fundraising with them as there isn’t enough time to do that this year as well as do the donations as we always take care of the sick and needy first.

Here are pictures ;-)   You may even want to make some yourself!

Take these:

Hammer, glass eye wash dish, screwdriver, spent shot gun casing

If you don’t have a glass eye wash dish, use anything that has a curved bottom that you can hammer the shot gun shell into to push the bottom concave.

Using the shot gun shells, you can make lights by pushing clear mini lights into the end of the shells and closing the top with the screwdriver pushing the plastic in place so they will stay on the mini light string.

spent shotgun shells

All that effort is worth while (and it’s a lot of effort), will make get these:

That look like this:

and these:

That look like this:

Shotgun shell Christmas lights! Recycling at it's best!

Note: the black ones are too opaque to do much but the other colors, especially the green, red and yellow work great.

The address to send the shot gun shells to is: Relief Share, 6078 Lundy Rd., Houston, MO 64583-2225.  If you have clear mini light strings that you’d like to send as well, that would be wonderful.  We will send a tax deductible receipt with your thank you letter.  We are a 501 (c ) 3 IRS approved non profit.

President Carol Green
info@ReliefShare.org

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For folks helping out with making bibs and other items with bias binding on it, there is a cheap easy way to make your own bias tape.  Now you can have a darling custom fabric bias to match the item you are making and you don’t have to pay a lot to buy the store bought bias tape!

We found this wonderful visual tutorial for DIY bias tape on the net and are happy to share the link with you!

Homemade bias tape maker

bias binding

bias binding

When you find fun informative sites like this one, please email us so we can include a link to it on our site so everyone can enjoy saving money and having fun being creative!

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Apr
20

Ideas for saving money

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This information is timely and important.  It has been taken from an email from www.flylady.com Share the information with friends as this economy has even the most spendy folks now paying attention to nickels and dimes. Charities are being overwhelmed with people who would love to be self sufficient but don’t know how.  Here is a good place to start:

Going green doesn’t have to cost us green money. We are very bright and each of us has come up with great ways to save money, help the environment and FLY!

Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy. Did you know that when you are FLYing you are saving money and helping the environment? I want to discuss some of these money saving green/purple
habits we can help you establish.

Decluttering 15 minutes a day! How can this save you money; I know you are thinking this? The act of decluttering makes you more particular about what you buy and bring into your home. This amazing thing happens because you begin to love yourself and the way your home looks. You have to really need something to buy it! Shopping becomes something you do because you don’t need a diversion from being at home feeling guilty about your clutter and all the stuff you buy because it is on sale. If you did not spend $20 a week on more clutter then you would have saved $1040 a year. This doesn’t even count the money you spend on the gas to run around and buy the clutter. Buying less reduces your carbon footprint. It also reduces your trash and landfills.

Picking out your clothes as part of your before bed routine! This simple action will give you more time in the morning so you can fix your breakfast and a cup of coffee before you head off to work. No more stopping for expensive drive thru breakfasts and designer coffees. You have to pleasure of a peaceful morning with your life under control along with your finances. If you spend $5 a day on a drive thru breakfast and a coffee then you could have saved $1300 in a year. Pulling out and trying on creates pile of clothes and those clothes get mixed up with your dirty clothes and then you use more water to wash them.

Planning your menus for next week and preparing a grocery list before you go shopping can help too. This keeps you from going to the grocery store multiple times each week. This alone can save you $50 a week. There is hardly anyway to keep from spending less than that each time you go to the store. If you are cooking then you are saving more money by not getting takeout from restaurants. That could alone could save you another $25 a week. This amounts to $3900 for a year. Then if you factor in the gas you save by only going to the grocery store once each week. Less gas used, buying fresh food instead of packaged also
helps reduce our trash.

Wearing good shoes for your feet help in lots of ways! Good shoes gives you more energy and keeps you from breaking toes and cutting your precious feet. More energy helps you to exercise more and take
better care of yourself; this saves on doctor bills. One co-pay for an office visit could save you $20 a month. A broken foot could set you back $1500 for an emergency room visit. Shoes save you more than you
would ever think about. $1740 is amazing when a good pair of shoes could runs around $50. What an investment! This doesn’t even count the money you save because of the energy you have to keep your home in order. More energy means more walking instead of driving.

Next let’s look at how much you save by paying your bills on time and not running up your credit cards. One late charge a month or an over draft fee is could run into $100 dollars a month. If there is one there are usually many. You are having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Stay on top of your bills and paying things on time is a major way to save money while FLYing! $1200 is a small amount to save when we examine what we really spend in those fees and interest rates. I haven’t even figured the cost of the fuel for all those extra trips to the grocery store, to pay a bill before the power gets turned off, doctor visits and fast food trips. Besides the more you go shopping the more you spend. Fewer trips to the store will keep your bills affordable and you have not put that gas into your car and the pollution into the atmosphere.

So you see with these five simple habits you can save lots of money and help the environment. $9180 is no chump change to me. That is more money than I made some years in my career as a furniture store bookkeeper. That is $176 a week. WOW! Now that will buy you a tank a gas with some money for savings and something simple for you as a celebration.

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