Before I update everyone on the number of kids we helped this year, I have some sad news.  My husband passed away right after distribution on July 27.  Some of you knew that he had been in failing health for many years with respiratory issues caused by very brittle bones resulting in reduced lung capacity.  I honored his DNR wishes so he is out of pain and back to being 6 feet tall.  We had 54 wonderful years!

Back to distribution…we saw 3,225 smiles at GCU.  We then helped about another 500 kids at Luke Air Force Base. Luke was so much fun because the parents take their kids to each department, then they can watch their kids get so excited picking out their items in our department.  We had taken quite a bit of inventory to Luke, so we were able to donate the left over items to the on base Thrift Store.  I estimated at least 500 items were given to them to be given (free of charge) to more kids.  We gave items for another 500 kids at Sequoia and finally we donated 800 hats to the Legacy office in Bullhead City.  So a total of 5,525 kids received clothing and/or accessories from us.  Great job everyone! Please see the section below on the inventory carried to 2024.

We ran out of purses on Wednesday afternoon and boy dress shirts on Tuesday.  Mary has created a really cute yarn purse using the moss stitch and she will have the instructions at our September meeting.  As in previous years, if you want to sew a boy’s dress shirt, I will do the buttonholes and buttons.  

We found one problem with the fleece hats with the fleece fringe on top.  They were cut correctly with the stretch, however the hem was folded up 1 3/4 in and then zigzag stitched.  What we found was, the hat did not stretch enough for the kids to try them on and we think that was because of the band/zigzag stretch. The kids loved the hats so if they could be cut larger, more kids would have been able to wear them.  We also thought it might have helped if the hem would have been smaller.  We had quite a few hats in the brown color range and they were not selected, so again no tans, gold, light or dark brown hats please.  Loom hats must have 2 strands of yarn and we found several that were a single strand of yarn.  Unfortunately these hats were tossed as we didn’t feel they could be donated.  Please NO straight pins remaining in your garments!  Yes we found many.  If you do not have a safety pin to attach the size tags, we have many. Please get one from us when turning in your clothing.  Due to the number of items turned in we don’t always catch that on the clothes until blood is drawn. And yes that happened several times.  We try to have patterns that are loose fitting so we feel that half sizes really are not needed.  We have been mixing them in with regular sizes but to be honest, most kids and their shoppers don’t understand that sizing so we will not be focusing on those sizes.  We do still have a few patterns and size tags but we won’t be replacing them as they are used.

Regarding the pillowcases, if you are using the french seams, please make sure there are not any threads hanging from the seams. Also make sure the selvage edge is not showing. 

Another thing we found this year is holiday and religious items. The kids love the red, white and blue themes but all other holiday items are not given to the kids.  This includes bangles on bracelets and keychains such as crosses, fish and other items were removed.  This was our policy when I started in 2009 and it remains today.  

Scrunchies can only be turned in attached to a piece of clothing and NOT added to our inventory.  I understand that they are popular, however I do not want hundreds (thousands) of hair scrunchies and unfortunately lots of ugly ones.  Those who have volunteered for several years know exactly of what I mean.  If someone wants to volunteer to accept individual scrunchies (NOT placed into the inventory) and then review them for cuteness and durability, please let me know.  We can add no more than 500 to our inventory. Also please much less glitter on the hair accessories.  All the glitter gets into the girls hair in addition to our area and it is difficult to clean up.

Also if you make a matching purse with your clothing, please remember to put the purse on your inventory sheet. 

We are going to try some different bracelets for the boys as the paracord is labor intensive and a challenge to fit for the boys.  Patty will have some samples to show everyone at our September Open House.

2024 carried forward inventory

 Size              tops              bottoms         outfits
6                   80                     12                    81
7/8                15                      9                    113
10/12            17                      3                      17
14/16              1                      1                        7
18 & up                                   1

total clothing 347
                                   Boys                  Girls
hats                             122                   408
key chains                  1,243               1,523
bookmarks                   21                     118
bracelets                                               790
hair accessories                                   456
purses                                                    0
pillowcases                   948
paracord                       416
wallets                           69

We “sew” appreciate everyone’s hard work this year!  Our Open Houses are held the 2nd Saturday in September-November and February-June from 9-12. We will not have a meeting every month but if we do it will be from 10-10:30 so selecting supplies during this time will be very difficult.  January will be our appreciation luncheon.  We also have a sew/yarn day at our Back to School Clothing Drive office on the 4th Thursday from 9:30-1:30, we try to keep it in between rush hours.  You can use the sewing machines and sergers we have on the shelves.  We do not leave the door open, so you will need to ring the white doorbell so we can let you in.  We also have a sew/yarn day at 35th Ave Sew and Vac on the 4th Sunday from 10-4.  We do not have any supplies on hand so you will need to bring your sewing machine or serger and any BTSCD projects you are working on.

We will have a meeting on September 9 and hope to see you all then.

Thank you everyone!