Many, many thanks to all who attended our luncheon last Saturday. We sew appreciate everything each one of you. If you ‘just’ work distribution-OH MY GOSH we couldn’t do it without you. Sewing, crafting, crocheting, knitting or buying clothes/supplies, we need every item you create/buy. Some have said “I don’t make many items” but what is important that each item you create is any item for a child.  We have been very lucky the last few years in that we have not run out of items, but when I first started in 2007 we did run out of accessories and clothes, (pillowcases lasted one morning) so all of your individual efforts have paid off.  The kids on the last day still have a selection of items to ‘shop’ from.  Thank you!  We also appreciate all those who support us and put up with our sewing ‘stash’ as it has a tendency to go beyond our sewing areas.  I hope you all enjoyed the video that Mary put together from various places highlighting distribution.  Thanks to Julie and Patty for the door prizes they provided.  That was fun!

Thanks to Barbara Wood and Linda Travis from the Beatitudes for hosting us again this year.  As usual, the food was delicious, the service excellent and the room fantastic.  Thanks to Jerry and Mary from BHHS Legacy for paying and making all the arrangements for our luncheon.

Jerry talked about how Legacy has helped kids statewide and the impact of our efforts.  He honored us with a check for $40,000 for our sewing supplies.  THANK YOU JERRY! He also talked about the experience and need at Luke Air Force Base.  He is still working on a date, but hope for it to be the week after distribution, which is scheduled to start on July 20.  When I do the signups for distribution, Luke signup will be included.

Karl talked about how Back to School Clothing Drive started with Title 1 schools and has been expanded to help homeless kids, foster kids, and military kids. Many kids needing help!  He also discussed an awesome opportunity with the Clemson football team to stuff 1,200 backpacks!  What he didn’t mention was this was accomplished on Christmas Day! Hats off to the efforts of the BTSCD staff and volunteers. 

This year we added 2 businesses to our Stitches of Love Angel Plaque.  We recognized Bernina Connection for hosting sew days for us in the east Valley and introducing several new volunteers to us.  We recognized 35th Ave Sew and Vac as they also host sew day for us and feature us every year in a pillowcase day where they supply the fabric for the pillowcases and their customers create the pillowcases at the store.  We have obtained many volunteers from their customer base.

This year we honored Mary Jo Kruse, Joan Fenlon, Norma Buckwald and Kathy McCarthy.

Mary Jo has been involved for many years (since high school) as her Mom was the original leader for Stitches of Love and created the foundation we still use today.  She was ‘recruited’ by Jo Doyle to start the sewing group at the Beatitudes.  Joan is Mary Jo’s sister-in-law and also has been involved for many years.  Mary Jo and Joan create many, many (many more!) dress kits for the ladies at Beatitudes to sew. Cutting fabric becomes more of a challenge as we age-as my thumbs will attest to so they appreciate their kits!  They also volunteer every day at distribution, along with their husbands and other family members.

While sewing day at the Beatitudes was started by Jo Doyle, Norma Buckwald has kept this special day going for us.  She was able to obtain a permanent sewing room for them to sew every Wednesday with us joining them on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Beatitudes groups have created several thousand items a year for us!   

Many of you know Kathy as “Kathy from Flagstaff”.  What you don’t know is that she has volunteered with us for many years (before I started) and started out sewing for us.  Upon her move to Flagstaff and health challenges, she began buying new clothes for us.  The last few years, her goal has been to donate 1,000 pieces of new clothes to us! She provides the majority of our purchased clothing concentrating on items we don’t sew such as shorts, pants and items for the larger girls. Many thanks to Jane Cox and Kathy McKinley for being her delivery service when she is not able to come to Phoenix and drop off her clothing at either Karl’s house or at the BTSCD office. 

Many thanks to Tony Espinoza who videotaped our luncheon.  You will see Tony at other events creating special memories for us.  Look for his video on the BTSCD website and Facebook page.

Upcoming events will be our sew day at our BTSCD office on Thursday, January 23 from 9:30 to 1:30 where we will work with some new knit fabric.  35th Ave Sew and Vac sew day will be on Sunday, January 26 from 10 to about 2-3.  Please remember this is a no host event meaning we will not have any supplies and we are not able to accept any inventory.  Excellent day to use their tables to cut out items.  We have several who bring their yarn and enjoy others who attend.

Our next Open House will be Saturday, February 8 where one of our volunteers will have her troupe selling girl scout cookies.  Stevi has been with us for many years and become involved again upon her retirement.  Our goal is to engage her troupe more as they become older. She started them sewing last year! They have been giving us valuable style advice.

Thanks again for all you do for the kids!