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Look Who's WUA!
Everyday we receive cards, e-mails, photos and newspaper clippings from friends around the country who are volunteering their time, talents and resources to Warm Up America! From a grammar school class in Atlanta, Georgia to an adult residence in Portland, Washington, people of all ages are helping their neighbors in need.
We'd like to hear from you too. Whether you are contributing one section or 20 afghans; donating them locally or sending them to Foundation offices, we'd like to hear your story and share your photos.
Knitty Gritty Viewers Warm Up America!
DIY Network's Knitty Gritty devoted a day of programming during last year's Super Bowl Sunday promoting an alternative to football watching: knitting and crocheting for Warm Up America! Viewers from around the country responded and thousands of individual sections, plus some completed afghans, poured into Foundation offices. Show host Vickie Howell (pictured left) visited Warm Up America! offices last fall to see first-hand the results of the Super Bowl Knit-In and to personally donate the dozens of assembled afghans to the Gaston County American Red Cross.
Vickie Howell (center) met and thanked many of the regular Warm Up America! volunteers who assisted in assembling Knitty Gritty viewers' knitted and crocheted sections. Our volunteers are (l. to r.) Evelyn Carson, Ruth Gee, Mary Walker, Betty Blackwell, Karen Smith, Nellie Overcash, Lynn Pitts and Mary Colucci, Foundation Executive Director.
Dozens of blankets were later presented to the staff at the Gaston County Red Cross. Pictured (l. to r.) are Bertha Watkins, Warm Up America! program manager Kim Bell, Vickie, Margaret Royster and Chuck Bridger, Red Cross Director.
Warm Up America! is fortunate to have very special neighbors who regularly stop by the office, pick up bags of knitted and crochet sections, and assemble them. Without their help, we could not ship out the thousands of finished afghans we do every year. Many of these special volunteers joined us during the Knitty Gritty taping. At the end of the day, the completed afghans were delivered by Vickie Howell, Warm Up America Manager Kim Bell and Executive Director Mary Colucci.
Debbie Macomber Helps Spread the Word About Warm Up America!
Debbie Macomber, best selling author and avid knitter, serves on the Warm Up America Foundation Board and has mentioned the program in several of her books. As a result, we have received numerous notes from Debbie's fans who have gotten involved in Warm Up America! Here are two such notes and photos we received. The first one is from Joyce Knauff, Associate Pastor of the 1st Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Valparaiso, IN.
I became aware of your foundation and its mission through a friend, Mary Lou Carney, a parishioner at our church, who is good friends with Debbie Macomber. Please let Debbie know her influence to do good in the world reaches all over the country! Pictured are:
Sandy Padovani (on the right), House Manager of Greenwich House, receives a gift of seven patchwork afghans from Ilene Chelf of First Christian Church, DOC, of Valparaiso. The women of the church knitted and crocheted 7" x 9" blocks of various yarns and patterns and Mrs. Chelf put them together. Greenwich House is a local transitional home for women with mental illness and is overseen by Christian Community Action.
Thanks to Anita Erickson, who rallied dozens of Grand Rapid volunteers to support a Warm Up America project to benefit the D A Blodgett for Children facility for foster children. Twenty afghans were presented to Bob Lang from the Children's center. Making this project possible was a generous $900 grant from Thrivent for Lutherans, which enabled the group to buy lots of yarn and needles. There were 28 volunteers, including one12 year old girl.
Pictured are some of the beautiful afghans completed by the Grand Rapids Warm Up America! Group.
Troy Senior Center Brightens the Lives of Area Families
As many of you know, the Foundation accepts and distributes thousands of afghans from our North Carolina office. However, there are many groups of Warm Up America! volunteers who regularly meet to knit and crochet afghans and then distribute them to families in their communities. Here's news from Sue Aluck, Director of the Troy Senior Center about one such group. Our Warm Up America group has 15 senior citizens who have been making afghans for two years now and have donated more than 125 gorgeous afghans to family and children's shelters in our area.
They make the 7 x 9s and a couple of the ladies put them together. They have a ball working together on Tuesday mornings at the Senior Center and most also work on crocheting at home. They do full size and baby afghans, all with donated yarns. Thanks. To Sue and her wonderful group of volunteers, keep up your good works!
Sioux Empire Arts Councils Rallies Volunteers to Aid Homeless
Thanks to Deb Klebanoff, Executive Director of the Sioux Empire Arts Council for sharing news of her area Warm Up America group and the good works they are doing. She wrote:
I wanted to share a couple of photos of our group's efforts in Sioux Falls, SD. The photo of Colleen Waltner and Carolyn Downs shows them holding up a stack of 24 afghans out of the 89 donated this year. Knitters and crocheters have been donating work—and all by word of mouth. Colleen is one of the people who have helped put together all of these afghan rectangles. Carolyn is the director of The Banquet—an agency in Sioux Falls that feeds and helps the homeless with needs. There is also a photo of our latest knit-in—knitters include Suzie Rusch, Marty Davidsohn, and Aaron Mielke—our first male knitter; and the ladies from one of the local churches who brought in several finished afghans.
We've been having a lot of fun with this program.