Mission Statement

Our mission is to warm those in need through knitting, crocheting, and quilting. Our NEW hand made items provide hope to those living outdoors and those in temporary shelters. We provide for Men, Women, and Children in Central Ohio all year long. Specific details available by clicking item specific tabs, or the Who we Help Tab. If you have further questions, please contact me via the contact form. ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE A NOTE WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Quilting Can Warm Those in Need

A-Z Challenge = Q= Quilt.  Wiki says the definition of a quilt is the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric.  I made this quilt YEARS ago.  It's not a traditional quilt in terms of style, or the type of stitches that were used; but it is layers of padding and fabric stitched together.  Historically people used scraps, left over from other projects (shirts, dresses, skirts etc.) to make a quilt.  Nothing was wasted, so quilts were a bit of this and a bit of that.  Nowdays, they are much more pieces of art, made with special fabric in very intricate designs on expensive sewing machines.  In the days of old, they were sew together by hand, women sat around a loom and quilted the top to the bottom, in a group effort.

This was made of scraps from old warn out flannel nightgowns, but not just any nightgowns.  A group of friends used to go skiing together, and we women had "team" nightgowns, so these pieces parts are from those old nightgowns.  One friend still skis, the rest of us have gotten old, lol.  So this is a bit of a memory lane quilt.  With the exception of blue and white snowflake background, the flannel is from various years, various ski trips.  The other unusual thing is the x-stitched squares of related events from those ski years.

I've not received any quilts in donations, but would be thrilled to accept some.  They would certainly be a wonderful addition to our cause.  Sooooooo are there any quilters out there?
This is a random picture I found on google, and certainly much more of what probably comes to mind when you think quilt.  This is made on a machine, see the super even stitches...and the super straight squares probably cut on a die...wouldn't someone be thrilled to wrap up in this to keep warm as they move into their permanent housing situation from shelter living!

Can you help?  Do you quilt?

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

John Helinski, Homeless in Tampa

While Sunday is a day outside the April A-Z challenge, I've continued to post on Sunday.  Meet John Helinsky, age 62 homeless in Tampa, Florida. Living on the street, sleeping in a cardboard box when he could find one, on a park bench when he couldn't.  For 3 years John lived that way in downtown Tampa, being as invisible as he could.  Like many homeless, he had no ID, his SS card had been stolen.
Dan McDonald, unlike many police chose to help not harass John.  He couldn't bear to see this senior citizen living homeless on the streets and got him checked into a homeless shelter.

 Where Charles Inman, caseworker applied added his help.  One of the problems facing homeless without ID's is actually getting them ID's.  You need birth certificates to get other ID's, and that can be quite as chore.  Add to this the fact that John Helinski was born in Poland, a US citizen and you have extra paper work that needs to be done.  International phone calls were needed to track down a record of his birth, then drivers license and social security cards were obtained.
One he had proper ID's, more digging took place.  He remembered having a bank account, but the bank had changed names.  Through extra effort from both the police and the caseworker the bank was found and John had a nest egg, his social security had been deposited and had earned him some interest during those 3 years living on the street.  He's pictured here near his locker and bunk at the shelter where he's still working with his case worker, preparing to transition into living in an apartment.  Even with money, living in a permanent housing situation takes some adjustment.  We don't know what caused John to become homeless, or how much he has in his account; but the stories say enough that he can live modestly in an apartment, or perhaps even purchase a home, if he chooses that route.

This story broke on both CNN and ABC, perhaps elsewhere, both those are the 2 sources I found.  Thank you RoseMary from Tenn for letting me know you'd read a story on bing about a man in Tampa.  This is definitely a story worth retelling.

I wish we had more stories like this with happy endings.

Below is the Sunday wrap of the A-Z challenges to date.  If you've not read them, please do.  Reading and sharing the information is helpful, even if you can't join us with knitting and crocheting.

A=Afghans, Family Heirlooms
B= Bridge and Beyond, Behind the Scenes
C=What is Crochet
E=Exposure Kills Homeless Vet
F= Crying and Homeless and Freezing Temperature
G= Gubbio, A Homeless Project, St. Boniface Church
H=Hobo and Homelessness
I= Inspiration
J= What is Joy
L=Knitting Looms
M=Mittens, Knitted, Crocheted or Loomed
N=Caring for the Needy
O=Jack Otis, Classmate, Homeless
P=Policing the Homeless

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Policing the Homeless

 A-Z Challenge = P=Police, Policy, public land, personal care.
The picture is truly the nicest picture I could find where police are interacting with homelessness.  I say the nicest because in story after story, picture after picture, video's too numerous to count...Police harass homeless, arrest homeless, talk horribly to them, and in a few recent cases kill them.  This picture they are arresting the wonderful old gentlemen in the white jacket who's prepared meals for the homeless.  This took place in Ft. Lauderdale.  This 80+ year old man has been arrested multiple times, his food thrown out, and the homeless made to scatter.  There's an ordinance in Ft. Lauderdale against feeding the homeless.  This man has fought each arrest and has won and returns to his mission, only to be arrested again.  The last time I read, the police were told to leave him alone.........however, what about other people in that city, other locations where someone wants to help?  The ordinance hasn't been changed.  And sadly, Ft. Lauderdale is NOT the only city with such an ordinance.
This is a memorial of a homeless man who was killed by The LA Police Department.  The man allegedly didn't stop after he'd been tased and so he was shot by 3 Policemen.  This happened on skid row, when police responded to a call about a robbery.  Things escalated, the homeless man didn't want to go with the police, and he fought them and lost his life.  I didn't find information that indicated whether or not he was in fact quilty of said robbery.   The homeless community there with him on the sidewalk was outraged, as were some passers by who felt it wasn't handled very well.  The point is, being Homeless is NOT a crime, but being homeless is indeed criminalized in many cities across the country.

Detroit has a practice of "dumping" homeless.  In tourist friendly areas police round up homeless and in essence kidnap them, put them in police cars and vans and drive out of the city or to a lesser populated area of the city and literally, DUMP the homeless.  There is a law suit currently about this practice.  The area they've been taken from has warming areas, and other services needed by the homeless, so often they painstakingly return to the same area.

Recently in New Mexico a homeless man was shot in the back (multiple times), police say he was going for a knife.  They may stand trial for murder, that's yet to be determined.  He had a camp set up on the outskirts of the city,  and they wanted it gone .

Tent Cities in New Jersey, California, Florida, Colorado, Hawaii and Virginia and more are being raided by police. By raided, I mean people are told to vacant and their items are trashed if they don't comply immediately.  One city has a brochure suggesting people trim all their bushes and trees and clean out any brush so there's not place hidden where homeless might live or set up for the night.

While being homeless isn't a crime, almost everything associated with it is.  It's a crime to panhandle, sleep in a park or on a bench, or sit in an alley, to camp on public land.  It's a crime to lotter...and many homeless must lotter during the daylight houses, walk the streets etc until it's time to get into a shelter.  So, you see it's quite a vicious circle.

Many police departments consider homeless an inconvenience to them.  They consider homeless to be lazy bums, mentally ill, drug addicts and alcoholics.  And certainly, that's true in some cases, but it's also true many are not.  Some police departments do try to direct homeless to areas where they can get help, but not enough from the articles I read.  Some police enforce the statutes, some look the other way feeling there are more important things to do.  There doesn't seem to be a standard.

This isn't being written to make people choose sides, but to open peoples minds about the extent of homelessness and it's associated problems.  Homeless try to be invisible, they don't want to be noticed. They don't want to wear bright colors, thus my constant request for dark colors, items with minimal stripes.  By not calling attention to themselves, they have a better chance of going unnoticed by police and others.  The Police are charged with upholding the law and so that automatically puts them against homeless people and all that it entails.

Some people say that homeless are lazy.  I think the energy it takes to stay alive, to stay safe, to find food, to find lodging, to move from the street to the shelter and back again, and to stay away from the police takes alot of energy; both mentally and physically.

We do what we can to help ease their burden by supplying them with warmth in the form of hats, scarves, mittens, slippers, and socks.  We collect and donate personal care items, that are so needed, how else will they be able to clean up, to feel more human, to be able to work.  YES, many homeless do have jobs.  Many homeless are children who need to go to school.

Can you do something to help?  The answer is YES.  There is something everyone can do, it's just a matter of what you're financial, physically, and emotionally are able to do.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.


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Where are You and Your Yarn From?

I'm trying to identify where everyone is from, partially for fun. Take a look at the map. Also, believe it will aid me in cases where we have several people with the same name. Please look at the lists of bloggers and non bloggers and see if I have the state you hail from. If not, please leave a comment and let me know.

Additionally, we've had help from Scotland, England, Germany Puerto Rico, Canada, and France! They don't appear on the map, but their help is still greatly appreciated.

Where The People Who Donate Come From, is your state represented?