May 312010
 

Something that has been on my mind lately has been giving back.  You’ll notice a “Caring Communities” tab along the top of my blog.  (And I completely consider my online friends as part of my community…even if we’re thousands of miles or several countries apart!)  I’m excited for us to find ways to make all our communities a little better. :D  And with today being Memorial Day in the United States, a soldier related program seems like the perfect starting project!  The first Caring Community project is going to be making items for Operation Care Package.

Want to get involved?  Great!!!!  Read on!

I have been in touch with Debbie from Operation Care Package.  Here are some sewing related projects that they can use.

  • Cool scarves (you know, with the water absorbing cyrstals)
  • Travel Pillows
  • Drawstring Bags (free pattern here)
  • Neck Gators
  • Extra Long Quilts or Quillows
  • Twin sized Quilts

They can also use sewn or crafted items for raffles/silent auctions to raise money for postage.  Postage is by far their largest expense.  Last year they spent $112,000 on postage.  WOW!  They send out around 150 packages each week!  And at Christmas time they send stuffed stockings that can be handed out.  It is amazing!  And I’m super excited to help!

Here we go!  I want you to get involved!  Super simple.  Make ONE drawstring bag.  That’s all.  It’ll use up some of your left over fabric and go toward a good cause.  Debbie said any size is useful – even 6×9…which would take less than a Fat Quarter to make! (free pattern here)

If you live in Tucson, I have ordered 4 lbs of the water absorbing crystal and will be organizing a sewing day to make several hundred cool scarves with my friends (and anyone else that wants to be involved) here in Tucson.  I am working on a location (if nothing else, we’ll meet at my house) so I will let you know additional details when they are available.  Above All Fabric (aka me) will be donating all the supplies for this project.  I hope you’ll donate your time (and maybe let us use your sewing machine…I only have like 5 or 6. ;-)  )

I want to stress, that even if you’re not in Tucson, you can still get involved! It’s easy. :-)

  1. Make items. (drawstring bag or see the list above)
  2. Blog, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc to get others involved.
  3. Mail your items (options down below)

And if you want to organize something a little bigger in your area – then get together with a group of friends, a church group, even your own family.  Make items for the soldiers!  Or make items for the soldiers to give out at Christmas time!  One note…on the cool scarves, neck gators, (the stuff the soldiers can wear) the material should be green, tan, brown, black, navy etc.  No American Flag fabric. You could use more “fun” fabric for pillowcases, quilts, blankets, drawstring bags, stockings, auction items, etc.

I want to give you time to get involved.  I know with summer schedules it can be crazy.  So I plan to mail boxes to Debbie in June, July and August.  So if you’d like to include something in the box, mail your items to

Above All Fabric
PO Box 68787
Tucson, AZ 85737

Put a little note in there like “For Operation Care Package”  You know, just so I don’t get confused. ;-)

You may also mail items directly to

Operation Care Package
611 Wilcox St.
Joliet, IL 60435

I am offering a $25 gift certificate to my store to one of the participants…because I really do want everyone to get involved, and I know sometimes a little reward helps motivate. :-)

Grab a Caring Communities button from my sidebar!  Add it to your blog.  Also be sure to add yourself to my link list.  Let’s be part of a caring community together!

I’m so excited about this project!  And I have another great project in the works too!  Details on that down the road!  I realize not all my readers are in the US and that’s okay.  I encourage you to figure out community service projects you can do in your area!  Regardless of where you’re located,  let me know what you have going on in your community!  Maybe it’ll be featured in the Caring Community section in the future!

  15 Responses to “Operation Care Packages”

  1. I think that is a fabulous idea, and I’d love to help. I’ll bring it up at our next Modern Quilt Guild meeting and see if I can drum up some more help. I’m definitely in for at least a draw string bag or two!

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    Melanie Reply:

    Thank you!!!! :-) I’m so excited about it!

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  2. I’m in!

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    Melanie Reply:

    yay!!!! Thank you!

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  3. I think this is a great idea. I would love to help!!

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    Melanie Reply:

    yay! Thanks, Katie!!! hope it works out to see you next weekend too!

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  4. I am totally in!! I’m a Navy wife and we have TONS of friends and family in Irak and Afghanistan, this is a dear to my heart cause and you can count me 100% in!!

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    Melanie Reply:

    Yay!!! Thanks also to you – awesome Navy wife!

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  5. sign me up…… anything to help!

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    Melanie Reply:

    Thanks! I can always count on you to be willing to help!

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  6. Sewing some drawstring bags is definitely something I can manage time for and will send them on in your name.

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    Melanie Reply:

    Thank you for helping!!! (Oh, and you don’t need to send them in my name….I just appreciate your willingness to help!)

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  7. I will be there! :)

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  8. I was wondering where you got the water absorbing crystals from…and about how much you put in each neck pillow…..thanks :)

    As a veteran and an AF wife I can’t wait to help out :)

    [Reply]

  9. [...] and donated over 35 drawstring bags, 125 cool scarves, and one quilt for the soldiers as part of Operation Care Package. I donated all of the supplies for my local peeps to make the cool [...]

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