Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Project #24: Connecticut, Are You Warm Enough?

This project runs from October 15 to January 15. The reason for its length is that this is a sweater/cardigan project, so the items will take longer to make, and that we are having our winter break along with this project. Mailing deadline is January 15, but you can mail as soon as your item(s) is/are finished. You decide, if, when, and how much break time you take between now and January 15. I thank you all for another stellar year spent sending warmth around the U.S.

This project is for middle school children (grades 5 through 8) in Connecticut. This school of about 650 students has the highest percentage of foster children in the state. Over seventy percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch. The “Are You Warm Enough” initiative collects clothing and money from the community and local businesses to purchase coats, sweaters, and other necessities for the children.

One of our participants, who works at the school, is the volunteer collector and distributor for this project.

The school has a uniform code that requires kids to wear only black, white, or gold sweaters. Vests, pullovers and cardigans will all be greatly appreciated. Male or female, sizes S to XL. If you have charcoal, you may use it, but please note that it will be given to 5th and 6th graders, so please size accordingly.

If you are one who cannot create a sweater, vest, or cardigan, but still want to lend a hand on this project, you may make scarves. I understand that the school uniform code does not allow the children to wear the scarves on campus during school hours, but they are allowed to wear the scarves to and from school. Also, these children do need to be warm outside school as well, and my not have scarves at home for their out-of-school hours.

Address to mail your items:
Carmen Arace Middle School
Attn: Maggie Tarbox
390 Park Avenue
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Please remember to affix the “Sharing Our Gifts” tag to each item you send.

Happy creating!

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Anonymous said...

Received first sweater vest today! It is gorgeous. Posted a pic of recipient wearing it on ravelry sharing our gifts project #24. My kids and I love you guys!


Anonymous said...

I love you folks! See attached:


Let me tell you how wonderful and appreciated the hand-knitted sweaters are for our students! Everyone is amazed that our school was selected for this honor! Teachers are especially impressed with the workmanship and durability of the garments.

The need for sweaters in our unpredictable and fluctuating New England weather has increased, too, so demand is UP!

Boys and girls come to me each day asking if they can borrow a sweater. I am pleased to say yes and loan them a sweater for the day. Students love the sweaters and eagerly put them on. I can tell you by the way they snuggle into them that they are perfect! Since they are washable they have stood up against the test of machine washing and re-wearing. There is a “race” each day by a few girls to see who gets to wear which one – one girl alternates colors so she can enhance her wardrobe – she has declined selecting one to keep so she can create the illusion she has more than one sweater!

Of course, there are some students who have benefited from a permanent gift! I’ve seen the look of surprise on faces when I tell them they need not sign the sweater out – it’s theirs to keep! They are very appreciative and tell me they will wear it every day – and do!

Thank you and your “Ravelry” group for having such huge hearts! Thank you for making them in our school colors – it makes compliance with our uniform policy so much easier for some which eliminates problems for all. I tell each one where they were made and some have noted that the wool one from Maine is probably because it is so cold up there that the knitter chose wool. They also comment on the “Hawaiian sun knitted into each stitch” – they say they feel the Hawaiian sun in the sweater! I remind them that Minnesota winters are just as cold as Maine winters and the boys love the long sleeve black sweater! The sweater vests are a huge hit with the boys – they don’t feel like they are wearing “girls” sweaters… which is important in middle school!

It seemed unfair that I am the only one witnessing the pleasure on each child’s face when they put a new sweater on for the first time! I wanted to share it with you and your knitters, so I hope this email helps convey just how happy the students are with the sweaters from around the country!

If you never thought, as you created each stitch, that your work would result in pure human happiness, guess again. Every stitch you make is a smile that links another smile to another, and on…and on. And all this good will, generosity and kindness knits a sweater of love for all of us…..myself included. I’ve enjoyed being the purveyor of your knitting family’s kindness – thank you so very much!

We are creating a display in the entrance to our school to showcase samples of your work and others’ hands - to remind children that beautiful things come from caring human hands and hearts…..

From my heart to yours,

Thank you for the love AND the knitted sweaters for our students!

Ann Velazco

Behavior Manager

Carmen Arace Middle School

7th & 8th Grades

Bloomfield, CT 06002