Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wrap Up

I spent the good part of this evening unpacking boxes of donations.  I'm getting ready to post photos of  them, so stay tuned!!!

As of now, please DO NOT send any more donations to the Bloomington, Indiana address.  My home and my back can literally not handle any more.  A stranger entering my house might call me a hoarder!  I have a ton of amazing gifts to bundle up and ship out over the next 3 weeks.

Don't worry - if you have donations that are ready to ship, be patient.  At the first of the year, I will post current needs and shipping addresses for various locations throughout the country. 

Again, a huge thank you to all of the crafters who have worked with me over the years!  I am so appreciative of your generosity and in awe of your talent.  It has truly been my privilege to see everything that you have created!  I hope that you will continue to donate in 2015 with our new direct ship process, and when you do, I hope that you will post photos of your gifts so everyone can be inspired by what you do! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's happening at Marine Corps Kids!

I have a group of my wonderful friends lined up to help me get all of the current donations bundled, shipped and delivered to the families before the holidays.  We have a tremendous amount of gifts to put together, so it will be very exciting!!! 

As I mentioned, in 2015 we will be changing our procedures a bit so that donors can send their handcrafted gifts directly to volunteers who will deliver them to the families.  I already know of two events for which gifts will be needed in the new year, and expect to hear of more within the coming months.

I will be posting the needs by location / event, the date needed, and the ship-to address here and on the Marine Corps Kids Facebook page with a link for crafters to sign up to help fulfill these needs.  It should allow your beautiful creations to reach the families more quickly. 

Since I will no longer be receiving the donations and distributing them I will not be able to post photos of the items received, but I invite our crafters to post their own photos, share their favorite patterns, and interact with each other here on Facebook.  I also invite our FROs, volunteers on base, and families to post photos from their events,  their gifts, and if they like, of their babies and kids right here as well.

Marine Corps Kids is changing with the times, but we are not going away or slowing down!  In fact, I think that we will continue to grow in 2015 and beyond! 

Thank you!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!


I just spent the last few hours unpacking donations to Marine Corps Kids.
First, I must apologize to our crafters. Many of these gifts were sent months ago. Life circumstances and some health issues prevented me from unpacking your donations in a timely manner. I have more packages to unpack and photograph, and then I will post photos and thank yous to the donors. I'm very sorry that these acknowledgements are so delayed, but please know that your gifts are very much appreciated!!!
Whenever I open gifts to Marine Corps Kids, I am overwhelmed by the talent and generosity of our donors. We receive incredibly beautiful hand crafted items from both new and long time donors, and seeing these gifts always warms my heart! At a time when the news seems to be so grim and depressing, it is a wonderful reminder of how much goodness there is in the world!

Over the years, it has been my privilege to process all of the gifts to Marine Corps Kids, so I know better than anyone how incredibly generous our donors are and how much great work this group has done. We have sent gifts to thousands of families, and the thought of this effort ending is very sad.

So......

I am delighted to announce some GREAT NEWS!

MARINE CORPS KIDS WILL NOT BE CEASING OPERATIONS AT THE END OF THIS YEAR! We have too many wonderful people doing wonderful things to allow our work to stop. We will, however, be reorganizing and streamlining our efforts to save money and deliver the goods to our military families in a more timely manner.
I am reaching out to volunteers on military bases to try to arrange for our donors to ship gifts directly to the base. This will save us the expense of double postage, and allow gifts to reach the families faster. Rather than receiving and processing your gifts, I will become a liaison between volunteers on base and our crafters. I will post where gift items are needed, so that our crafters can ship their gifts directly to where they can be used. Crafters will be able to post photographs of their creations here on our Facebook page, volunteers can share stories, the public can read about what we do, and most importantly, we as a group can continue to support our military families with our handmade crafts.

As I announced early, I will be accepting donations through the beginning of November, so that we can send out many gift bundles during the holiday season. Then, early in 2015, I will post more details about our new operating style.

I hope that our Marine Corps Kids Crafters will continue to support the families through this new system. Our crafters are an amazing group of people, and I know that we can continue to support our military families in 2015 and beyond.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Announcement



The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion, but one that can be overwhelmingly stressful.  That stress is multiplied when the baby’s father is deployed away from home and the mother must manage her growing family alone.   Seven years ago Marine Corps Kids was “born” to support the families of our service men and women.  Since that time, thanks to hundreds of generous crafters around the country, we have delivered care packages to thousands of military newborns.  These care packages have each been unique, containing hand crafted blankets, hats, bibs, booties, sweaters, toys and other items made with love.

What started in 2007 as a small operation quickly grew as crafters who sought to support our military began donating to our efforts.   We have received gifts from experienced crafters whose talent is incredible, as well as from new crafters who began knitting or crocheting specifically to support our efforts.  We have received donations from individuals, senior centers, community centers, religious groups, girl scouts troops, and even prison groups from around the country.  The outpouring of support through hand crafted gifts has been incredible! I am so proud and honored to have received each gift, created the care packages (with help from some dear friends) and sent them to families around the world.  While most of our gifting has been to Marine Corps families, we support all branches of the military, and have sent gifts to Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard Families.

Being involved with Marine Corps Kids has provided me with so much joy, respect, and pride.  It has truly been my honor to have worked with so many talented crafters and to have interacted with so many military families and Family Readiness Officers on bases throughout the world.  Therefore, it is with sadness that I write today that our efforts as an organized group will be concluding at the end of this year.  In the last few years life circumstances have made it all but impossible for me to keep up with the tasks of receiving, processing, and shipping out gifts.  I have not come to this decision lightly, but I am no longer able to devote the time required to maintaining the flow of donations to the families.

I have made many meaningful online friendships with our crafters, and I hope that these relationships will live on.  I have also developed an even greater respect for the work and sacrifice of our military and their families. 

The good news is that there is still time to donate items and end this operation with a huge outpouring of gifts and thanks!  I have received many shipments of donations in the last several months that have yet to be processed.  I will get those all unpacked and photographed in the coming weeks.  I will also be accepting new donations until the beginning of November so that all of those can be processed and care packages sent out for holiday gifting.

Marine Corps Kids crafters are some of the most generous, warm and talented people out there.  I am so grateful for your generosity and for your commitment to making Marine Corps Kids a successful effort.   Thank you all!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recent Donations

Please forgive me - I have been remiss in posting donations as they arrive, but donations continue to arrive and gifts for the babies continue to go out. 

You can see a photo album of all the recent donations on our Facebook Page

A big huge thank you to everyone who has sent in these beautiful gifts! 

Ruth from Oregon
Cyndy from Florida
Faith from Washington
Pauline from Oregon
Autumn from 29 Palms
Lauri from Minnesota
Alfreda from Pennyslvania
and all the crafters from the Buttonwood Campground in Lewistown, PA for their amazing gifts!

Here are just a few highlights from the album.  I hope that you will click the link above to see everything that these wonderful ladies have so generously donated!

These gorgeous sweater sets are just a small sampling of the lovely gifts made by Ruth from Oregon.  She also sent in some gorgeous blankets, receiving blankets and burp cloths.

These are just two of the big thick blankets made and donated by Cyndy from Florida.

These darling bibs are just a sampling of the donations for 14 year old Faith from Washington State.  Faith also made some amazing sewn jackets and a blanket/sleeper set.  So much talent from one so young!!!

This adorable stuffed toy, and these hats were donated by Autumn from 29 Palms.  Autumn is a Marine Corps Mom, and we thank you for your lovely gifts and for your family's service!

These gorgeous hats were made and donated by Alfeda from Pennsylvania through Giving Artfully

Many thanks to Sitinee - the founder of Giving Artfully - for including Marine Corps Kids in her project lists and for sending several new donors our way!


Thanks to Pauline from Oregon for sending two more gift sets for the babies.  Every month or so I get another box from Pauline.  She is one of our most active donors.



These tree photos show just a sampling of the lovely blankets, hats and booties sent in by the many crafters from the Buttonwood Campground in Lewistown, Pa.  You can see all of the photos in the Facebook album linked above.  I don't know how many crafters worked to create all these amazing gifts, but we are so grateful for your continued support.  Thank you all!

Last but not least, we have some leg warmers and ear warmers for the older children.  These were made by Laurie from Minnesota. 

Thank you to all for these lovely gifts.  They will all be bundled up soon and sent on their way to the children.  Your continued support helps us to reach many military families.  I know that they appreciate your support, and so do I. 








Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thank you Christina, Katie and Kathy from Michigan!

Kathy from Michigan mailed in a  box of 3 beautiful blankets!


This  colorful afghan was knitted by Kathy!  It is soft and cheerful, and will make one lucky baby very warm and cozy this fall!  


This beautiful quilt was sewn by Christina who is only 13 years old!  Christina, you are very talented, and very kind to donate this lovely blanket to Marine Corps Kids!


The red quilt above and the white quilt below feature a block with text.  This photo is a close up of what it says.  It is a clever poem by Kathy making a "find it" game of all the squares in the quilts.  Such a clever idea!


Finally, this white quilt was sewn and donated by Katie.  I love all the bright and cheerful fabrics used!

Thank you, Ladies, for your wonderful generosity.  These are such lovely gifts for our military families!




Beautiful donations

Stephanie sent in a box of lovely donations that arrived this week.  She noted that these beautiful items were made by several different people!  I wish I had all there names to thank them individually!  These items are gorgeous!


This quilt is amazing!  Each tiny box is individually sewn, and the outside border is darling!  Whoever made this has some amazing sewing skills!!
 

This is another gorgeous quilt.  This one features larger boxes that are offset for a lovely stepped pattern!  I wish that I could sew like this - I can't even get the needle threaded!


The photo above features a truly beautiful crocheted blanket, and 4 adorable two sided spit clothes.  I love the darling fabrics used for these!


These straps are fabulous! One side has a velcro closure to attach to the stroller or crib, the other side has a plastic hook to hold babies toys or binky.  Such a clever idea!  And if you look closely, you'll see that several of these feature fabric with the Marine Corps logo.  I know that the families' who receive these will love them!


Finally, the photo above show a really sweet crocheted cap and some great burp cloths.  I love how these cloths have a cut out for the neck so that they are comfortable a fit well over the shoulder.  And the boy and girl monkey patterns are too cute.

Thank you so much to all the talented crafters who so generously donated these beautiful gifts!