Monday, April 30, 2012

Fabric and Fleece Donations

We received some beautiful donations recently!

The photo below is of fabric that was donated by our Vice President's (Maribeth's) mother.
Our V.P. moved to Kansas a few years ago, near her parents and extended family.
Her precious mother, Norma knew and loved Katie, and decided to buy fabric and make some blankets for our guild.
Unfortunately, after she purchased this gorgeous batch of flannel and satin blanket binding, she fell very seriously ill.
Fortunately, she is doing much better now (yay, Norma!), but is unable to sew.
When I was back in Kansas a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Norma and her dashing husband Harry at their retirement home so I could thank her personally.
Maribeth sent the fabric along, and here it is:
 Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting guild member Mary R. for a quick cup of tea, and to pick up six bright, warm, BIG, double-layered fleece blankets which are going to delight the patients who receive them. Mary's daughter, Briana, made these with her youth group:
Mary has kindly agreed to be our "gratitude ambassador," and will be helping me with the many "thank you" notes that are part of our guild's efforts.

Thank you, Norma, Harry and Maribeth!
Thank you, Mary, Briana and friends!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guild Luncheon

On Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Seattle Children's Hospital Guild Association Luncheon at the Westin Hotel. It's the meeting at which all guilds gather and celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, learn about new challenges and receive updates from hospital personnel. There are elections of officers and awards for outstanding service, a music video showing highlights of what we do and how we do it, interviews with patient/family members and time to shop at booths staffed by guilds (which sell items to support the hospital).

I brought my mom with me, and upon our arrival, we met one of our guild members, Bonnie P, and sat together. We were also seated with members of the Adaline Coffman guild, and I had the opportunity to chat in depth with a delightful young lady who is a member of that guild.

The guild association was founded around the same time as the hospital itself, by Anna Clise (who also founded the hospital). It is unique in the nation, and we are told it is the envy of other hospitals. The power of goodwill that the guild association inspires and harnesses is truly transformative, to those serving and to those it serves.

Some fun facts about the Guild Association in 2011:
7,000 members
500 guilds
11 new guilds
$10.8 million project revenue
$141,000 membership revenue
$501,900 net thrift store revenue (from wonderful stores like Bainbridge Island's Bargain Boutique)
170,535 volunteer hours
$2.5 million guild-affiliated revenue (Foundation programs from guild members and their friends)

Please take a few minutes to watch this video, get inspired, feel the love and passion of our members, look for our photo, and (if you haven't already) consider JOINING us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Terrific Junior Member

Our guild has one junior member, whose name is Briana R. Briana is an inspiration - she has brought great energy and enthusiasm into sharing our guild with others. She has done this by sharing her time, her energy, through her church's youth group and her own online store, which she operates for charitable purposes.

Here is an excerpt from Briana's recent note to me:
"I (in my spare time) run a small Jewelry business called Hope's Wings Jewelry and a portion currently averaging about $3.00 per purchase goes to a specific charity for 2 months. Right now Sales are slow because I chose a smaller lesser known site to sell things on so that I could still easily fit it in to my ever shifting and full schedule so I unfortunatly can not promise any large donation but I have chosen the guild to be the recever of what donations I hope to bring in during this April and May. I have already announced on my virtual store's blog that Katie's Comforters will be the charity for April and May but I thought I would let you know."

Please take a moment to check out Briana's store here:

Here is her account of her youth group's work to support Katie's Comforters Guild:
"Just recently Briana Ryan and the youth group at St. Olaf’s parish worked together to complete 10 fleece knotted blankets and brought them to the Seattle Children’s hospital. The kids all in middle and high school thoroughly enjoyed this service project and they all said that making the blankets was definitely their favorite service project that they have participated in as a youth group this year so, when they went to the Jr. High Youth Rally they submitted the project and won a certificate where they were recognized by the Archdiocese of Seattle for the project. Now many of the kids are considering making blankets like those they did together for their own loved ones and some others also are considering joining or donating to the guild."

Thank you, Briana, for sharing your enthusiasm for our guild with St. Olaf's Youth Group!

If you know a young person who would be interested in joining us, please extend an invitation to membership in our guild!

Beautiful Gifts

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Lucile & Noble for a trade - I gave them a box of brand-new satin blanket binding for use in making quilts, and they donated 25 new quilts and fleece blankets to our guild.
I would love to show these blankets to you in detail, but Lucile & Noble are so efficient with their plastic bags that I can't get them open! Take my word for it that these are gorgeous, cheerful and bursting with color.
Thank you, Lucile & Noble!

We also received a generous monetary gift from one of our non-sewing members, Ellie B.
Thank you, Ellie!
Your gift makes it possible for us to supply our sewing members with materials, such as fabric and satin blanket binding! The "economy of grace" is at work in all of our generous donors, members and supporters, and we are deeply thankful to each one of you.

The Ben Towne Foundation

Our friends Carin & Jeff Towne started the Ben Towne Foundation in memory of their son, Ben. Ben was diagnosed with cancer on the very same day that our Katie passed away from cancer. When we were introduced to Carin & Jeff, we hit it off very quickly. As Carin puts it, we would be friends even if we hadn't met one another because our children died from cancer. You can't say that about every person you meet on this journey, but this friendship is real, and it is a gift.
Photo credit:  Ben Towne Foundation
Recently, Carin gave us another gift:  she wrote about "Because of Katie" on her blog. Please take a few moments to go over and read what she has to say, check out their foundation's website, learn about Ben's life and what he has inspired. Ben's legacy is a beautiful one. I would rather he were here, doing what little boys should be doing, but since I can't have that, I admire what he has inspired. Ben's life, and the tragedy of his passing, are fueling change in the way that cancer will be treated. I am thankful that we are friends of the passionate, loving, hilarious, talented couple who are Ben's and Ryan's parents. They are taking their pain and using the energy to make something GOOD happen.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Quilts and a Memorial Donation

Guild member Bonnie P. stopped by last week with a donation of 4 lovely new quilts.

I've mentioned before how Bonnie makes her own labels for her quilts, using our business card and an image of a FROG. That makes a nice, personal touch, and the frog always makes me smile. I'll bet it does the same for the patients who receive her quilts. Here are close-up detail photos:
flowers and penguins
flowers, butterflies and a Hawaiian-themed quilt
We were able to share some of our wonderful fabric which was donated by the Friends of Susy with Bonnie. It was such fun to go through it with her and see what she selected. I know she will do great things with it, as Lucile has, too!

Bonnie also made a generous donation in memory of her friend, Paula.
We are deeply sorry for your loss, Bonnie, and we thank you most gratefully for your memorial gift to our guild!