The Mitten Project began in November with the following post on the ASP Facebook page:
"We've been thinking of a way to help the homeless this year and have decided on the idea of making mittens and hats from fleece and other warm fabrics. We've raided our personal fabric stashes and the remnants bin at Joann Fabrics. We'd be thrilled to receive any donations of fabric, thread, or needles you'd care to send our way. We'll be getting together, at least once a week, at A Sacred Place to cut and sew as many as we can. We'll be distributing them through out the winter, either directly to individuals or to HAVEN's clothing pantry. If you want to join us here you're more then welcome. Please bring a pair of scissors and your sewing machine if you have one. If you can't join us here PLEASE think about getting a group together in your local area. The homeless, and those in need, are EVERYWHERE."
Rather than summarize, here are the actual updates from the project:
For those of you following The Mitten Project we had a great day of cutting, sewing, music, and just good old fun. Everyone involved is glowing as their hearts fill with the spirit of the season. It was so heartwarming to see all the ASP Elves (Carol, Marilyn, Niniann, and I) busy and humming away while Steve and Erik kept the coffee going and searched the internet for patterns.
By the time we finished this afternoon mittens covered the better part of the couch and cut pieces were stacked high. I dare say this is doing as much for the spirits of those involved as it will for those in need. I can't think of when I've had a more rewarding day. I'd also like to thank David Buonomo and Roger Kabler for their generous donations. We promise to put it to good use.
If you'd like to help the cause we'll need to pick up more fabric soon. You can make a tax deductible donation via PayPal by going to our web site www.aspcanaan.org and making a donation. Large or small doesn't matter, every bit helps, and it all goes to help those in need
What a great, productive day we had at the Mitten Project! Today we welcomed Carol from New London, who turned into an instant sewing Elf! We got quite a few mittens finished and hats cut. We've brought cut pieces home to complete to up the production. With two weeks left, we are trying to get as many finished as possible. We will be gathering on Tues., Dec. 10th for anyone that would like to join us! You don't have to sew to be of help. We need folks to cut and/or pin material. Thank you, Niniann LaCasse, for your company, advise, and LUNCH! You have no idea how much I enjoyed that Pizza!!! This has turned into a lot of fun!!
I want to say a HUGE Thank You to our ASP Elves... Marilyn, Carol, Sue, Niniann, Laurie, and Steve. Today was our last get together and we PUSHED hard to get as many mittens together as possible.
Final count...drum roll please....67 pairs of mittens and 8 hats. Half will be handed out in Concord, NH this weekend the rest will be delivered to HAVEN for distribution in the Upper Valley area.
Nope, we're not saving he world but in about 5 weeks time we've done a little something that should make a world of difference to 134 hands or 1340 fingers. We'll ask folks now to think of The Mitten Project when you pass the remnant bin at a fabric store in 2014. Pick up a piece or two of fleece, send us your old sweaters and sweatshirts. We'd really like to have enough materials to piece blankets together for next year.
Thank you in advance. Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, and We wish you all a warm and wonderful New Year.
I think we saved 2 lives yesterday. I was left pretty speechless. There was an old guy, sleeping at the Friendly Kitchen (that wasn't open) who had nothing. He was in rough shape (drunk) and didn't understand what was going on. We gave him hot soup, hot sandwich, care bag, SOCKS (he had none on under his boots), Mittens, and a Blanket (that Joe actually wrapped around him) that he needed badly. We actually thought he was dead. By the time we left, he was warm, aware, smiling, and wishing us a Merry Christmas! Wow.
When we saw Sean, he was w/a group of young people. One boy was either severely, mentally handicapped or really messed up on something, or both, and couldn't figure out how to drink his soup w/his new mittens on!
A young, black girl was w/that group. I think she was pregnant. All she had on was a t-shirt under a sweatshirt and sweatpants that were all wet and ripped up the bottoms. I had a beautiful wool coat, that Jean had given, and it fit her. So she got that and hat and mittens to match, socks ( her feet were as wet as her pants), food, and a care bag (she had nothing to carry anything in). She went from shivering and hungry to warm and smiling. I just wanted to rescue her! Jean was so touched by this encounter that she went out and bought another hat, scarf, and gloves for us to give her if we see her tomorrow. She never knows when to quit!
I'll tell you what, tho', the soup came out sooooooo good, I've had all I can do to stay out of it! I'm not a big sausage fan but everyone seemed to really like the sandwiches!
These are the little things most of us take for granted; a hot meal when ever we like, the ability to change out of wet clothes, a blanket. It doesn't take a lot to improve someone's situation, and possibly save a life. God/dess Bless all that reach out to those in need during this Season of Giving and throughout the year.
We took 30 pairs of mittens and as many wool socks up to HAVEN today. The place was crazy busy with people coming in to the food pantry, clothing pantry, and asking for help.
They smile, not a happy smile but one of relief, and they don't look you in the eye. One young father came in while we were there asking about Toys for Tots. He and his family are living in their vehicle. When he came through the doors I felt he carried the weight of the world on his thin shoulders. The quiet voice asking for help to get his child a gift was fraught with shame...he'd failed his family. As with all that come to HAVEN he was sent in to see one of the case workers. I have no idea what she said to him but the man that came out afterwards wasn't as downtrodden. There was a relief of his fears. He stood just a bit taller for the help, and perhaps hope, he'd received in that office.
I wasn't prepared for the amazing gratitude expressed to us. When I told them that A Sacred Place had been making mittens for the past month and White Mountain Pagan Alliance had been buying socks they were stunned both by our results and that we took the time to make them. I've never seen such big smiles and happy tears shed over a pair of socks. It warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. Bless all of you that have helped make this happen. I can honestly say this is the most fulfilling Yule / Christmas / Holiday Season I've had in several years.
Ready for Round Two?
Thanks to the generosity of folks and a 50% sale at Joann Fabrics we're reloaded our stash with fleece, corduroy, and denim. We will be getting together after New Years to continue making mittens and hats. I'll begin cutting things out as soon as we're shoveled out from the snow storm.
What's a good date for the Mitten Elves?