Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Heart for Giving

Lately, I've been thinking about volunteering. Where? Anywhere, really. We have a place here in town that I donate to during the holidays, Portland Rescue Mission. DH donates to the Oregon Food Bank. I've often thought I would love to go down to the soup kitchen and just help out. But I never do. :(

DH took my eldest daughter to volunteer through his work to take a needy family to the mall to go shopping for Christmas presents. It was only for a few hours, but my daughter *loves* to do stuff like that. In fact, this Saturday, the Goingses are joining DH's work for another volunteering job out at a city park to clean up trash and perhaps plant some flora. It's always more fun when it's not your own yard. LOL

So it got me thinking. What else can I do? You may or may not know that once upon a time, I used to have a teddy bear business. It was called "BeccaBears". Nowadays, I would have spelled it "BeckaBears", but of course, I wasn't all *cool* and *trendy* 5 years ago. :P Anyhow, I made crocheted teddies. I folded my business because it just wasn't lucrative enough, as I would spend 2-3 days making a bear and sell it for only $20 - $30. I just didn't feel they were worth more than that. Who would pay $50 or more for a CROCHETED "nobody" teddy when they could just buy some fancy soft, plushy brand name bear for the same price?

Well, before I folded this business, I donated 7 or 8 bears (don't remember now) to one of our local hospitals here in Portland. I made up certificates to go with each bear, giving the bear's name and who donated it (I accepted donations from customers ONLY for the price of materials, and they would then choose the bear's name and color - it was cool).

After that, I was commissioned by a hospital way on the other side of the country, the Long Island Jewish Medical Center's Dept. of Oncology. They had me make 50 bears that had a "Congratulations" banner on them, for the children who completed their painful chemo treatments. That was fun, but hard work, as each bear was exactly the same. Perhaps I got burnt out on that alone.

And every now and again, I would hear the story of a sick child, and I'd give them a bear as well. So I've donated a lot of bears. I was paid for my work with Long Island Jewish Med. Ctr., but it was still rewarding knowing my bears made some kids happy.

Fast forward to now. Not really wanting to make bears again, I thought what could I do? Well, I've been kind of jonesin' to crochet again, but everyone in my family already has an afghan. :P Then I remembered a charity called Project Linus. I'd heard of them many years ago and thought it was a cool idea, but never actually made anything for them. Perhaps now I shall.

Since getting out and about to volunteer can be tricky trying to juggle the family and whatnot, I thought perhaps I could put my crochet skills to good use.

If you crochet, knit, or quilt, you might want to check these guys out. They donate all their blankets to sick children in need. There's MANY chapters, so perhaps there's one near you. :) And seen as how you'd be making children's blankets, it won't take you long at all to do. I'm planning on doing a few granny square blankets (in pretty colors, of course, because everyone hates ugly blankies).

Anyway, thought I would share that, just in case you have a heart for giving as well. :)



At 3:32 PM , Blogger Ciar Cullen said...

you have been awarded a ROAR. See my blog for details

At 5:42 PM , Blogger Rosie said...

Hey Becka, I know your MIL Luann. I work with her. We were doing our 3 mile walk at lunch time today and she mentioned your site and your writing so I just had to stop by and check it all out.

At 5:46 PM , Blogger Rosie said...

One other thing I forgot to say earlier. When my brother was sick someone had donated a crocheted blanket that he was lucky enough to receive. He loved that thing. It was just the right size and shape for him when he didn't want too many covers and was chilled.

Jonny was 45 years old when he died, but he loved that blanket so much we buried him with it. So I think your idea is fantastic.

At 7:50 PM , Blogger Becka said...

Awe, Rosie, thanks for stopping by! :D I love Lu to pieces and it's really a shame they live far away. But she's planning to retire to Oregon, so we'll be seeing her more in the years to come.

What an inspiring story about your brother. That just solidifies the fact that these blankies mean something to the people they're given. It's more than something to keep you warm, it's security and hope and love. And a reminder that someone out there *cares*.

I wonder if you make a quilt if the Project Linus people will allow you to "sign" it. Usually they want the blankies to be anonymous, but it would be cool to name, date and sign the quilt (like you're supposed to). It would make it that much more special.


At 9:18 PM , Blogger Rosie said...

Becka, maybe if you signed it with your initials so it is still somewhat anonymous? I think something like that would be cherished.

Luann is a sweetie to be sure and she just lights up when she talks about all of you. She can't wait to get near those grandchildren.


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