Calling All Community Action Organizations

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I admit it. I am horrible at writing blog posts.  I find it much quicker to post photos and quick updates to the facebook page while I’m on the go. I am making more of an effort to keep posts here coming regularly. If you haven’t seen a new post in a while, bug me about it. Keep me on my toes.

This particular blog post was inspired by my eldest son. He emailed me from school yesterday asking if he could use Love-Squared for his community action project. He and a group of students need to find a lesser-known non-profit or charity to research. Then they have to come up with a way to advertise, raise awareness and support for their chosen organization. I don’t have all of the details yet, but it sounds like an excellent unit for these junior high kids. I remember loving a project like this in my high school sociology class. Thank you, Mr. DiPaolo.

At first I was going to tell him no. Then I thought, well, why not Love-Squared? We do not have the federal non-profit status as of yet, another detail that keeps getting put on the back burner, but we are a charity organization that focuses on our communities. Sounds like a good candidate for his project and for others out there.  How many other schools and youth programs do community service projects? I’m guessing there are more than I can count.

Now I put the idea out there for you. Those of you who are teachers, community leaders, scout leaders, youth group leaders, church members, etc., think about getting the kids involved. Teach a group to knit or crochet, create a square collection drop-off box in your community, help put the blankets together, or do a yarn drive. We are always needing yarn to turn these squares into blankets, or to hand out to donors who would be unable to contribute without donated yarn. There are so many ways to help Love-Squared. We truly rely on word of mouth and the generosity of the community to keep us going.

I am excited to hear about the way you are going to get the youth, or your circle of people, involved. I am here to answer questions or listen to ideas. Email me at leah@love-squared.org or comment on the page of www.facebook.com/lovesquared2

 

Squares total update!!!!

Flowers brighten Family House

Hello to all.

I hope all of the holiday celebrations were wonderful. First I want to say Love-Squared is going strong. I received a message recently from someone who had been told we had stopped accepting squares and were no longer in business. That is not the case. We are still working hard in the midwest and gaining ground in Oregon. KEEP THE SQUARES COMING and keep spreading the word. We cannot make this happen without all of you.

Squares can be sent to:

LOVE-SQUARED               C. Clark                                      Leah Casarez/Love-Squared
217 Nichols Dr.                   6750 Sterns Rd.                        4450 NE Prescott St.
Saline, MI 48176                Ottawa Lake, MI 49267         Portland, OR 97218
 

Now to the super exciting news. Donations have been steadily coming in. Since November 1, 2014, Love-Squared has received

636 SQUARES!  Many completed blankets and a large amount of yarn!

They have come from all over the United States and as far away as Puerto Rico! That blows me away. We still have four months to go to reach the goal of 3,000. With this momentum I believe we can do it! KEEP THEM COMING!  Photos can be seen at www.facebook.com/lovesquared2

familydonateAs always, Kathy and Christie, along with their seaming elves, have been busy and accomplishing the near impossible. I have posted this on the facebook page, but their hard work made it possible to donate a blanket for every child at a JXNinterfaithshelterfamily shelter in Jackson, MI and nearly all of the children at Family House. I am still beyond words for that accomplishment. It has always been my goal to take on more shelters, and be able to provide blankets for every single child living in them. Both of these goals became a reality at the end of 2014.

As always I must leave you with a huge heartfelt THANK YOU! Love-squared could not do what it is doing without all of you!

A new challenge from Me to YOU!

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Our lovely Christie and Joe

Our lovely Christie and Joe

Before we get to the challenge I’d like to give you a bit of back story. I have been thinking about this goal for a few years but did not have a way to accomplish it. Shortly after Love-Squared began, my husband, eldest son, and myself volunteered in the dining hall at Toledo’s Tent City. Tent City is a weekend-long event that provides meals; warm clothing; medical/dental care; hair cuts; and help getting very important documents like birth certificates, state ID’s, and social security cards. The hours we spent serving and conversing with our fellow Toledoans of ALL ages was eye opening. There was laughter and smiles and friendship every where we looked. This cemented for me Tent City founder, Ken Leslie’s concept of “1matters.”  Every single person matters — no matter who they are or what their current situation. It was an amazing weekend and I hope many of you will look into these organizations or events that you may have in your area. Any way, back to the reasons for the new challenge. As we were walking back to our car that evening, we saw many of the children and families we had spoken with during the day getting tucked into their cars. Extra coats and socks were being put on for the chilly night. It broke my heart to say the very least. I have not stopped thinking about what more I could do and the idea took hold. There was no way to make it happen a few years ago, but with all of you on board WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!

The new challenge to all of you is 3,000 squares. Three thousand squares for 100 blankets that will be given to children and families who want them at next year’s Tent City.201088_10151258925336830_62695905_o

299657_10150403732211830_1769881447_n This is a huge goal, but we have one full year to make it happen. Starting today, November 5, 2014 through May 1, 2015, we need to collect 3,000 squares.  Use left over scraps from your holiday knitting/crochet projects. Make a square as an instant gratification project between longer to complete items. Remember, 8″ x 8″ of any fiber, color, or pattern. Plain or fancy, they are all loved and needed.

EVERY SINGLE SQUARE HELPS US REACH THE GOAL!!!

Let’s Scare away the Cold Together

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Hello to all of you.

As always, it has been a while since I last posted to the blog. Most of you are aware that my family and I made a huge change and relocated to IMG_3578Oregon. Unfortunately, that meant taking a break from squares. A huge thank you to Kathy and Christie for keeping Love-Squared going strong in Michigan/Ohio. I really don’t know what I have done without you stepping in. Before the kids and I started our three-day journey west, Christie hosted a sorting party. It was a chilly, rainy day. What better weather to remind us how important these blankets are.  At the end of the day full of laughter, chatting, great food, and friendship, we had sorted 1, 620 squares into 54 blankets. Amazing work everyone. I love seeing all of your beautiful work turning into wonderful blankets.IMG_3583

Cooler days and nights are becoming more frequent. This is usually the time when there is a broader awareness of those less fortunate. In reality, warmth and comfort are year-round needs. Love-Squared works hard to make blankets donations throughout the year. The largest donation is usually made at the end of summer/beginning of fall with the increase in families seeking shelters. Family House of Toledo has posted that they are at capacity, with 70 of their residents being children. These seventy children are a tiny fraction of the kids without homes or in need of warmth.

This being said, Love-Squared Michigan could really use help seaming blankets together. We would love to have them done by October 31, 2014, to help SCARE AWAY THE COLD!!!!!IMG_3577

The squares are continuing to trickle in. I can’t thank you enough for your continued support. Keep them coming so we are able to supply these blankets and some day outgrow the need for them! A 1-year long challenge coming next.

As always, you can contact me here, email leah@love-squared.org, or www.facebook.com/lovesquared2

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Better Late Than Never

     P1020429 Hello to all of you. I just realized how long it has actually been since my last post. I decided to go back to school last semester and it has been crazy keeping up on the homework as well as taking care of a family and Love-Squared. While I may have neglected the website the blankets were still being put together. Last week I delivered 57 blankets to Family House. This is the largest number of blankets we have been able to deliver at one time!!! Excellent work to you all.

     Since it is spring again, FINALLY, I am issuing another 1,000 square challenge. The time line is the first day of spring to the last day of summer. The squares will be sorted and the putting together will begin all along the time line. I’d like to have them ready to donate by mid-fall.

Some more exciting and hopeful new for all of you: it is very possible there will be a new chapter of Love-Squared on the West Coast. It is still in the talking stage and I will let you know as soon as it is finalized. BIG things happen because so many of you support the mission. Thank you for that!

Leah

 

CONTACT

Hello to all of our supporters. If you have tried contacting us through the website, please know I have not gotten your emails. I am looking into that. Until then, you can contact through facebook at www.facebook.com/lovesquared2 while we look into it.

Thank you

A date has been set.

Hello to all.

I promised to update once a sorting party had been arranged. I would love to have as many helping hands as possible. For all of the wonderful people who have been sending squares from all over North America, I will be taking and posting plenty of photos.

We smashed our Summer 1000 squares Challenge. We have just under 2,000 squares to sort. Bring a dish to pass, and join the fun at our sorting potluck to learn more about us and help sort squares!

Sunday, October 6, 2013, from 1:00 – 5:00
Saline American Legion Ballroom
320 Michigan Avenue
Saline, MI 48176

In the mean time, keep those squares coming. The challenge may be just about over, but the need will never go away.

Leah

17 days remain in the Summer Challenge

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Hello and happy Sunday.

It has been a bit since the last post. The kids and I have been rearranging schedules and adjusting to the new schools. I wasn’t aware of how much time my going back to school was going to take, but we survived the first week. I am looking forward to fall. The cooler temps and and the routine that comes with settling in.

The summer challenge is almost over. I am surrounded by squares. Everywhere I look I see a box or bag stuffed with squares. I can honestly say it is a bit overwhelming to have squares crammed into as many open spaces as possible. It’s a happy problem to have. At last count I had in my possession 1,582 squares from 26 states and three Canadian provinces. That means we will be able to make almost 53 blankets from the Summer 2013 Challenge. You all blew away the goal of 1,000 squares.

I mentioned on facebook that I will be planning a pot-luck sorting party in Saline, Michigan. I will be going tomorrow to book the ball room at the American Legion. The person in charge of scheduling said September was completely booked so we are looking at a Sunday afternoon in October. I will update with the info as soon as it is set in stone this week.

Until then check out the photos. Great job people!!! You have made our Summer challenge a huge success and have touched many children with your squares!

 

Remember this is an on-going project. Squares are always needed and welcome.

Leah

WE DID IT!!!!!

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Hello to all the L2 followers.

I am over-joyed to be able to say WE DID IT!!! We have reached the 1000 square goal a full two months early. You can say we smashed that goal because we have 1176 beautiful and unique squares ready to be sorted with the promise of more to come. It makes my heart smile to do the math IMG_20130723_130040and see that thirty-nine child afghans will be made with these squares. This will be the largest number to date of blankets we are able to donate at once.

When I started Love-Squared over two years ago I was afraid I would be making these blankets myself. I still worry after each donation that this is IMG_20130723_120259 the last. I should stop worrying. You have all shown that you care about this as much as I do. Squares have come in from all over the United State and Canada. There was one week I was worried the postal carrier would go on strike if she had to deliver another package. Once it was explained what was in all of the boxes and envelopes she was more than happy to leave them in a water-proof bin to keep them safe. She even smiled the next day she handed over a box of squares.  I think I’ll print a photo of all of the squares and give it to her in a thank you card.

Many of you who know me in person know I am constantly thinking and wondering and planning. I can’t say all of the thinking and planning goes the way I think it should, but I try. Right now I am thinking about and planning a sorting and seaming pot-luck afternoon. A group of people coming together, “ooh’s ” and “Aahh’s” over the gorgeous squares and the laughter that always comes with trying to sort so many unique squares into blankets. What could be better? I will finalize my planning and get the information posted soon.

Pat yourself on the back, let out a whoop of joy for smashing the goal and enjoy the photos of squares. You all deserve it! I say it often, but I can’t do this and keep it going without all of you. The challenge may be over soon, but this is an organization without an end.  Keep the squares coming.

Leah

 

The Yarn Community is a Wonderful Group of People

Hello to all.

As the title states, “The yarn community is a wonderful group of people.” You prove it every day. There are so many charities that are flooded with donations from hundreds and even thousands of people. The huge out pouring of support for Love Squared over the past two years is more than I had imagined it could be.

I had the pleasure on Tuesday of donating THIRTY-THREE of our afghans to Family House. This latest donation brings our total to over 100 blankets donated to children in need. To put that in an even more amazing perspective: that means you have donated over 3000 squares!! How amazing is that.

I have received several questions asking why we donate primarily to Family House and if we plan to donate to other shelters. Love-Squared has a special relationship with Family House. When we were just getting started Renee, the director of the shelter, was the only person to take an interest in or even want our afghans. While Family House will always receive afghans from Love-Squared, we have donated to other organizations and I do plan on supporting other shelters and organizations. I am doing a lot of brainstorming and working on a game plan for expansion. The growth of Love-Squared is steady. As long as the squares keep coming in we will be able to reach out to the overwhelming need.

To close out this post I will update the 1000 Squares Challenge. The squares have been pouring in from all over. The total number of states is 16, plus one province in Canada so far. Crazy! I have pledges and emails stating squares have been sent which would take us over the 1000 mark. I am only counting squares in my possession and that number is  826. You are going to smash the goal by the end of July. A full two months early.

Keep the emails, facebook posts and ravelry posts coming. I love hearing from you and try to answer questions the best I can. Keep the squares coming!!!