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It’s time for a Raffle to go with this update

Time is flying. I was in disbelief when I looked at the calendar this morning. I’ve been watching the leaves change and fall here in Portland, but realizing it’s mid-November was shocking. Your squares have been coming in regularly and keeping the seamers working. At one point, the Michigan Chapter had over 200 blankets seamed and ready to go. That is a Love-Squared record!!!

Thanks to everyone’s efforts, We were able to take forty blankets to the jackson Interfaith Shelter in Jackson, Michigan. While they don’t have forty kids in the shelter at the moment, the blankets will be needed as families seek shelter from the falling temperatures. We are also scrambling to be sure we have enough blankets ready to go for the 65 kids at Family House.

Those of you who have been followers for a while, or follow our facebook page, know how much we love 1Matters and their annual Tent City event, held in October. I say it often, if you are in the Toledo, Ohio/Michigan area, I highly recommend signing up for a volunteer spot. A couple hours of your time means so much to those in need of help and to those who are in charge of the event. You can visit HERE to see photos of volunteers in action. This was our second year setting up and handing out blankets. Last year we took 100 blankets, and Christie raced to complete one more so no child was left out. This year, Christie, Kathy, and Pat took 106 blankets, and gave out 100. Take a quick peak at the photos above. LOOK AT THOSE SMILES!!!! These kids are why we do what we do and why each of your squares are so important.

As I hinted in the title, it is time for a raffle. For squares postmarked November 1st – January 31st, we will be issuing virtual raffle tickets. ONE ticket for every FIVE squares you send in. We will be keeping a running tally. On February 5th, I will be entering all of the tickets into a random number generator to choose the winner. You will have a chance to win a project bag full of stuff, including a book of patterns, various yarns and notions. I will be posting photos as we make the selections. Christie and I are having fun shopping for just the right items. I have to tell you, I have squished some amazing hanks and skeins. I know my fiber wish-list has been growing with each trip to the LYS.

As always, keep the squares coming. We love each and every one of them. Until the next post,

Leah

 

How are we doing so far? I’m so glad you asked.

completed sample

If you have been following us on facebook, you will already know some of this information. If not, prepare to be amazed! Earlier this month, the midwest chapter held a sorting party. I was pretty envious of everyone who was able to Julia sorting a blanket at the sorting partyattso many squares to sortend. This is the first sort I have missed. If you ever have the chance to attend, you really should. Not only is it a lot of fun, it gives you an idea of how much work goes into each of these blankets. The sorting party was a giant success. When all was said and done, they had counted 101 blankets, which in total is 3,030 of your squares!!! were sorted and ready to be seamed.The pile of sorted squares is growing, There are also 70 blankets seamed and ready for their kids. SPECTACULAR!!!! (I really like exclamations points when it comes to squares).

I am still blown away by their tally from the sort and sat down to do my own counting. We are two months into the EVERY STATE CHALLENGE and I could not be happier with our progress. So far we have brought in 1,609 squares from 21 states!!! Holy cow! That is a lot of squares in such a short amount of time. We still have FOUR MONTHS TO GO!!!!!! (Yup, more exclamation points). If you haven’t checked it out yet, look at our map. You can find it here. Mousing over the numbers or the yarn balls will show you photos of squares and where they came from.

As usual, you all amaze me. I think we are going to need to get our postal carriers a few gifts through out the year. They have been busy delivering all of your packages. Keep them coming!!! sorting party progress

Tent City 2015

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If you follow me on facebook, personally or through Love-Squared, you have probably heard me talk about 1Matters and Tent IMG_2279City. My first Tent City experience was October, 2011.  My husband, eldest son, and I signed up to serve dinner to the un-housed and in-need people of Toledo, OH. What we actually did was meet over 1,000 new and interesting people, listen to their stories, and we got back as much friendship and respect as we gave. The experience was eye-opening, and for me, life-changing. I had started Love-Squared four months before, but after volunteering I threw myself into making sure Love-Squared succeeded.

IMG_2293 Today, Kathy, Christie, and I went to Tent City 2015 on behalf of Love-Squared. Thanks to a successful 3,000 square challenge that ran from November, 2014 – May, 2015, we were able to make 100 blankets to take with us along with a few to work on. I honestly thought we had taken too many and would end up leaving with at least half of them. I have mixed feelings about being wrong. On one hand, I am so proud of all of the work and dedication from the Love-Squared volunteers. We set a high goal and we reached it. On the other hand, I am sad to know we took 100 blankets and probably could have used a few more. There were that many kids.  At theIMG_2295 end, we had one blanket left when 2 children walked up. Our wonderful Kathy had just finished seaming a blanket and Super-Crocheter Christie raced to get the border finished so that one child wasn’t left out. That made 101 blankets given out today. I AM SO PROUD OF OUR TEAM!!!

This post is getting away from me. I always feel a bit overwhelmed, emotional, and reflective after a day like today. I wish you all could have been there to see the faces of the children and their parents at our table today. The very first kids who came over to choose their blanket were so happy they wrapped themselves IMG_2282up and grinned. We had such an amazing and fulfilling day. There were so many smiles and giggles as each child chose a blanket they really loved. You all made that happen. You should all feel happy and full of the joy your squares have brought these kids. I watched babies snuggle into the softness and children, the majority under seven years old, happily fold their blankets to put into bags. It was great to see the kids walking around Tent City with their Love-Squared blankets.  The smiles from their parents were just as big and bright. I teared up quite a few times just from pure joy.

As always, I close with a challenge and it’s a big one. My challenge to you all is to keep IMG_2273enough squares coming in that we are able to continue our donations to Family House and Jackson Interfaith Shelter, as well as 100 blankets for the annual Tent City.

It’s a tall order, but I am confident we can do it.

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

 

Just keep Sorting, Sorting, Sorting and Then Seaming, Seaming, Seaming

Making more squares on the spot

Hello to all of you and HAPPY FRIDAY!

The latest donation was dropped off at Family House two weeks ago. There were a total of 22 afghans which turned out to be a great number. Not only does that mean you all have made and donated 660 squares, it was also the number of families currently residing at Family House. We were able to provide a bit of love and comfort to each family. While that is wonderful I am also working over time to get twelve more blankets done and to Family House as quickly as I can. There are 34 children, including two tiny newborns, living at Family House. I know we can make sure every child has their own blanket. In order to get twelve more blankets finished there was a lot of sorting needing to be done.

 

My earlier estimation of 600 squares waiting to be sorted was close. We actually had almost 800! Amazing work everyone!! I decided there wasn’t a better time to sort squares than when my husband was out of town. If any of you have seen the facebook page you already know what sorting looks like. My house may not be large, but the great amount of squares took up two rooms of my house. My four children jumped in and started separating the squares by color. My daughter even organized squares into an afghan. I will have to remember her skills in the future. She has an eye for these things. I spent two days fitting squares together for afghans. When my husband came home it still looked like a yarn store had exploded in my living room and dining room. Many photos were taken and posted to facebook for feedback. I had several people helping choose square combinations via internet. Then, the lovely Christie came to visit with coffee. She and I were able to knock out the rest of the squares in five hours. I will forever owe her caramel lattes from Chandler Cafe. Oliver thought the coffee was quite delicious. Enough so he poured her latte into a cup and drank it himself. Sorry, Christie! Christie saved the morning with coffee, but she also saved my sanity and a few afghans. After several days of staring at squares the colors and patterns were starting to blur. She put together a group of squares I would have never thought would work in an afghan. It took a while, and Christie sitting down to crochet a couple more squares to make it work, but in the end it was one of the more fun afghans. In all, Christie crocheted five squares that day to make sure an afghan was finished and looking it’s best. Thank you for that. That means two more blankets are ready to be made instead of going back into the pile to wait for the next sorting. At the end of the day we have 23 blankets needing to be seemed and a box of about 150 squares in reserve needing other squares to make them great.

Boxing them up

Today, I will be meeting a woman who found us via facebook. She is so excited to get involved with Love-Squared. In her words she is “crocheting squares like mad.” As a big bonus she also wants to learn how to seam them together. I am so grateful for people who want to help seam the squares. More hands make a huge job so much quicker.

I cannot thank any of you enough for the time you spend making squares, seaming, and spreading the word of LOVE-SQUARED. There are over 70 children with our blankets now and very soon another 23 will be donated. Please keep the squares coming! These blankets mean so much to the children who receive them.

Leah

The First Donation of 2013

Happy Sunday. I have been neglecting the blog for the past several months. I think I have just found it quicker to post of the facebook page. I believe I reach a much larger audience there too. Most of you have read the latest news, but I will do a quick recap here.

With the help of Katie, Love-Squared is taking the steps to become a legally recognized non-profit. I am finalizing the paperwork and sending it out this week. This is an exciting and important step. With the legal non-profit status Love-Squared will be able to receive cash donations as well as donations of supplies from yarn and craft stores.

The last donation of 2012: We donated ten afghans to The Neighborhood Church in Toledo, Ohio, in November. The Neighborhood Church serves the poorest neighborhood in Toledo. There was an urgent need for blankets when the weather tuned cold. Their blanket drive collected enough blankets to give ONE blanket to each family. That should never happen. When Jennifer, owner of The Dragonfly Tea Cottage posted the need for blankets we were able to step up.  Thanks to the generosity of the Love-Squared supporters  and Kathy’s quick seaming skills.

The first donation of 2013: On Tuesday I will be dropping off twenty-two afghans to Family House. Twenty-two afghans is 660 squares! You have all been so busy making squares and Kathy and I have been just as busy getting them put together. There are going to be some very happy children when they receive their blanket. They are all so cheerful and soft. I believe you have all out done yourselves! You should all be very proud of your work.

Enjoy the slideshow of 16 of the newest afghans being donated. As always, keep the squares coming and tell everyone you know. Word of mouth and social media keeps up going strong.

 

 

Love Squared loves StickerGiant!

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StickerGiant printed our custom stickers for Love Squared. They also added us to their sticker stories page and tweeted / posted this, this morning:

Who is Love-Squared? One of StickerGiant’s fantastic fans on Facebook! Who’s our latest Fan of the Week. You know, because what they do is INCREDIBLE! Check out their Sticker Story: http://www.stickergiant.com/blog/stickergiant-fan-of-the-week-love-squared/

What they did not mention was that they totally hooked us up in a major way, and become one of our biggest commercial supporters. We want to throw a huge thank you their way. Not only did they make our order effortless but they let us know what was going on every step of the way. Special thanks to John and Amy for their personal assistance.

L2 loves StickerGiant!

Congratulations to all of you.

Renee from Family House

Love-Squared is officially in it’s 6th month of existence. Donating the first 14 afghans to Family House of Toledo, is by far the best way to celebrate. Check out the photos of Renee, Family House Director, and me with your beautiful afghans. I couldn’t help but smile looking at all the afghans draped over tables. The blankets are so happy, beautiful and begging to be snuggled with. It warms my heart knowing all of your hard work is going to be well loved and treasured for years to come. Congratulations to all of you who have helped make our first six months so perfect.

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All I can say is WOW!

I hate to admit it, but the kindness from people toward strangers always surprises me. I know there are those of us out there who still believe in helping others, but it seems more rare that I run into them. Since starting Love-Squared, I have been overwhelmed by the response. Linda Johnson, CNM and owner of Mother’s Own Birth Center, Conny Beard and Jennifer Blakeman, Owner of the Dragonfly Tea Cottage and Nikki, owner of Rising Stars Dance Academy, are just a few who have gotten Love-Squared flying. There are so many other people who have shown their support. I can’t begin to list them all. Today I add one more whom I need to mention and thank in person. A big thank you to Regina Jankowski and the Family Center at the Toledo Art Museum for the amazing yarn donation. I can’t even describe what went through my head when I saw the piles of yarn. I think I was speechless for five full minutes. The more than generous donation allows us to supply yarn to those who want to help Love-Squared, but are unable to take on the expense of supplies.

 

On a different note, while at the Dragonfly Tea Cottage, (I almost called it the Dragonfly Knitting Cottage) I counted 65 squares! That is only 10 squares away from Jennifer’s goal of 75. You are all amazing. As a personal challenge to you all, I wonder if you can donate 100 squares total by September 25.

While I was at at the Dragonfly…

Baskets of Love from Dragonfly

Some funky, fun squares

After a day at the zoo with the kiddos I got a date night with my eldest child. Acoustic and poetry night at the Dragonfly Tea Cottage. Poetry night is one of my favorite “get away from the house for adult time” events. Since Indigo was playing I took Charlie to check it out. He and I had a great evening of music, apricot tea and dessert. If you get to pop in to the Dragonfly for lunch you have to try the bread pudding. Amazing doesn’t begin to cover it!

While I was there I took some pictures of the over flowing baskets of squares. The out pouring of support from the loyal Dragonfly family has been amazing. They are going to reach their goal of 75 squares. Yesterday, a customer dropped off 30 squares. Can you believe it? 30! That brings them to an approximate total of 42.  Keep it going Dragonfly!

A huge thank you to Linda and Conny for their continued support and donations. Their squares, along with Dragonfly’s, bring us to a total of 120! Enough for four afghans! We are 2 afghans, a mere 60 squares, away from our immediate goal of 6. Of course I would love to blow that goal out of the water and I know we can do it.

On behalf of Love-Squared and the Family House recipients of the finished afghans, a heartfelt thank you.