This year unbelievably I am updating my page three times in one year!!!
Truthfully, I just wanted to thank everyone who has sent scarves and supported Threads of Compassion this year. You are the reason Threads continues to exist. Also I wanted to thank all the people who have started new Threads groups all over the world. Just this year alone, groups have started in Brookings, South Dakota; New Britain, Connecticut; Nottingham, UK; Colorado Springs, CO; Napa, CA; Danbury, CT; San Francisco, CA; and most recently our first Threads group in Arkansas! I can’t express how honored I am to have all these people working. alongside of me!! I also wanted to thank Anne Ream, of the Voices and Faces Project, and Deborah Wilieko, of Advocacy, Living, and Mentoring After Assault, for all the support they have offered this year. The work you both do stands out as inspiration to me
Some of the new groups:
The Southern Colorado Chapter of Threads
The new Arkansas chapter
and a picture of one of the tags!
Thanks again for everyone’s support!
Well, miracles do occur. I am actually updating this page for the second time in a year. I can’t believe that 7 months have passed since I posted last. The number of Threads of Compassion groups has grown, as people continue to start new groups all over the U.S. Just in the last few months I have been contacted by people starting groups in Connecticut, Colorado, and two in California. I am also honored to announce that Threads is growing in Europe. There are now 2 groups in the U.K. and one in Paris. Sadly the need for scarves is an international one.
Here in Chicago things have been quite busy. Just a few days ago 12 women gathered to help prepare the scarves for the rape crisis centers. What this involved was the bundling, tagging, and bagging of almost 300 scarves. I am still amazed at all the work we were able to get done! Then today I was able to bring over 7 huge bags of bundled scarves to 2 rape crisis centers. I just want to send out a massive “THANK YOU” to everyone who helped in not only preparing the bags, but also to those who actually knitted the scarves. You are all amazing!!!
The following are some pictures from the event:
It takes a village…
The scarves come in all colors and styles!
Tagging and bundling is an all-ages event…
Time to place them in the small bags…
The last step is to pack them…
The final result: 13 bags of scarves ready to be handed out!
Ok, I have received quite a few emails asking if we still exist since I have not updated this page in sooooo long. Yes, we are still here. My ability to keep up with this page is lacking, but the need for scarves is not. Just recently we had a group meeting to bundle and bag scarves, and we need to meet again soon to bundle the rest. Even with all of these scarves though, there are still rape crisis centers that we cannot supply. We currently are supplying two crisis centers in Chicago, but my hope is to soon be able to supply a third.
Other news: This past September Threads of Compassion marked its 5th anniversary! It was 5 years ago that I told my friend at the Quetzal Rape Crisis Center about this crazy scarf idea I had and asked her opinion on it. From that conversation this webpage and Threads of Compassion was born. My plan was, I would knit a few scarves, I might get a few scarves, and just maybe I could help a few people.
I can still remember how excited I was when the first scarf arrived in the mail (from Louise in San Diego). I would never have dreamed then that Threads of Compassion would grow to have groups not only all over the United States, but even internationally. Just this year many new Threads groups have started up. Recently I received an email from Jessica from Oklahoma City, whose Threads group was featured on their local news channel. If you have started your own Threads group please let me know so I can direct others who contact us to groups in areas where they live.
Well that’s all for now. I will try to keep this page updated more often than I have. (Anyone in the Chicago area want to take over this?).
Happy New Year everyone! Thanks so much for all of your support.
Threads of Compassion
Ok, I have to admit that waiting a year to update this page is bad for even me. So, once again, after numerous people have written to ask if we still are around, I am finally getting my act in gear and putting words on this page.
Numerous things have happened since last year: We had a booth at a local Sexual Assault Awareness event, I have spoken about Threads twice in classroom settings, and once at a Arts and Music festival. If you are in the Chicago area and would like someone to speak about Threads at an event please let us know.
We have also been featured in two magazines. The first was in the January 2009 issue of Crochet magazine, the second magazine that did an article was McClungs, a feminist magazine out of Toronto, Canada. Through the article I actually found out about other groups that have branched off from ours, and was greatly encouraged. There will never be a shortage of need for scarves, so each time I hear a new Threads group has started, I know that means more victims of sexual violence will be offered comfort. Thanks to McClungs, Crochet magazine, all of you who send scarves, and to everyone who has started their own Threads groups in cities all over. When each one of us strives to do something to promote change, it happens.
Threads of Compassion
A lot has been going on with Threads of Compassion in the last 4 months:
- Threads is going to be featured as the charity group of the month in an upcoming Crochet! magazine.
- We have been contacted by numerous people who are looking into starting their own Threads groups. One group, the Woven Lotus, has started in Canton, Georgia. Others have started in Boulder, CO; Chapel Hill, NC; Barre (central), MA. and also the Washington DC area.
- And most important the scarves keep coming in from all over the country (truthfully world). I can’t say thanks enough to those of you who have sent scarves. I try to get out thank you letters, but I’m usually running months behind in getting those out (thanks Cindy…if it wasn’t for you I would be running years behind!!!). Recently I spent an evening bundling up over 100 scarves (with the help of my husband and also a good friend Sandy). I was so touched by the letters that people sent with the scarves, the following is a quote from one letter: “Please know that I have been through similar circumstances and I have made these scarves with the intention that these women will heal, survive and be stronger than they can imagine.”
This is the intention of all of us connected with Threads…that together we will heal, survive, and by supporting each other, we can all be stronger than we ever imagined.
Threads of Compassion
Ok, I admit I have been horrible about keeping this page updated. And now that I have started getting emails from people asking if we still exist or not, I know it’s time to finally write something!! Threads of Compassion is still going strong, and not only have we had more scarves donated this year than ever before, and we also have had numerous Threads groups start up all over. We even received an email thanking us from a Rape Crisis Center in Canada, which receives scarves from a Threads group someone started there. All of this encourages us greatly, and helps to motivate us when we need to spend evenings bundling and bagging scarves. Just recently Cindy,Tracy (another friend we have drafted into Threads), and I spent hours preparing scarves for the rape crisis centers we support in Chicago. By the end we had 6 HUGE bags full of scarves ready to be handed out. As I went to deliver the scarves to the crisis centers, it hit me how sad it is that we will never been done making scarves…that there is no end to the growing number of sexual violence victims who will need comfort and support. With this somber thought I walked into one rape crisis center, and was thanked because they were out of scarves…again letting me know how big the need is. But there is hope too. I get so many emails from people who have experienced sexual violence first hand, and yet as they continue their healing, they want to reach out and support someone else. A tangible way of walking out their healing, that in turn helps others. The beauty in this gives me hope, that just maybe we are making a dent in the pain that is out there. And I just want to thank everyone who has contributed to the work of Threads and has helped make the dream behind Threads a reality.
Sarah, Cindy, and Tracy / Threads 0f Compassion
It’s been a while since we updated the site so I thought I would throw on a few more photos, and say thank you to all the people who have been sending scarves. I can’t explain how grateful we are for all the scarves that have come in. I also want to apologize for how long it takes us to get back to you with letters acknowledging your gifts or answering your emails. Please know that our intentions are to reply quickly…but sometimes it takes a while to move from bagging scarves to writing thank you notes for them. Truthfully if it wasn’t for my co-worker Cindy, those letters wouldn’t get out at all!!!
Three stages of scarves…scarves come in, we bundle them and add the tag, and then bag them.