The Red Scarf Project, a project of the Orphan Foundation of America, or Orphan.org, collects scarves to send in Valentine's Day care packages to college students who have aged out of foster care. These brave young people are going it on their own and trying to improve their lives and the community by attending college. The care packages are welcome tokens of encouragement to young people who otherwise receive little to no mail.
Your scarf should be soft (any material), unisex design, and approximately 60 inches long by 5 to 8 inches wide. Machine washable is a plus, but it is not absolutely necessary.
Mail it to:
Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166
..but not until September 1, 2009-December, 2009.
Please read all the info in this blog. Most of your questions will be answered here.
Also, please check out the Red Scarf Ravelry group.
If you still have questions that remain unanswered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the day I've been waiting for and what I tea$ed you about a few weeks ago. I'm soooo excited about this.
I get to announce the new
Red Scarf Fund For Foster Youth.
When I went to Washington, it was largely for the purpose of
pitching the idea of a knitbloggers' scholarship to my friends at the
OFA. I explained to them that if there is one thing we knitters and
knitbloggers and crocheters can do and do well, it's to rally around a
good cause. And, of course, most importantly for a scholarship/fund
type of deal: Raise Money!
We've been working on this thing together, and Doug Sprei, Director
of Communications and Marketing at the OFA, got the Paypal donation
site set up this week. He wrote a nice entry about our meeting in
Washington in the OFA blog here. (I lifted his photo, but I don't think he'll mind.)
So the Paypal button was up and running as of August 1st. I made a
donation as quickly as I could after learning that the site was
operational, but Doug tells me that a woman from California beat me to
it as soon as he put up the button the other night (and before I even
knew about it).
In our meeting, we discussed having the money the knitbloggers raise
be earmarked for some special purpose -- for a special group of
recipients (i.e., art majors), or a special need (i.e., the
Emergency Fund, which can make or break a person's resolve to stay in
college.) The idea that was most on my mind was to develop a
fund for people who have to leave campus for school holidays but have
no place to go. In the end, however, we all decided that the best use
of the money we raise is to not earmark it for any one purpose, but to
put it in the general fund so it can be used for whatever is most
needed at any given time.
So what do you say? Shall we dance? Go ahead, click! Let's just knock their socks off!
I would love to show them what I can do with a
little help from my friends.
Mary Beth Temple has offered to sweeten the pot a little bit.
How about you make a donation, and then tell me about it in an email to
norma[dot]knits[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line Red Scarf Fund,
and I'll put your name in a drawing for a copy of Mary Beth Temple's
fun new book, The Secret Language of Knitters. Sound good? Thank you, Mary Beth, for the FABULOUS prize donation! How exciting is that?
Soon I hope to have a proper blog dedicated to the 2008 Red Scarf project (I'm waiting for some art work from the Orphan Foundation) but in the meantime, please read about it in my regular blog here and get started with your red scarves, your gift cards, and your notes of encouragement.
I received this email yesterday from Anna H. from New Jersey. I just had to share it with you.
The subject line of the email said: "Daughter earns Gold Award via Red Scarf Project!"
My daughter who is 16 years old just earned her Gold Award for Girl
Scouting. It is the highest award bestowed to a Girl Scout who has
demonstrated Leadership, Character and Service. She wanted to pick a
project that had meaning to her. She toyed with projects geared
towards children or the elderly but none quite clinched it for her.
It was thru your website and the Orphan Foundation of America that she
felt this was the project that touched her heart. And she wanted to
reach out to her peers. She also knows firsthand what it means to get
a Care Package from home; her older sister is a freshman in college and
is absolutely thrilled to get mail, let alone a Care Package.
did not crochet before this. She does not knit. But, with a nice lady
at our local Michael's Craft Store, Megan was able to learn one
stitch. The single crochet. Her goal was to make 50 scarves herself
and reach out to the community and collect another 50 scarves. Her
goal was a total of 100 scarves. When all was said and done, she sent
in 260 scarves! She personally made 47 but the numbers alone doesn't
tell the whole story. She taught her grandmother how to do the single
crochet and Grandma pitched in and made some. Megan went to senior
citizen's housing, Jersey Knitters, and Girl Scout Leaders' meeting and
presented her project.
it was time to ship the scarves down to Virginia, she sent 13 boxes.
The lady at the Fed Ex window was so touched by Megan's project that she
helped Megan out by giving her a nice discount.
I will be forwarding photos for you
to post of our students. They took them themselves and sent them in. They are
so delighted and many of the students should be receiving their Care Package
with the Red Scarf right about now.. We remain very busy with volunteers and
plans to send the scarves out for Valentine’s and throughout the month of
February. We received a large amount of mailings the last two weeks and we are
busy as elves trying to open and sort the scarves. There are boxes piled to the
ceiling both in our storage space across the street and in our offices. The
best news is that the scarves will reach more older foster youth than we could
hope for across the country giving them a message of care and the awareness
that the option of education and opportunity is alive and well. It will be a
few weeks before we can post a Red Scarf Scrapbook for 2007 on our site, but
because of your blog and the amazing spirit of its “members”, we
wanted you to get the first photos. We are so very touched by the impact and
the meaning that each and every one of the scarves represents. We cherish all
the Valentines, candy, stamps and gift cards that came with them, too! Those
items are very helpful. Warmest regards to all and THANK YOU from the bottom of
our “redscarfhearts”! - All of us at OFA
AND NOW FOR SOME CUTE OVERLOAD. For your pleasure, emails and photos from some more recipients:
Hi! I absolutely adore my scarf. It is the coolest yarn i have ever seen [ed. note: It's Fun Fur!!]. I
love it!!!!Thank you so much for all the other goodies too. Sam
This is Sam. Gorgeous! (click on the thumbnails for larger photos.)
The packing and shipping days at the OFA are Feb. 5th and Feb. 7th, and we have far surpassed the goal of 2,500 scarves. (by a multiple of three!)
If you haven't mailed your scarf yet, please hold it for next year or give it to another worthy cause. You might want to consider your local homeless shelter or women's shelter, or send it to the Dulaan Project. There are always worthy charities that are waiting to receive your handknits.
Or keep it as a ready-made holiday present for next year, OR wear it yourself. You deserve it!
Thank you to all the wonderful knitters and crocheters who participated. I can't wait for next year!
I did the drawing! Before I get to the winners' list, I must tell you how surprised I was at the outcome. I was informed of 723 scarves. Not all of them appear in the gallery, because not everyone could send in photos. I assigned each scarf a number on a Google spreadsheet, as I was notified. There were 12 prizes to award.
It seems a little top-heavy, in the sense that many of the numbers are at the high end of the range. That's the funny thing about "random," isn't it? Then it turned out that No. 126 was mine. I disqualified myself, so asked the generator for another number, and it came up with Amy A.-H.'s number. Karma must be somewhat at work here, because there are THREE college students in the list, and at least one of the prize donors also won a prize. Too delicious an outcome for words.
So, without further ado, I give you the following winners and their respective prizes:
1. Karen, of Hat on Top, for her 3rd scarf offering -- Stitch markers from Melissa (Karen is also a prize donor)
2. Amy H. -- Stitch markers from Melissa
3. Susan -- Kaffe Fassett book donated by Pamela C.
4. Amy T. -- (a college student at my daughter's college, it turns out) Vermont Nut Free Chocolate
5. Heather H. -- The lovely skein of yarn from Scout's Swag
6. Sara G.-L. -- Elizabeth Zimmerman books from an anonymous donor
7. and 8. -- Trish's knitters from Michigan. Both of the numbers 504 and 521 fell within this group. I don't have the names of the individual knitters, so I am going to send the prize to Trish and let her deal with it as she sees fit. (hopefully there will not be too much fighting. The prizes are both lots of phenomenal Fyberspates yarn sent by Jennifer T.)
9. Whitney -- (a graduate student) "Here There Be Dragons" pattern and skein of Socks That Rock from Keyboard Biologist Theresa
10. Heidi from QCSNB -- Kureyon donated by Mary Lou
11. Lauren W - (another college student) Rowan Felted Tweed donated by Karen (who also was a winner in this drawing -- Karma again?)
12. Christine N. -- Lisa Souza Laceweight donated by Susan J.
I have emailed the winners and, if appropriate, the prize donors, so that addresses may be exchanged.
Pamela C. has generously donated a gently used copy of Glorious Knits by Kaffe Fassett (Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1985 hardcover edition) to be awarded to a knitter of red scarves. Kaffe's sense of color is inspiring to any knitter, and this is a lovely donation. Thank you, Pamela!