by Amy Pass

Team Yarn held its first meet-up in January 2013 with 10 people and a laundry basket of donated yarn and hats. In our first month, we donated 40 items, and I was astonished at the turn-out! Today, one year later, I continue to be astonished and amazed by what this group has done! 

Linda and Jordy look over the Team Yarn First Anniversary Photobook

Team Yarn has over 50 members - folks who have made donations of handmade items, yarn or money and/or have attended meetings! 244 items were donated anonymously or by groups and organizations! We have had contributions from people in 6 different states: Minnesota, Alabama, California, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina and 3 different countries: the United States, Canada, and Germany.  

718 items have been donated to 7 different locations - the Harbor Room in Cambridge, the Richard M. Schultz Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, Woodwinds in Maplewood, and the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis. In January 2014 we will donate to our 8th location, Our Lady of Peace in St. Paul. We have also donated a number of items for silent auction at 3 different fundraising events, and sent/brought items to 10 different individuals upon special request. The total number of Team Yarn handmade items for 2013 is 788!

At least 6 people in our group learned to crochet in the last year - Kelli, Sandy, Suzi, Jenn & Julie. Together we’ve made everything from hats, scarves, shawls and afghans to doll hats, wrist warmers, mittens and headbands. And we have never, ever run out of yarn! Every donation is posted to the facebook page in an album indicating where it was donated. And every album is a tribute to the creativity and generosity of our Team!

Linda Moore has contributed 90 items! She's our largest individual contributor in 2013.
On the 1 year anniversary of Team Yarn, we would like to honor you, our Team, for your commitment, and the time and energy you’ve invested into bringing warmth and comfort to the lives of people who are battling chronic illness. ...Linda Moore, my aunt, has contributed 90 items! This makes her our largest individual contributor from 2013...and 2rd largest over all...rivaled only by School District 916, which donated 93 items in March!

Amy hands Kelli McCully a bracelet to thank her for donating 44 items this year. Wow! And Kelli just learned to crochet.
Our second largest individual contributor was Lorraine Herges, whom none of us has met! She leaves her items at the Century 21 drop site in Cambridge, MN. She made a total of 63 items for Team Yarn in 2013. She is followed by Kelli McCully, who JUST learned to crochet this year, AND Wanda Hollister, Tesha’s grandma, who each donated 44 items in 2013. Our 5th largest individual contributor for 2013 was Jen Raborn, who donated 35 items, some of which she mailed all the way from North Carolina before she moved back here to MN! Aurora was our youngest contributor, at the age of 11. She made 7 items for Team Yarn this past year! She and Josey helped sort, tag and deliver hats all year long!

Josey and Aurora (home sick) have both helped sort, tag and deliver hats all year long.
Brenda Lewis was brave enough to come out and join us even though she had never met any of us. She found our group on

Tesha holds up the "hope" charm on her necklace.

Kelli & Linda also deserve recognition for attending 9 of the 12 Team Yarn meet-ups of 2013! And special recognition goes to Jordan, for accompanying his grandma to every meeting she attended! Our next top meeting attendees were Sandy Slater, who attended 7 meetings, and Brenda Lewis, who attended 6! Brenda had the courage to show up, having never met any of us! She found our group on Ravelry, an online knit & crochet community, and has been attending meet-ups since the very beginning.

Last, but certainly not least, there’s Tesha, Team Yarn’s co-founder, who helped brainstorm and grow this idea. She has made hats and shawls, phone calls & blog posts. She created the facebook page, helps me keep it updated regularly, and takes notes for every Team Yarn donation delivery. There is no way Team Yarn would exist without her. Thank you! 

Thanks to ALL of you for making our Team 
such a huge success! 

Jordy looks styling in the hat he made!
Amy holds the lapghan Kelli McCully made.

Kelli McCully demonstrates how the lapghan she made will perfectly cover someone's legs.

Josey makes bird treats out of birdseed and yogurt. Silverwood Park hosts children activities most Sunday afternoons.

Julie gets to work on her second hat. Go Julie!

Tesha holds up the shawl she made.

The best of Team Yarn: its camaraderie.

Just before Christmas, on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, we dropped off 81 hats at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis! 

"This is wonderful," said Gretchen Ambrosier, who is in charge of donations at the Minneapolis Ronald MacDonald House. "Thanks so much. We really appreciate it!"  

What an adorable batch of hats! Because we had the kids with, we weren't able to take a tour this time around. Maybe next time.

We brought a bit of Christmas cheer to the Ronald MacDonald House the Friday before Christmas.
The Minneapolis house on Oak Street is one of four programs in the Twin Cities. There is also a house associated with Children's of Minneapolis and a family room for Gillette's Children's Specialty Healthcare. Plus, there's a mobile unit, a dental clinic on wheels, that provides dental care to underserved children in the 14-county Twin Cities metropolitan area
What a great bunch of fun and warm kids hats!

Amy with Gretchen Ambrosier

At most of the sites we donate to, we are asked to specify how much our donation is worth.

Our group with 2 representatives from the Ronald MacDonald House.


The Minneapolis Ronald MacDonald House, nestled near the University of Minnesota Campus on Oak Street, has 48 rooms. Those rooms are occupied 95% of the time, showing how needed this program is in the Twin Cities area.

The Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street serves families whose child is receiving care for a life-threatening illness at a Twin Cities-area hospital. It opened in 1979 and has been added onto many times since then.

Families supported at this Ronald McDonald House location must live farther than 60 miles from the Twin Cities. In addition to the geographic requirement, family eligibility is determined through a hospital social work referral.

Families may stay as long as their children are receiving care at a local hospital. Those who stay at the House while a child undergoes a bone marrow transplant average 142 nights. The average length of stay for non-transplant families is 20 nights. The RMH – Oak Street has the longest average length of stay of any House in the world.

How is the House associated with MacDonald's? Twenty-five percent of the funding comes from the Ronald MacDonald Foundation and local MacDonald's restaurants, and the rest is from other donors.
Like all Ronald McDonald House Charities chapters, the Minneapolis House is independently operated and governed. McDonald’s Corporation does grant the House license to use its trademarks – the name and images of Ronald McDonald and the Golden Arches – but operations are entirely independent. It is governed by its own Board of Directors, establishes its own mission and policies and manages its own budget and fundraising.

According to the web site, the mission of the House is driven by a commitment to:
  • Helping families stay together and gain strength during health care crises
  • Ensuring diversity in our organization and innovation in our programs
  • Enhancing our mission through partnerships and collaborations
  • Being accountable and transparent
  • Honoring our heritage while building for the future
  • Supporting our local community
Open every night of the year, the House offers accommodations to meet varying family needs. Each room includes a private bathroom, private phone line, TV and DVD player and various combinations of double and bunk beds and sleeper sofas.

Dinner and other meals
Volunteers in our Cooks for Kids program prepare home-cooked dinners for our families each evening and brunch on the weekends. Supplies for additional meals and snacks are always available to families, who are free to use our well-equipped kitchens.

School for siblings and patient
Our accredited onsite school inside the House helps children – siblings or patients – to continue their studies during time away from home. With the ability to keep their children in school during a child’s treatment, parents are better able to keep the entire family together.

More at:

It was so lovely to see you all on Dec. 15, 2013. Thanks for taking time out of your busy holiday schedules to come on out, and to work on projects. You rock!

It was great to have a couple newcomers, as well. Thanks for coming out Julie and Sandy!

Tesha teaches Julie how to crochet. She picked it up fast!

A few weeks later and here is the finished product! Nice work, Julie!