Likely to succeed - 4 years strong

by Amy Pass
Several years ago when I was part of the start of a small business, I was told that for a business to make it past the first 3 years was extraordinary. It meant we were more likely to succeed in the long run. Well everyone, we’ve made it 4 years, and this was our biggest year yet! In 2016, you collectively made 937 items, which put us well past 3000 total items since we began! That’s more than any of the previous years, despite so many of your items being larger projects - like blankets and shawls.

You’ll be happy to know that the Team Yarn information collecting data sheet now has a system for breaking down how many of your items were hats and how many were larger items. (Thanks to Gabe for helping with the spreadsheets!). Unfortunately, we didn’t start breaking down the numbers until August, but since August, you’ve made 35 BLANKETS...and we aren’t talking small stuff, either!

Thanks to Tesha, my partner in crime, we’re getting a little more organized every year! Not only did she help talk through what we needed on a spreadsheet, she also helped get us more organized about where we’ll donate each month. Together we’ve created a rotating schedule of donation sites to make that process easier! Tesha gets the blog posts out about meetings and donations, and she’s heading up the project to get Team Yarn tshirts and other “swag” items so you can proudly advertise Team Yarn wherever you go. Thanks, Tesha, for being the resident photographer, journalist, and kid-wrangling donation delivery partner!

Team Yarn donated to 9 different facilities this year: Angel Foundation, HCMC Whittier Clinic, Humphrey Cancer Center (twice), Minnesota Oncology, Hope Lodge, Woodwinds Cancer Care Center, Our Lady of Peace Hospice, St. John’s Hospital, and the VA Medical Center. We also donated to numerous individuals. Please always feel free to ask on behalf of a friend or family member. That’s what we’re here for, and I almost always have a small stash in my closet!

I’d like to give an extra-special shout out to our top 5 contributors this year, but first I wanted to make sure to acknowledge our two youngest members, Josey & Jordy for their very first hat donations this year! Josey & Jordy have been members of the team for a long time, attending meetings since the very beginning, and we are so proud of them for putting in the time and hard work required to learn a new skill! We’re honored that they passed some of their very first handmade items to Team Yarn, and we had the privilege of donating those items to people in need of some warmth and comfort. YOU make us proud!!

So, on to the top 5 this year: Jody Gilbertson from Beldenville, WI was our top contributor with a total of 238 items! We have never met Jody, but she has sent boxes of hats and blankets throughout this past year, including those incredibly beautiful flower granny square blankets, which receive high praise everywhere we go! Next is Sandra Slater with 221 items. This is 53 MORE items than she made last year! Wow! Third is another woman we have never met. Sandi Fischer from Isanti, MN donated 174 items this years. She leaves her donations at our drop site in Cambridge. (Thanks so much to Vickie Christensen for accepting those donations for us at the Century 21 office.) Contributors #4 and #5 are sisters in close competition. Linda Moore made 86 items this year, while her sister, Bernice Foster, made 85. (I'm sure if Aunt Bernice had known that, she would have made at least one more!!) We owe them special thanks, not only for coming, but for bringing their children and grandchildren to Team Yarn! 

We are so grateful for the work of each person on this Team. Every single hat matters to someone. Every blanket, shawl, scarf, cowl, or pair of mittens gets passed along to someone in need of a pick-me-up. We hear over and over again at our donation sites how much our work matters to people, and we want to pass those words of praise and encouragement on to you. You should see the smiles and hear all the thanks!! You are all artists and creators, and we want you to know that your creations are a gift and a blessing to your community, some of whom you know and many you don’t know. THANK YOU!!

More photos and stuff from our January meeting here in this post.


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