Chatfield group 'bundling love' on Monday to make a difference
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:56 AM
Snap to it - bundle some love.
"Please, we can use your help cutting, sewing, snapping and ironing," said Chatfield Bundles of Love (BOL) chapter coordinator Susan Moses, speaking of the chapter's upcoming Make a Difference Day Bundles of Love Retreat, set for Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Chatfield.
According to Moses, Bundles of Love was "born" in the state of Minnesota with hopes that no family in Minnesota who needs clothing and bedding for their newborn will be without these items. "A great amount of caring and love goes into each item that is made for the newborns," she said.
Bundles contain approximately 34 items, including a quilt, blankets and infant clothing.
"It is intended that a bundle will help new parents to have the items needed to get started on caring for their new baby," Moses added. "Often, parents are not prepared for the financial toll it takes to bring a new baby into their home. A bundle can help with having something to bring the baby home from the hospital in or a blanket to wrap the baby in. Sometimes parents are working but still do not have the income to manage to pay for the initial startup items a baby needs. The bundle helps until services kick in or more help arrives."
Chatfield's volunteers distributed 200 bundles last year and Moses and her friends plan to match that number this year.
Fillmore County Public Health, Houston County Public Health and Winona County Community Health are the three major recipients of bundles to distribute to infants in need, but Chatfield's Bundles of Love group also delivers to Semcac's HeadStart, the Rushford food shelf, Project Fine, the Southeast Minnesota Rural Resource Center in St. Charles, Migrant HeadStart, Winona State Young Student Parent Support Initiative, Grace Place, newborns of deployed military families in Olmsted and Winona counties and the Chosen Valley Christmas Project.
Moses encouraged anyone who knows of families in need of a bundle to contact her.
The local chapter has over 75 members, according to Moses. "Some help for a few months and others have volunteered for several years. Volunteers that attend our Chatfield meetings extend far beyond the local community, including St Charles, Lewiston, Stewartville, Preston, Dover, and even Iowa," she added. "Our Winona meetings include many volunteers from Wisconsin."
Moses stated, "Many of our volunteers are not able to stay for our meetings, but will drop off items they have completed and pick up kits or material to make more items. Volunteers who work from home and bring in completed items help us out so we have more time to pack bundles at the meetings."
In spite of the volunteers' dedication to completing items for bundles, once in awhile the group needs a hand from others who can help by sewing, knitting, ironing, crocheting, cutting or sorting.
"We need the workday to build up our depleted supply," Moses said. "We always get low this time of year and need items to carry us through the holiday months and summers when we receive fewer donations, volunteers get busy and don't have as much time to complete items. This is a way for our local community to make a difference and help those less fortunate."
Last year's workday attracted over 20 volunteers and they helped the Bundles of Love chapter members accomplish quite a lot.
"We had a fabulous day, with many items cut out and ready to sew. Volunteers took items home to sew, and we added many new volunteers to our group," Moses said. "Once volunteers saw what we do, they were enthusiastic about helping out on a regular basis. We are expecting a larger group this year. Volunteers can come for a few hours or stay all day. Several stations will be set up so that everyone can work on what they do best or enjoy the most."
Volunteers are asked to bring cutting tools, crochet hooks, knitting needles, a sewing machine if they'd like, their skills, a friend, and a bag lunch or lunch money for dining out at local cafes.
Fabrics, yarn, patterns, cutting mats, ironing boards, irons, a Snapper and coffee and water will be provided. Bundles of Love members will share what goes in a bundle, how to use a Snapper snap-installing machine and how to cut with a rotary cutter.
Moses shared that the group operates on a completely non-profit basis, depending on donations to support its program.
She said material and yarn donations are essential to keeping the costs down. "We ask that you check your closets for unused materials or abandoned projects," Moses requested. "We can use Grandma's leftover yarn or those flannel pajamas you cut out and never got a chance to sew. We can find a use for most fabric."
She reiterated her invitation to volunteers as she concluded, "Donations of fabric and yarn and other sewing material will be accepted all day, and there is help available for loading and unloading. Used-a-bit clothing can be donated up to 18-month size. Clothing donations need to be in like-new condition. Come work with us, help us with cutting, sewing, ironing...."
The Chatfield Bundles of Love Make a Difference Day is set for Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 100 Fillmore St. SE, Chatfield, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Participants may drop in or stay all day.
For more information, contact Susan Moses at (507) 273-9365, or e-mail email@example.com, Annette Skrukrud at (715) 577-0764 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lynette Spitzer at (507) 932-4361 or email@example.com.