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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 11 Years & 67,000+ Blankets ~

December 2018 CRITTER NEWS! 

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First and foremost, happy holidays to one and all! I'm always impressed that even through this very busy time of year, our volunteers just keep helping homeless pets by making blankets or supporting us in some other way. As a way of saying "thank you" ... this issue is filled with "gifts" for everyone on our team.

I hope you will enjoy the video "thank you" below. It shows many of the groups that have helped us, the pets we comfort, and the families that get to take home their comfort blanket when they adopt their new family member. I hope it puts a smile on your face and reminds you of the difference you are making! 

altAnother "gift" this month will be sent to everyone who donates yarn, fleece, helps with shipping or makes blankets. The inspirational "Wildfire" song in this video will be sent to each contributor in a special email thank you I'll be using in December.

This free downloaded song is made possible by Michel Goguen, an artist featured on Open Strum, which has been organizing "Music for Critters" throughout 2018. Michel Goguen is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, songwriter from Moncton, Canada. We are grateful to Michel for letting us use his song in our video and giving it free to our supporters. I truly love his music and I bet you won't be able to get the song out of your mind! The words really convey our mission and how so many people are getting involved!

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I'm also happy to announce that the t-shirts I've been promising are finally here. I've designed a handful of shirts, which are now for sale on Amazon! I'll be creating others, and putting our logo on some other items for sale, all to raise funds to cover our growing shipping costs. I never thought we'd be donating over a thousand blankets each month, so I'm preparing for more growth in 2019! Please know that as you purchase these items you are keeping us going....and keeping us shipping blankets. You can check out the full selection of t-shirts here.
 
The final "gift" in this issue are all the thank you notes from shelters that I love to share with you every month. Be sure to read each one and know that you are changing the world for homeless pets!alt
 
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!
 

         Linda      

Thank you to our volunteers & supporters!!!

Wildfire by Open Strum

The above video gratefully uses "Wildfire" by Open Strum, featuring George Belliveau & Frank Goguen on vocals. Open Strum features Michel Goguen, a musician and founder of the "Music for Critters" fundraiser to help animal rescues, shelters and environmental non-profits. "Wildfire" is Michel's newest song! You can find more information and more music at www.openstrum.com. Check them out!

Your Beautiful Creations!

  

a Special "thank you"...

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I'm happy to be able to share the adorable thank you card I received from the Upper Valley Human Society in Enfield, NH. It's wonderful how they had so many people to sign it.
Enjoy - this is for YOU!

 

 

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Shelters Who Received Our Blankets in november

ADOPT - Naperville, IL

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TXalt

Animal Welfare League - Chicago Ridge, IL

Best Friends Animal Society - Salt Lake City, UT

Blessed Bonds - Palos Park, IL

Brother Wolf Rescue - Asheville, NC

Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL

Cedar Bend Humane Society - Waterloo, IA

Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY

Coastal Humane Society - Brunswick, ME

Collin County Animal Shelter - McKinney, TX

Columbia County Animal Shelter - Portage, WI

Connecticut Humane Society - Newington, CT

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Cumberland Valley Humane Society - Chambersburg, PA

C&W Rustic Hollow Shelter - Nashua, IA

Dakin Humane Society - Leverett, MA

Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI

Dumb Friends League - Denver, CO

East Providence SPCA - East Providence, RI

Fat Cat Rescue - North Chicago, IL

Feral Fixers - Lombard, IL

Forever Home Pet Rescue - Castaic, CA

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit - Dearborn, MI

Friends Fur Change - Chickasha, OK

Furkids - Atlanta, GAalt

Furkids - Alpharetta, GA

Glynn County Animal Services - Brusnwick, GA

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

Greenville County Animal Care - Greenville, SC

Happy Cats Haven - Colorado Springs, CO

Harrisburg Area Humane Society - Harrisburg, PA

Headwaters Animal Shelter - Park Rapids, MN

Iowa City Animal Care - Iowa City, IA

Kendall County Animal Shelter - Yorkville, IL

Keno's Animal Sanctuary - Bronx, NY

Lowell Humane Society - Lowell, MA

Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL

altNaperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

New Hanover Humane Society - Wilmington, NC

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

North Texas Cat Rescue - McKinney, TX

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Portsmouth Humane Society - Portsmouth, VA

Red River SPCA - Whitesboro, TX

Royce's Rescues - Richboro, PA

Saving Cats & Kittens in Michigan - Westland, MIalt

Simply Cats - Boise, ID

Standish Humane Society - Duxbury, MA

Tails Adoptions - Delta, CO

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

Three Rivers Humane Society - Madras, OR
 
TLC Animal Shelter - Homer Glen, IL

Wadena County Humane Society - Wadena, MN

Wags to Wishes Animal Rescue - Plainfield, IL

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society - Washougal, WA

Wisconsin Humane Society/Green Bay Campus - Green Bay, WI

 For a complete list of shelters we support ... Click here!

Generations of caring!

One of my favorite things about CFC is that generations of families can get involved. Even young kids can create tied-fleece blankets, and the oldest among us can use their talents to create beautiful blankets as well. I've worked with volunteers as young as five, and up to 95 years old!

One such group came to light recently as I started to receive box after box of the most gorgeous quilted blankets.The pictures below are just a sampling of the many blankets they've made and then sent to me for distribution to shelters in need. Esther is in Rochester, NY and started crafting many years ago. Her daughter Susan, in West Bloomfield, MI, learned to quilt and taught her daughter Laura, in Farmington Hills, MI as well!  During the summer they were able to get together and volunteer together! "We are really enjoying sewing and quilting all of these blankets and we're happy that in some small way we can help comfort pets waiting in shelters for a new home," says Susan. So the three generations are all quilting and all helping homeless pets! We are grateful for their expertise and big hearts!

Made by Esther:                          Made by Susan:                              Made by Laura:

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Pets you are helping!

Stressed? Knit or crochet your way to relaxation!

altYes, it’s true. Studies have shown, and all of us crafters know, that knitting and crocheting can be a huge stress reliever. I’ve personally heard this from many volunteers…that it’s a way for them to relax and unwind after a long day. But is this effect real or imagined?

Any repetitive activity can help calm the mind. A rhythmic chant in medication is replaced by the cadence of clicking knitting needles. It can help to clear the mind of worries, concerns and nagging thoughts, as you focus on row, after row, after row. I’ve heard from volunteers that they enjoy picturing the pet which will receive the blanket they are making. As they stitch bright red treble-crochets, they think about that jet black cat who will look dazzling, as they sleep on this blankie.

Crafting a blanket is also a unique source of accomplishment, in a world that can be stingy on delivering this feeling. Few jobs deliver this, or even extracurricular activities. Most tasks need to be done, and redone. It’s unusual to be able to sit back and just take in something that’s “done” (never to be done the exact way again).  A completed blanket is something you can hold in your hands, knowing you are making a tangible difference to a homeless pet (and their forever family).

There’s also a wonderful feeling that comes from mixing colors, trying new stitches and just plain being creative.  I’m often asked if a different kind of yarn can be used, if the shape or size can be changed or even if a new method can be used to create a blanket. My answer is consistently “yes”, followed by a “please do!” Being able to follow your creative inspiration and experiment without worry is a wonderfully freeing feeling. I love that our volunteers can feel this with every blanket they make!alt

Recently, schools have begun knitting instruction for kids who would like to fine-tune their ability to focus. It helps them slow down, concentrate, and accomplish a clear goal. Teachers find this translates to higher test scores, as they use the same ability to focus on assignments and tests.

For kids, it’s also a great way to demonstrate the importance trying something new, persevering until you figure it out, and when all else fails unwinding your mistakes and starting fresh! Not many activities let you do that! So is it the magic elixir for de-stressing or is it all in our head? I wonder if it really matters….

Shelter Thank You's...

alt"We appreciate so much your donation of the handcrafted blankets made by your volunteers. They do beautiful work. Each one of our cats and kittens goes to its 'forever home' with one of the blankets which has its scent on it and makes going to a new home less stressful for it. Again, thank you so much!" ~ Save Our Strays

"We have received your donation! Thank you for the blankets for the kittens and cats!!" ~  Livingston County Humane Society

"We would like to take this time to say thank you for your generosity. Your donation of handcrafted blankets is not only very thoughtful, but it is also extremely helpful for all of the animals at the SPCA. Much like you, all of the staff members here at the MCSPCA are animal loves, too. Because of your kindness, we are able to show every animal a little bit of extra love and care." ~  Montgomery County SPCA

"I just wanted to send a huge thank you to Comfort for Critters! Our kitties love the handmade blankets! We can't get enough of them! We appreciate all the support. Thank you!" ~ Whitman County Humane Society

"We just wanted to write to let you know that we received the handmade blankets that you mailed to Asheville Humane Society. We are so very grateful for such a thoughtful gift for the animals. What a wonderful program! Please pass along our sincere thanks to everyone involved." ~ Asheville Humane Society

"Thank you for the blankets for our kitties. Winter is coming and we love to send them to their new homes with a nice warm handmade blanket!" ~  Royce's Rescues

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

We are now donating over 1,000 blankets regularly every month,which is awesome! It's also A LOT of blankets to filter in and out of my house every month (not to mention all the fleece and yarn donations that go in, and back out!).

With this in mind, please consider donating your blankets directly to a shelter near you. This is especially helpful if you're out of state. Often I receive a box of blankets (with $25 of postage on it!) and I need to turn around and ship it back out (for another $25!), sometimes to the same state it came from!

I can help you find a shelter near you, and will do all the work getting them signed up. If you choose a shelter from our website list, I can promise you that in-state shipping will be less costly than sending them to me!

Benefits of donating your blankets locally and directly:

  • Cheaper than shipping them to Illinois (if you're out of state)!
  • You can ask for a tax receipt and possibly write off the donation (please check with your tax professional).
  • If you personally drop them off, you get to see all those little faces saying "thank you!"
  • You'll also get to see how much the shelter staff appreciates the blankets!

If this doesn't work for you PLEASE continue to send me your blankets, and I will happily ship them out!  Thank you!

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Together we have shipped 67,739 blankets!

november Blessings...

1,175 Blankets

57 Shelters

24 States

119 Volunteers

  • We comforted over a thousand pets in November by donating 1,175 blankets!
  • 57 different shelters, in 24 states, received our blankets and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible because of the 119 volunteers who helped last month. Thank you!

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Make Your Dog's Toys - New Again!

Fun pattern to try!

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A CFC volunteer recently sent me this great pattern from Caron, which is just perfect for pet blankets. It's easy to do, since it's a nice mix of single and double crochet. Hope you enjoy it!

Click here for the pattern

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Shipping Funds Needed!

We now have some great ways to help us ship the 1,000+ blankets we donate to shelters each and every month. Visit Amazon, Etsy or the "Buy a Blanket ~ Ship a Box" page on our website to purchase one of our inexpensive "Remnants Reborn" blankets created by Linda, CFC's founder, using only remnant yarn after making shelter blankets. You'll be sponsoring a big box of 20 blankets, which will be shipped to a shelter outside of Illinois!

If you're a fiber-artist yourself, you may prefer to purchase a pair of our "Comfort Paws" earrings, also created by Linda. They're under $10 and with the proceeds we can support a local Illinois shelter with our blankets!

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Each item comes with the above card, to explain how it's helping homeless pets, so it makes a great gift!

Check out the current selection!


A few friendly reminders...

Once you have some blankets made, please check our "Shelters Supported" page to find a shelter near you (or at least one in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to them, or drop them off. The shelters do not notify me when they receive blankets, so please let me know via our website form or in an email. 


  Don’t forget to leave your name and address on the blankets or materials you drop-off at CFC headquarters in Glen Ellyn, IL so that I can send a thank you note!


  Remember that we are all juggling CFC, jobs, pets and kids! We do reply to every inquiry, but it may take a day or two. Thanks for your patience!

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3s139 Sequoia Drive

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, Founder  info@Comfortforcritters.org