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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 70,000+ Blankets ~

january 2019 CRITTER NEWS ~ happy new year!

altHappy New Year everyone! I hope you're relaxing after a joyous holiday season...relaxing that is, with some yarn or fleece in your hand!

I was super-busy in December unpacking boxes and bags of blankets, supplies and other goodies....then repacking boxes to ship all across the US. A big shout-out is due to my mail carrier, who never complains as he backs his truck up my driveway and always says "thank you for your business!" Between the thank you cards (about 35 a week) and boxes (about 15 a week), I sometimes think we ARE keeping the USPS in business!

Once again, we broke all our records in December, shipping 2,332 blankets! Our previous record for a single month was 1,913 so we beat that by over 400 blankets! We also shipped to 25 different states (a record) and to 85 shelters (another record!). Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers. YOU are making a difference!

I have some new things planned for 2019, the first of which is a Facebook Group for all of us to share pictures (see article farther down in this newsletter). Stay tuned for more information on other surprises, which I'll announce as we go along this year. I hope to help volunteers get yarn donations (even if they're outside of IL), and create some tools so that volunteers can present our information to a shelter near them. Unfortunately, I'll need to continue my fundraising efforts (not my favorite thing to do!), so please share our information on Facebook, Instagram and our newsletter/website, so that we can spread the word and get more supporters. It's the only way we'll be able to keep going and keep shipping!

Also this year, I'll be sending more email "thank you's" and fewer cards, to save quite a bit in postage. I just love writing personal thank you notes, so I will continue those as often as I can. There will surely be more growth this year and more surprises along the way. As always, the Big Guy is in charge of CFC and I'm just along for the ride. I can't wait to see what He has in store for all of us!

Praying for a joyous 2019 with lots of opportunities to help others, especially pets!

    Linda

Your Beautiful Creations!

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2018 - a year in numbers!

 

Total blankets donated in 2018 ....................................................................18,162
Number of unique shelters helped ..............................................................273
Number of volunteers who helped make blankets ....................................375
Number of supporters who helped in other ways (donated materials, helped deliver blankets, sponsored a blanket shipment) .........................189
Total number of personal blanket drop-offs or individual boxes shipped to shelters .......................................................................................997
Total number of thank you notes mailed ....................................................1,680
Total gratitude felt for all the help & support ..............................................Unlimited!

a special thank you from helping paws!

alt In case you missed it, this was posted by the Executive Director of Helping Paws Pet Haven on her group's Facebook page. It's a "thank you" to you!!! 

"We received a box with some great little throws! There is a group called Comfort for Critters, their volunteers make these little blankets for rescues and shelters and send them at no charge to use and give with each adoption! Some are crocheted, some knitted and others are made of fleece. They are a great size to put in a carrier, in a chair or pet bed...or best yet...an empty box!

They are a nice added gift to send with our adoptions and the new families seem to appreciate it. Plus...they smell like 'home' as they get used to life in their new home! So we want to send a shout out of thanks to this fabulous group of people!! Thank you again for sending such great blankets!"

                                    ~ Helping Paws Pet Haven

Havi Global Helps Again!

CFC has once again, been honored to be included in HAVI Global Solutions "Week of Giving". This local company provides a full week of volunteer opportunities for their employees. It's a chance to give back to the community, and to donate up to eight hours to the charity of their choice. This year Judith M. of HAVI coordinated everything for CFC and we are very grateful!

In total, 40 employees decided to comfort shelter pets and make tied-fleece blankets for us. Together they created almost 55 blankets, all of which went to Animal Rescue Foundation in Lisle, IL. What a great company and rewarding experience for all involved. Thank you HAVI for being a corporation that truly cares about your employees and the world!

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a special thank you from Clay county!

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"Clay County Animal Services would like to say THANK YOU, for making our sweet fur babies time here a little more like home.

Your handmade blankets by volunteers are amazing and our animals LOVE them!"

      ~ Clay County Animal Services

Benefits of Pet Companionship!

As any pet-parent will tell you, when a pet enters your life, it’s never the same - and that’s a good thing. It’s a hard thing to explain, to quantify to someone who has never experienced life with a four-footed friend by their side. It’s not surprising at all that research has illustrated, and yes quantified, the major benefits a person receives from a companion animal. Much of this research has focused on the benefits of pet companionship to the elderly, but they truly apply to us all.

The "Pets for the Elderly Foundation" lists these 10 benefits to pet companionship:

•             Lower blood pressure and pulse

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•             21% fewer doctor visits

•             Less depression

•             Easier to make friends

•             More active

•             Pets offer affections and unconditional love

•             Pets ease the loss of a loved one

•             Less loneliness

•             Seniors take better care of themselves

•             Pets provide a sense of security

One of the researchers even said that “pets are the same as sunshine and vitamins!” A similar study by the American Institute for Preventative Medicine also illustrated some of the benefits of pet companionship. These are especially true, when dealing with depression:

•             Gives a person something to care for

•             Offers a sense of being wanted and needed

•             Offers non-judgmental acceptance

•             Decreases feelings of isolation

•             Provides a feeling of safety, if living alone

Additional research, by the American Psychological Association, concluded that companion animals provide real benefits to “everyday people.” The lead researcher summarizes, “Pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied, than non-owners.”

And finally, the CDC chimes in to tell us that pets can decrease our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. All the while they increase our levels of exercise and socialization. Though for any pet-lover no research is needed, it’s a good reminder of why the expense, clean-up and sometimes heartache, is all worth it.

Shelters who received our blankets in December

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

All 4 Animals Rescue - Mishawaka, INalt

Allegany SPCA - Wellsville, NY

Almost Home - Bloomingdale, IL

Animal Aid Inc. - Oakland Park, FL

Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TX

Animal House Shelter - Huntley, IL

Animal Protective Association - St. Louis, MO

Animal Protective League - Springfield, IL

ARF-IL - Lisle, IL

Asheville Humane Society - Asheville, NC

Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL

Bucks County SPCA - Lahaska, PA

Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL

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Cat Guardians - Lombard, IL

Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL

CatVando - Maywood, IL

Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY

Chicago Animal Care & Control - Chicago, IL

Clay County Animal Services - Green Cove Springs, FL

Colonia Capital Humane Society - New Bern, NC

Connecticut Humane Society - Newington, CT

Critter Camp - German Valley, IL

Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI

Danville-Boyle County Humane Society - Danville, KY

DAWS - Bethel, CT

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Dumb Friends League - Castle Rock, CO

DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL

East Providence Animal Control Shelter - East Providence, RI

Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary - Salisbury, NC

Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL

Fresh Start Animal Rescue - Belvidere, IL

Friends of Felines - Stamford, CT

Furry Friends Network - Carlisle, PA

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

Granny Rose Animal Shelter - Dixon, IL

Greater Chicago Ferret Association - Lyons, IL

Headwaters Animal Shelter - Park Rapids, MN

Herrin County Animal Control Shelter - Herrin, IL

Hinsdale Humane Society - Hinsdale, IL

House Rabbit Society of Chicago - Westchester, IL

Humane Society of Morgan County - Berkeley Springs, WV

Humane Society of Polk County - Crookston, MN

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Humane Society of Whitley County - Columbia City, IN

Kane County Animal Control Shelter - Geneva, IL

Kennebec Valley Humane Society - Augusta, ME

Keno's Animal Sanctuary - Bronx, NY

Kenosha Forgotten Friends - Kenosha, WI

Kindred Kitties - Kenosha, WI

K&R Small Animal Rescue - Appleton, WI

Lawrence County Humane Society - New Castle, PA

Little Victories - Ona, WV

Marion Countyt Animal Services - Ocala, FL

Mary's Kitty Korner - Granby, CT

Monroe County Animal Shelter - Madisonville, TN

Montgomery County SPCA - Conshohocken, PA

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

Nebraska Humane Society - Omaha, NE

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

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PAWS Chicago - Chicago, IL

Pennsylvania SPCA - Philadelphia, PA

Prairie Paws Rescue - Jamestown, ND

Red River SPCA - Whitesboro, TX

Rover Rescue - North Aurora, IL

Sacred Space Animal Shelter - Burbank, IL

Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center - Aransas Pass, TX

Second Change Pet Adoption - Raleigh, NC

Southeast Kansas Humane Society - Pittsburg, KS

Spartanburg Humane Society - Spartanburg, SC

Standish Humane Society - Duxbury, MA

Stevens-Swan Humane Society - Utica, NY

Stitches for Mitchell County - Camilla, GA

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

The Sanctuary of Haafsville - Breiningsville, PA

TLC Animal Shelter - Homer Glen, IL

Union County Animal Control Shelter - Buncombe, IL

Wabash County Animal Services - Mt. Carmel, ILalt

Western Hills Humane Society - Spearfish, SD

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

Wisconsin Humane Society / Racine Campus - Racine, WI

Wisconsin Humane Society / Ozaukee Campus - Saukville, WI

Wright-Way Rescue - Morton Grove, IL

Wyandot County Humane Society - Upper Sandusky, OH

For a complete list of shelters we support - click here!

Pets you are helping!

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more Shelter "thank you's" . . .

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"Thank you so much for the wonderful box of blankets we received at our shelter yesterday. The cats just love them and it feels so much more like a home ... until they find theirs! We appreciate you!" ~  Wabash County Animal Shelter - Mt. Carmel, IL

"From all of us at Animal Care League, thank you so much for donating cozy blankets for our animals. All of the animals love them - especially the cats and kittens! We truly appreciate your on-going support to help our shelter animals feel as comfortable as possible while they wait to find forever homes. Thanks again!" ~ Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

"Thank you for your recent donation to the KC Pet Project. Your donation helps us care for the animals that come through the doors! We depend heavily on public support in order to provide the kind of care that each and every animal that comes to this shelter deserves. So thank you!" ~ Kansas City Pet Project - Kansas City, MO

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"Animal Rescue Force has received your donation of the handmade blankets for the pets in our care. ARF is a volunteer, non-profit organization that relies solely on donations for support. Without the support of organizations like CFC, we could not continue our lifesaving work." ~ Animal Rescue Force - East Brunswick, NJ

"Just wanted to say thank you to Linda and CFC for the wonderful donation of 44 blankets to the shelter. The animals will love them!" ~ West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL 

Help needed!

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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. 

I can help you find a shelter near you, and will do all the work getting then 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 to donating directly:

  • Cheaper than shipping them to IL, 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 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 for giving it some thought!

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together we have donated 70,071 blankets!

december Blessings

2,332 Blankets

85 Shelters

25 States

124 Volunteers

  • We comforted thousands of homeless pets in December, by donating a record 2,332 blankets!
  • 85 different shelters, in 25 states, received our blankets, and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible, due to the 124 volunteers and supporters who helped last month. Thank you!

Have you found your tikkun olam?

Help us ship boxes!

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Check out all our fun t-shirts here. Every purchase keeps us going and keeps us shipping!

new Facebook Group - "Comfort for critters team"

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If you follow us on Facebook, you may want to join a group we've just formed called "Comfort for Critters Team". 

It's a closed group (only members can see posts) so you'll need to join if you want to participate. It'll be a place to share pictures of your blankets, favorite patterns, tips & tricks, pets and whatever else you want! If volunteers have yarn to share, this would be a place to connect with other volunteers which could use it. If you need yarn (and you're not near our headquarters), this is the place to ask!

Everyone that follows us on Facebook will receive an invite this month ... so look for that and please join the CFC team!

(Psst... I'm planning a fun "temperature blanket" in January and will be posting updates in the group!)

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Get social!

Pin Us on Pinterest

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us On Instagram

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Crocheted Mice!

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I've received many requests for the pattern some volunteers are using to make crocheted catnip mice. Thanks to Teresa L. of Omaha, NE we now have it!. Click here for the pattern and have fun!

What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

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Thank you for continuing to leave comments on our website. It's a great way we can share the importance of the CFC mission to each of us!

  • "I love dogs and cats. I hope the blankets will make the animals comfortable. I love seeing all of the pets enjoying their blankets! Thank you for starting this organization." ~ Karen S-N in MD
  • "I usually make hats for cancer patients and want a different project to do from time to time. I saw the website and thought it's a wonderful idea. Especially since my cats are shelter cats!" ~ Susan K. in St. Charles, IL 
  • "I want to clean up my stash of left-over yarn. So I made them into blankets for pets and looked for shelters online who would need them. That's when I found this website! I think the blankets will help the animals be warm and comfortable, especially during the coming winter season." ~ Cleofe M. in CA
  • "I volunteer with some adoptable kittens at a pet store near my house and they can always use more blankets to make their cage comfy. These kittens are often scared and need something to cuddle up on. With more blankets we can also rotate them more often, so that they're always fresh and clean."  ~ Theresa M. in Ontario, Canada​
  • "I just started doing this as I see this shelter taking in dogs and cats, and it is no-kill. I have been there and have seen the animals and feel sorry for them. I thought I could do something for them and so I started crocheting blankets. I do think the blankets will keep them warm and comfortable! I care about these animals and want to help as much as I can!"  ~ Nancy M. in Waterloo, NY

Our "remnants reborn" Blankets Make Great Gifts!

Here's an easy way to help us ship blankets and find a great gift for the animal-lover in your life.altPurchase one of our exclusive "Remnants Reborn" blankets, which are made by Linda, CFC's founder, using only remnant yarn, leftover after making shelter blankets. They are sold on Amazon, Etsy and this website at a price that covers the shipment of a box of blankets. The recipient will receive a beautiful blanket and learn that a big box of blankets is being shipped to an animal shelter because of the purchase!

altThis card is included with their gift blanket! A beautiful blanket PLUS sponsoring a shipment of blankets, equals a meaningful gift for any pet lover! 

Click here for more info!


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 in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to the shelter, or drop them off, and just let me know how many you donated. Don't forget to ask for a tax receipt, since many of the shelters can provide this!

  • 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 you a thank you note.

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

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3 South 139 Sequoia Drive   Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski Founder & Owner 

info@Comfortforcritters.org