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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 88,000+ Blankets ~

december 2019 CRITTER NEWS!

This month seems to be the perfect time to express a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has helped Comfort for Critters grow, and helped us thrive, this year. I'll recap 2019 in the next (January) issue but for now I can promise you we had an amazing year. Together we helped so many shelters, and so many pets, with thousands of blankets and toys. I hope you feel a real sense of accomplishment!

I started planning the new year a few months ago, so be ready for some changes! As I drown in paperwork, in my small office, I've set a goal to be paper-free in 2020. That means I'm setting up lots of databases to track shelters, volunteers, blankets, etc. Wish me luck!

I've also realized that to make the budget work, I really need to focus on shipping the hundreds of blankets I receive from local volunteers. Since we started in the Chicago area, roughly 50% of our volunteers are nearby. Therefore, I'm going to really ask everyone out of state to donate their blankets locally, rather than shipping them to me. As I've said before, it breaks my heart to see a box come in with $30 postage and know I have to ship it back out to the same state for another $30!

I've signed up over 100 shelters this year, so every state should have a few to choose from. In-state shipping will be a fraction of the cost of sending blankets to me! If you'd like me track down a shelter near you, please let me know and I'll do my best. The 100 shelters added this year, were virtually all to help out of state volunteers donate locally. I'm happy to add 100 more in 2020! 

 As we close out this year, I hope everyone finds themselves surrounded by whatever, and whomever brings happiness into their life. I feel blessed & humbled every time I think of our mission and how everyone is working together to make it a reality. It brings more joy to my life, than I can express in words. Blessings to you all!

            Happy Holidays!   Linda

Your Beautiful Creations!

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Meet Lynn & Chris....people you should know!

Ever since I started Comfort for Critters in 2007, I've witnessed amazing "coincidences" happen on a regular basis. I've learned to rely on these, and trust that if we stick to our mission, help will arrive. This happened again just last month, in a wonderful way!

Since we are donating 1,500 - 2,000 blankets routinely each month, we tend to go through A LOT of yarn! As the rest of my work piled up, I watched our yarn stash evaporate. What used to fill a good portion of my attic was now just two boxes of yarn. TWO BOXES! I knew I needed to crank up the public relations engine, but just couldn't find the time. Just as I was running out of excuses, and still had no time to spare ... Lynn & Chris Hill came to the rescue!

Lynn joined the CFC team in March of this year, and has already made over 100 blankets. That's more than I did in CFC's first year (when it was just me)! She plans to continue making blankets, but decided to share her "stash" with CFC (at just the perfect time, of course). Along with her husband Chris, they drove six hours (one-way!) from Hallsville, Missouri just to deliver the yarn to me. There were 12 bags and a box....and hundreds and hundreds of full skeins! CFC volunteers will be happily crafting blankets all winter because of their generous donation.

Of course they didn't stop there! Lynn also shared with me that she lost a family member to suicide, and knows that shelter workers are at high risk for depression. She wanted to reach out to these workers with some brightly colored pictures (sample, at right) and words of encouragement. She gave me a stack to include in the boxes I ship, and has promised to do more (I can't wait!). She also gave me this adorable blanket (see picture, below), to be shared with a local shelter. It will be auctioned off by the shelter, to raise funds and help even more pets!   

While Lynn and Chris are just extraordinary in their generosity, they reflect the heart of every single CFC volunteer that I get to know. When you love pets enough to fit in time to help, you can't help but love people too. 

So after we chatted for a bit in my living room, they got into their now-lighter car and headed back (6 more hours!) to Hallsville. Even though I expressed my appreciation, as best I could, I don't think they really realized the impact they had made. Getting to meet people like Lynn and Chris makes all the work and paper cuts worth it. A big thank you goes to Lynn and Chris for being the perfect help that arrived, as usual, just in time!

Shelters Who Received Our Blankets in november

Adair County Humane Society - Kirksville, MO

ADOPT - Naperville, IL

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Aiken County Animal Shelter - Aiken, SC

Almost Home - Schaumburg, IL

Anderson County Animal Rescue Foundation - Clinton, TN

Animal Adoption Center - Lindenwold, NJ

Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

(The) Animal Foundation - Las Vegas, NV

Animal Friends of Westmoreland - Youngwood, PA

Animal Rescue Foundation / IL - Lisle, IL

Asheville Humane Society - Asheville, NC

Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL

Boonville Animal Shelter - Boonville, MO

Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society - Bowling Green, KY

Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL

Camo Rescue - Cypress, TX

Cat Rescue of Marlborough & Hudson - Hudson, MA

Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY

Chicago Animal Care & Control - Chicago, IL

City of Humble Animal Shelter - Humble, TX

Colonial Capital Humane Society - New Bern, NC

Connecticut Humane Society - Newington, CT

Danville-Boyle County Humane Society - Danville, KY

Douglas County Animal Services - Douglasville, GA

Dumb Friends League - Denver, CO

DuPage County Animal Shelter - Wheaton, IL

Glynn County Animal Control - Brunswick, GA

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

Grabb Animal Shelter - Fulton, MO

Greenville County Animal Care - Greenville, SC

Halo Rescue - Sebastian, FL

Help the Animals - Richmond, IN

Hillside SPCA - Pottsville, PA

Hinsdale Humane Society - Hinsdale, IL

Hopeful Tails - Joliet, IL

Humane Rescue Alliance - Washington, DC

Humane Society of Hancock County - Findlay, OH

Humane Society of Manatee County - Bradenton, FL

Humane Society of the Ohio Valley - Marietta, GA

Kendall County Animal Shelter - Yorkville, IL

Kitty Adoption Center - Las Vegas, NV

Kitty Cat Rescue - Macon, GA

Last Hope - Farmington, MN

Liberal Animal Shelter - Liberal, KS

Mainline Animal Rescue - Phoenixville, PA

Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL

Montgomery County SPCA - Conshohocken, PA

Mt. Juliet Animal Control - Mount Juliet, TN

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

New Hampshire SPCA - Stratham, NH

Operation Kindness - Carrollton, TX

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Paws 4 Life Animal Rescue - Bolton, CT

PAWS Chicago - Chicago, IL

PAWS Hancock - Greenfield, IN

Pulaski County Humane Society - Somerset, KY

Purrfect Cat Rescue - Crystal Lake, IL

Ruff Start Rescue - Princeton, MN

Rebecca's Paws & Claws - Birmingham, AL

Royce's Rescues - Richboro, PA

Russell County Phenix City Animal Shelter - Phenix City, AL

(The) Sanctuary at Haafsville - Breinigsville, PA

San Diego Humane Society - San Diego, CA

Secondhand Hounds - Minnetonka, MN

Serenity Animal Adoptions - Sterling Heights, MI

SPCA of Brevard - Titusville, FL

Stay-a-While Cat Shelter - North Royalton, OH

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

Treasured Animal Rescue - Aurora, IL

Tree House Humane Society - Chicago, IL

Underdog Pet Rescue - Madison, WI

Wadena County Humane Society - Wadena, MN

Wags 2 Wishes - Plainfield, IL

Will County Animal Shelter - Shorewood, IL

Wisconsin Humane Society / Door County - Sturgeon Bay, WI

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

Wisconsin Humane Society / Racine Campus - Racine, WI

Wise County Animal Shelter - Decatur, TX

Wright-Way Rescue - Morton Grove, IL

Wyandot County Humane Society - Upper Sandusky, OH

 For a complete list of shelters we support ... CLICK HERE!

A special thank you from Chenango SPCA

                                     

"When your box of blankets arrived, the timing couldn't have been better. We had just had surgery day, with 21 cats spayed/neutered, a whirl-wind day. What was even better than having 21 cats ready for adoption, was that they all got to go back to their "rooms" (as I call them) with a new blanket to recover on. They always get a towel or pillow case sprayed with a stress relaxer, like Feliway, but this was even better for them. A big thank you once again to you and all your volunteers or doing what you do."   ~ Chenango SPCA in Norwich, NY

                                    

Beth Dunlap honored with 18 acts of kindness

This fall CFC received 18 very special blankets, from a brand new volunteer in Downers Grove, Illinois. These blankets were all in shades of purple and white, to honor a student from her local high school, who was killed by a drunk driver, while crossing the street on her way to school one morning.

This volunteer, Jan S., shared with me, "Beth Dunlap was a junior at Downers Grove North High School who lost her life after she was hit by a drunk driver February 19, 2019. Beth was a vibrant, talented, 17-year-old volleyball player whose team had just competed at state the previous season. To honor Beth, the Dunlap family asked that our community engage in 18 acts of kindness because Beth’s volleyball jersey number had always been 18. About that time, I was invited to join the Comfort for Critters Facebook group. Crocheting 18 blankets for 18 shelter animals seemed like the perfect option for me. It feels like a small contribution but taking on this project helped me work through the sadness that many of us felt about this terrible accident."

Jan lives a few blocks from the school, and saw how students responded to the loss of their friend. As part of this close community, she knew she needed to do something. For Jan, making blankets became an outlet for her to begin to manage her sadness.  

What an honor it is to have Jan on the team. She also expressed to me, gratitude for CFC. She feels that our mission "has helped in more ways than you may know." I do feel this every day and would like every volunteer and supporter to know that YOU are the key to making CFC a reality. As we grieve for the family of Beth, I feel grateful that we can hold onto our knitting needles or crochet hooks, and push forward with our mission. In the end, our simple acts of kindness are really all we can do. 

 

Pets you are helping!

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Shelter Thank You's...

"We received your blankets and are sending them home with adoptions. Thank you so much for thinking of us. What you do is so awesome and we really appreciate it. Thank you!" ~ Kitty City Cat Rescue   

"Thank you for your generous donation of knit and fleece blankets. Your donations make an impact! Donations are put to use in our shelter and given to our incredible foster parents. Your contribution to Tree House goes directly to support our mission to ensure that every cat thrives. Thank you for being a partner to save and change cats' lives!"   ~ Tree House Humane Society

"Thank you or allowing our animals the enjoyment of these wonderful handcrafted blankets. We are grateful for your organization and all your wonderful volunteers!~ Little Shelter Animal Adoption Center

"We can't thank you enough for the wonderful blankets! Your thoughtful support is greatly appreciated!" ~ Animal Protective League

"We received your package of blankies for our kitties here at the Hermitage. Thank you so much for all you do for cats and dogs in shelters nationwide! And thank you for thinking of our kitties here. Thank you!" ~ The Hermitage Cat Shelter

What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

I hope you enjoy hearing how your fellow volunteers explain why they love to craft and love to comfort homeless pets. I'm sure their reasons will sound familiar. Thank you to everyone who leaves such heart-felt comments on the website!

  • "I think every homeless pet should have something warm and familiar to keep them comfortable until they find their forever home. Hopefully the blankets will give the pets a warm cozy feeling while in the animal shelters. The Hawaiian Humane Society rescued my dog from a puppy mill a few years ago. If not for them he wouldn't know what love, security, health and happiness was." ~ Erin F. in Mililani, HI  
  • "As 6th graders they chose this project as part of a community service project they needed to do for school. The girls love pets and wanted to keep them cozy and warm. The shelter was nearby, so it gave us the opportunity to deliver them in person and see who might benefit. Thank you for providing ideas that are easy for school-age girls to do!" ~ Bella, Keanna, Maya and Yazzzy in Hayward, CA
  • "I make blankets because I love cats and would adopt them all if I could. I hope the blankets will keep them warm and comfortable in their cages. Thanks for signing up this nearby shelter for me. They seemed really happy for the donations! Thanks for all you do!"  ~ Mary F. in Buchanan, MI
  • "I have always adopted cats from rescue shelters. These pets have been the best company and bring me much joy. We are full-time RVers and I crochet while my husband drives the rig. The activity helps with my anxiety and it brings comfort to friends waiting to be adopted. It's a WIN-WIN for both of us!" ~ Julie P. in Livingston TX (and all over the US!)
  • "I enjoy knitting and crocheting and making these blankets are easy enough to do while watching TV. It's a wonderful cause and I feel blessed that I am able to contribute to it. I hope the blankets give these precious animals a softer place to lay, some warmth and a place to curl up on. The shelter SO appreciated getting the blankets!" ~  Pam S. in Belgrade, MT 
  • "I make blankets to let the pets know that someone cares. I hope they provide comfort, warmth, etc. The shelter is close to home and everyone was really nice. Thank you for what you ALL do at CFC." ~ Nancy T. in East Providence, RI

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

We are now donating over 1,500 blankets regularly every month, which is awesome! It's also A LOT of blankets to filter in and out of my modest home 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:

  • 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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Support Our Mission!

We rely on the generosity of animal lovers to keep us going and keep us shipping! We donate 1,000 - 2,000 FREE blankets to animal shelters each month!

All our merchandise is personally made, or designed, by Linda, CFC's founder. She offers a handful of blankets for purchase and has designed some one-of-a-kind t-shirts for crafting and pet lovers!       

Click here to check them out!

"thank you" song for helping this month!

Michel Goguen, an artist featured on Open Strum, is blessing CFC once again this holiday season! Michel is the founder of the "Music for Critters" fundraiser to help animal rescues, shelters and environmental non-profits.

His newest song, "What We Need Is Love" features Jeff Coffin and will be given as an MP3 download for FREE to every volunteer and supporter who helps us in any way during December. I'll include this in every "thank you" email I send during the month. It's a wonderful song, with a great message. I hope you will check it out and enjoy it as much as I have.

We are so lucky to have such talented supporters! If you'd like to learn more about Michel, the important work he does, and the beauty he adds to the world, check him out at Open Strum! 

Together we have donated 88,759 blankets

november Blankets

1,676 Blankets

81 Shelters

26 States

  • We comforted over one thousand pets last month by donating 1,676 blankets!
  • 81 different shelters, in 26 states received our blankets and many received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible because of all the wonderful volunteers who helped last month. 

Thank you!

Nanaimo CFC Volunteer in the News!

Read the full article here, about how a CFC volunteer is carrying our mission into Canada!

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A few friendly reminders...

Once you have some blankets made, please check our "Animal Shelters We Support" 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 few days. Thanks for your patience!

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3s139 Sequoia Drive

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, Founder 

info@Comfortforcritters.org