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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 12 Years & 80,000+ Blankets ~

july 2019 CRITTER NEWS ~ Enjoy summer!

I hope this newsletter finds everyone happy, healthy and enjoying the summer. Happy 4th of July to everyone! With the upcoming holiday in mind, please take care to keep your pets indoors, and hopefully stress-free, as they deal with fireworks, parties and more. The American Veterinary Medical Association has some great advice you can read here to help your pets during this holiday.

I hope you'll find some items of interest in this month's newsletter. Besides the many "thank you's" (which I hope everyone takes to heart), I put together a brief "news release" that volunteers can use to get donated yarn and fleece. I hope it helps everyone get "stocked up" on supplies. There's also a list of Do's and Don'ts I've been compiling for awhile, related to making blankets. I get a lot of emails related to these topics, so hopefully these pieces will answer some questions which I know are out there!

As always, I send my "thanks" to every single person that helps us in any way. I know there's a lot of competition for time...especially in the summer....so thank you for continuing to care about homeless pets!

With gratitude for you,

Linda

a special thank you from Frankie's friends

 

"Luke and '8' want to thank you guys on behalf of Frankie's Friends. These are amazing! The perfect size and will be very much loved and appreciated.

Luke is missing a back leg and his tail. This doesn't slow him down a bit and he does Luke 'Zoomies' around the office. He does need his bladder expressed daily and sometimes leaves Hershey kisses so he will probably live with us forever, but he loves it here. 8 was found emaciated on local railroad tracks with a broken jaw and covered in maggots. He's also a happy lifer and visits nursing homes. They are unofficial mascots!  

~ Frankie's Friends Cat Rescue

in New Kensington, PA

Shelters who received our blankets in june

4 Paws Rescue - Whitehall, MT

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Animal Care Services - San Antonio, TX

Animal Protective Association of Missouri - St. Louis, MO

Animal Protective League - Springfield, IL

A Place for Grace Kitty Rescue - St. Albans, VT

ARF-IL - Lisle, IL

Asheville Humane Society - Asheville, NC

Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL

Berkeley County Humane Society - Martinsburg, WV

Boonville Animal Shelter - Boonville, MO

Cat Guardians - Lombard, IL

Chicago Animal Care & Control - Chicago, IL

Coastal Bend Small Breed Rescue - Corpus Christi, TX

Columbia County Humane Society - Portage, WI

Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI

DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL

Fetch Wisconsin Rescue - Verona, WI

First Avenue Shelter - Eugene, OR

Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL

Fur Angels - Aurora, IL

Half-way Home Animal Rescue - Orland Park, IL

Harrisburg Humane Society - Harrisburg, PA

Headwaters Animal Shelter - Park Rapids, MN

Helping Paws Pet Haven - Huntington, IN

Hermitage Cat Shelter - Tucson, AZ

Hopeful Tails - Joliet, IL

Humane Society of Ohio Valley - Marietta, OH

Humane Society of Polk County - Crookston, MN

Humane Society of Sarasota - Sarasota, FL

Kenosha Forgotten Friends - Kenosha, WI

Main Line Animal Rescue - Chester Springs, PA

Mobile County Animal Shelter - Mobile, AL

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

Operation Kindness - Carrollton, TX

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Paws 4 Life Animal Rescue - Bonton, CT

PAWS Chicago - Chicago, IL

Porter County Animal Shelter - Valparaiso, IN

Pulaski County Humane Society - Somerset, KY

Purrfect Cat Rescue - Crystal Lake, IL

Ruff Start Rescue - Princeton, MN

Saving Cats & Kittens in Michigan - Westland, MI

Seattle Area Feline Rescue - Shoreline, WA

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

Treasured Animal Rescue - Aurora, IL

Valley Humane Society - Pleasanton, CA

Vincennes Animal Shelter - Vincennes, IN

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

Wisconsin Humane Society / Racine Campus - Racine, WI

Wise County Shelter Decatur, TX

Woonsocket Cat Sanctuary - Woonsocket, RI

Worcester Animal Rescue League - Worcester, MA

Young Williams Animal Center - Knoxville, TN

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

Help for Volunteers to Get Donated Materials!

All the donated materials (yarn and fleece) which are received at our headquarters in Glen Ellyn, IL are distributed back out again to local volunteers. I'm often asked if I can ship these donations to volunteers in other states, which unfortunately I can't, since any funds donated always go to shipping out our many blankets.

However, I'd love to help everyone get free materials if I can! With this in mind, I put together a short article which volunteers can submit to their local newspaper, neighborhood newsletter, or even use with some graphics on social media. It just requires the volunteer to be willing to share their own information (name and email or phone). If you click on the headline below you can access a Word file which can be easily edited to add your information. Good luck getting donated materials to help you create blankets!


Donate Yarn & Fleece to Help Animal Shelter Pets

By: _______________________

Comfort for Critters is a volunteer program that creates hand-made blankets to comfort homeless pets, living in animal shelters. While these pets await adoption, the blankets provide a comfortable bed year-round. When they are adopted, their blanket goes with them, providing something familiar as they adjust to their “forever family”.  

This organization now has a local volunteer right in your neighborhood. I’m ______________ and I’ve been making blankets for them for a while now. As a group, we are always in need of yarn and fleece, since we’re donating between 1,000 and 2,000 free blankets to shelters every month! If you have a partial skein left over from a project, a dozen you never got around to using, or any fleece sufficient to make even one blanket (20”x20”), I can put your materials to good use.

If you’d like more information on Comfort for Critters, please check out their mission at www.ComfortForCritters.org. You may contact me directly at _______________ if you’d like to donate materials. The blankets I make will be donated right in the area, so every bit will be used to help comfort homeless pets nearby!


 

Pets you are helping!

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One skein pet bed

Of all the patterns I share (all free on this website) I get the most requests for this one. It's an "oldy-but-a-goody" for sure! It can be made with or without the sides, and in a variety of sizes. The only trick is getting this (or any) round blanket to lay flat - which is certainly an "art" not a science. (Hint: Just play with the increases in the rows a bit.) Once you master it, you'll feel you can conquer anything!

Click on the photograph at the right for the free pattern!

more Shelter "thank you's" . . .

  • "Thank you so much for the blankets. They are unbelievably adorable! You have really outdone yourself. The animals absolutely love them and I think they are precious. Thank you so much for taking the time to make them and send them to our animals. We appreciate it so much!~ Hillside SPCA - Pottsville, PA
  • "Thank you very much for your kindness in sending your generous gift of blankets to benefit our work with the animals. We deeply appreciate it. Thanks to the generosity of friends like you, the animals have a quality of life they would not otherwise have. Your support and love is a real blessing!"      ~ Best Friends Animal Society - Kanab, UT
  • "We just received a donated box of blankets. Thank you for thinking of us. Our cats are made more comfortable because of the work your organization does." ~ Standish Humane Society - Duxbury, MA
  • "Thank you for your very thoughtful and generous donation to the Rhode Island SPCA. We truly appreciate this very thoughtful donation of blankets that will help us continue to help our animal friends." ~ Rhode Island SPCA - Riverside, RI
  • "Thank you so much for the beautiful blankets for our kitties! The blankets are so soft and pretty! I know our kitties will love them! We appreciate this gift so much!" ~ Furkids - Atlanta, GA
  • "On behalf of Animal Care League, I would like to thank you for your recent donation of handmade blankets which we received recently. It is because of the kindness and support of friends such as you that we are able to continue our efforts to rescue homeless animals. Again, we thank you for your support." ~ Animal Care League - Oak Park, IL

Shelters helping shelters!

In June I was thrilled to receive some awesome toys, to include in our shipments to shelters! They were made by Kathy W. of Norwich, NY who runs the Chenango SPCA which we support (also in Norwich). She sent 14 large baggies, filled with about 12 crocheted cat toys, all sprinkled with catnip. I included these bags at the top of the next 14 boxes I shipped in June!

Each baggie included a label, which read:

"We hope your feline friends love these catnip toys as much as our shelter cats do. When they look like they have been used and abused, just throw them in a laundry bag, wash and dry, and put them back into this bag of catnip for a few days. Magic ... they're like new once again. 

Love and Purrs to all of you, from all of us, Comfort for Critters & the Chenango SPCA"

This gift is just another example of the wonderful people who work and volunteer to help pets. If you'd like to make similar toys, for your own kitties or to donate to shelters, they are super-easy. Kathy says to just grab your crochet hook, chain about 38, and then work a double-crochet into each of the chains. Be sure to weave in both ends, so the kitties don't chew on them. Thank you Kathy! 

Direct Shipping Benefits Everyone!

altWe are now donating well over 1,000 blankets (sometimes over 2,000!) 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!

What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

Thank you to everyone who leaves a comment on the website. They simply inspire me!  I hope they encourage you as well...

  • "I was touched when we received a hand made fleece blanket when we adopted a puppy mill Westie girl 4 1/2 years ago. Sadly we lost her in April 2018 from liver cancer within four years of adopting her. She touched our hearts in so many ways. Even though we don't have her, her blanket remains with us, proudly displayed across the back of a chair. My friend gave me a hook and skein of yarn as a Christmas gift in December 2018 and I decided a new learning experience was what I needed. Learning to crochet helped with my grieving process (I lost my friend six weeks after losing my furry one). I believe she guided me in finding Comfort for Critters and she is looking down on all of us volunteers with a huge smile on her face. I think the blankets provide a sense of security in addition to warmth and comfort to those waiting for their furever homes. I wish I had more hands to make double the amount of blankets. Thank you for starting this organization." ~ Geni O. of Channahon, IL
  • "I make blankets because I can't adopt them all, but I can crochet them some handmade love! When I dropped them off at my local shelter, it was wonderful to be able to meet the staff, volunteers and cats that will have the blankets I made!"  ~ Peggy B. in Englewood, CO 
  • "I am retired and suffer with severe COPD and on oxygen 24/7. I am limited to what I can do, so crocheting is a great passtime for me (and keeps me sane). I make blankets because I think every animal at the shelters should have a soft place to lay. One of my rescue cats loves to snuggle under a blanket and he will sleep there for hours ... while I am crocheting he lays on my desk and won't settle down until I put a blanket over him ... completely content!"  ~ Mary Ann L. in Sarnia, Ontario
  • "Making blankets started out as a school project because I had to choose something I believed strongly in. This is one of the only ways I can help animals in shelters due to my age (16). I think that there can be a lot of behavior problems connected to a sudden change in environment. These blankets will hopefully give them something familiar to help with the behavior problems connected to change."  ~ Hannah R. in Clyde, NC​
  • "I make blankets so that I can give them some soft/warm blankets to sleep on. I do believe they provide comfort and warmth. I'm glad to help this beautiful project!!" ~ Maria B. in Iowa

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 few days. Thanks for your patience!

together we have donated 80,198 blankets!

June Blessings

1,226 Blankets

55 Shelters

25 States

97 Volunteers

  • We helped so many pets in June, by donating a total of 1,226 blankets!
  • 55 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 97 volunteers and supporters who helped last month. Thank you!

Congrats!

During the month of May, everyone that helped out CFC in any way was entered in a random drawing for one of the t-shirts we've designed.

These great ladies were the winners, with each selecting a Comfort for Critters logo shirt! 

Susan Lang in Green Valley, AZ

Laura Garsten in Farmington Hills, MI

A big THANK YOU goes to everyone who helps us ... help pets!!!

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Your Beautiful Creations!

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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!       

Click here to check them out!

a special thank you...

 

"Thank you so much for your kind donation of the handmade blankets. Here is a picture of our foster dog Zack (aka Squeaker). Zack loves to hang out on his dog bed, under his blankie. He found great comfort in his new blankie. Kudos for all your hard work your organization provides to help our furry friends."   

~ Treasured Animal Rescue in Aurora, IL

New crochet  pattern to try!

I love this pattern, since it makes a super-thick blanket. My own kitties tested it and loved it!

Click on the photograph below for the free pattern!

Do's & don'ts of making blankets

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3 South 139 Sequoia Drive   Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski Founder & Owner 

info@ComfortForCritters.org