Heart And Soul

Lured by the sounds of a young camper playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano, my husband had to join. He couldn’t be bothered to put down his ice cream, although I offered to “take care of it” for him! The two of them had great fun serenading the rest of us at the Camp Quality Texas gathering. They even got into a little bit of “boogie-woogie” with it.

Piano duet

The title of the song, “Heart and Soul,” struck home to me as we delivered 52 afghans to the children at camp. The children we gifted either were battling cancer themselves or were the sibling of a child with cancer. More than 500 volunteers poured heart and soul into blanketing these children with love.

I’d love to sit back and just sigh about our effort, but it is time to start all over again to make another 150 afghans for next summer! Yeah. I’m crazy enough to do it again, and so are the volunteers who helped this year. Trust me, every doggone bit of it is worth it when you see the faces! If you want to crochet for it, visit the FAQ. You can also join the Facebook or Ravelry page.

As we begin again, I have to tell you that it takes more than heart and soul to finish a project of this magnitude! We could use a little help.

Sure, if you crochet, I want you to make squares for the project (please read the instructions before you get started, though). To make those afghans, it will take 12,000 squares! And, if you are in the North Texas area, I can use some more folks who will assemble the afghans (I’d love to be able to afford to mail them across country so everyone can have the experience, but I haven’t won the lottery yet).

But, what if you don’t crochet? How can you help?

I’m so glad you asked that question. Here are a few of the things we will need. Keep in mind that we do NOT have 501C3 status, so your donations are NOT tax deductible. You will, however, get a lot of good karma if you help.

  • Red Heart” brand yarn — skeins of black. Why just that brand? Amazingly, there are many different shades of black. If we stick with one brand, the yarn will always match. It’s what we use to rim the afghans, and what some of us use to join them together (others stitch them using the long tails of yarn on each square). A seven ounce skein will rim two of the 150 afghans.
  • Curling ribbon for the pretty bows we used to dress up the packages. If you have any extra (any color, any size), contact me. I’ll give you contact information for our volunteer, Jan, who is coordinating that effort.
  • Colorful shoestrings. Do whut? That’s right, I said, “colorful shoestrings.” Last year, we gave the kids carabiners to hold all the tags from the afghans together. In theory, it was great … but it wasn’t all that practical. This year, I would love to give each child a pretty shoelace to thread through the tags. So, I’d like 150 funky shoelaces (“funky” as in “fun” —NOT “funky” as if “from your grungy tennis shoes!”)
  • Plastic bags. This year, I used some 13 gallon trash bags (with no writing on them) as “wrapping” for the afghans. When those colorful bows were added, they looked pretty darned good! So, I’m looking for bags … they could even be clear, which would help the kids see the afghan they were choosing. This year one boy mockingly said, “there had better not be any pink in here!” I’m sure he was happy with whatever he got.
    Clear, white, green — it doesn’t matter — but I need 150.

I’ll probably think of other things we need before we are done. I never object to anyone tucking a few dollars into an envelope to help cover the cost of laminating, printing supplies, or postage. Even after discovering that I could use the laminator at the teacher supply store, and with the generous donations I received this year, I still spent more than $400 of my grocery money to laminate our tags (so they won’t fall apart). I’m not complaining, I’m just stating a fact. Donations help … but don’t break the bank to donate. The economy is tough on everybody right now.

If you aren’t “crafty,” and if money is tight, but you still want to help — talk it up! If you blog, there are some badges on the FAQ page that you could use on your sidebar to link to the project. If you are on Facebook, or The Twitter, you can direct people to Share A Square. If your grandma crochets, you can tell her about it. The more, the merrier!

In fact, as more people help with Share A Square, we are more likely to put smiles on faces like this one:

child in Arkansas receiving Share A Square afghan

  11 comments for “Heart And Soul

  1. July 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Do the bags need to have a drawstring?

    • July 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

      No, Sandie, in fact it’s better if they don’t. I just heard that at Costco you can get clear bags. 200 or so for around $16!

    • Suzanne Allen
      July 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Sandie,
      Are you supplying the bags? If not I will.

  2. July 20, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Do you have a BJ’s, Sams club or Staples in your neck of the woods? I was thinking a gift card.

    • July 20, 2011 at 8:14 am

      I’ve got Staples, and Sam’s Club (but I’m not a member). Gift cards are always good. Office Depot is where I get a lot of printing supplies, but Wal Mart is everywhere…and they have yarn, printing supplies, etc.

  3. July 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Suzanne, the bags I have are 8 gallon. They aren’t large enough. You can provide if you are able. Thx!

    • suzanne
      July 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      I will look for them, I agree the clear would be a much better option if available!

  4. July 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    If I could make a wee suggestion – when I helped put some of the afghans together last year several of the tags popped off when the curling ribbon holding them on – well, uncurled/untied. (the afghans get turned every which way while squares are being sewn together so it happens easily)

    I began reinforcing the tags with yarn ties. So, I’m wondering if the tags could be put onto the squares this year with a piece of left over yarn?????

    Hugs to you, Shelly and all the lovely hookers out there.

    • July 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

      I’m ahead of you on that, dear. I’ll be attaching the tags with a “locking loop” of yarn … like the string that’s on a tag you might buy at the store. I’m not sure how to explain it, but you would know what I mean the moment you saw it.

  5. July 22, 2011 at 9:18 am

    For other projects, that is exactly what I do. I use yarn from the project to attach my tags. For this project, I don’t attach the tags myself as the ghans are washed prior to attaching the tags and the tags also have to be laminated.

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