Friday, November 07, 2008

Cottage Creations Flood Relief Drive

Here is an excerpt from a newspaper article about Carol Anderson and her drive for hand made items for the Iowa flood and tornado victims last spring. I have added some comments in parentheses as I only received a draft of the article.

An Idea Gone Wild
St. Ansgar boasts a contingent of strong women with powerful ideas. But great ideas also take shape in the surrounding countryside, sometimes hidden from view. On Saturday, November 1, a group of women met in Carol and Paul Anderson's workshop/garage near Carpenter to pack 3643 (I thought it was over 5700) handmade knit items into two vans (plus 2 cars) headed for Butler County, where they will be used by citizens recovering from the devastating tornado and floods that struck there last spring.
Carol Anderson has owned and operated a knitting pattern business called Cottage Creations out of her home for 25 years, contemplated the needs of tornado and flood victims in Iowa, thought, 'What if I were to send out a letter asking for donations of hand-knitted clothing items?'
So the letter went out from the Carpenter, IA post office, reaching and touching people in their home communities. A woman from Troy, Michigan wrote a note in her box, 'I have the people in my prayers that have been affected by the storms...Please know you are all in our prayers. I love to knit and was happy to be contributing to such a need.'
A teacher from New York sent hats and balaclavas, asking that they go to persons of high school age. Normally knitters in her area knit for sailors who come into port on international ships and discover how cold the Atlantic coast can be, but she decided to knit for Iowans this year.
Another group of five retired teachers in Athens, Tennessee sent slippers, scarves, caps and dishcloths. A knitter from Michigan wrote, 'Hope these hats and scarves will bring warmth and joy to those who have suffered so much.'
A New York woman wrote, 'Our ladies fellowship is always looking for projects for our fellow Americans...we used everyone's talents in this box. May God bless each of these families who lost their homes, and comfort their hearts with His special love.' Her package included handmade teddy bears with attached baby sweaters.
One organization of church women created 'kitchen packets,' including hot pads, dishrags, hand towels, and dish towels, each set individually wrapped.
Carol even received two boxes from England. 'Just think,' she says. 'In addition to contributing their time, talents, and yarn, these women spent a great deal of money on shipping. People may not realize how long it takes to knit a pair of adult socks-about two weeks, using one's evenings and spare time.'
Tammy Fleshner, who directs the Butler County EMT organization says, 'I am totally overwhelmed by the generosity of all of the people sending these gifts, and by the huge HEART inside Carol Anderson and her friends! Everyone that has seen the beautiful handmade items have been totally speechless! I'm anxious to get everything distributed to all of the Butler County citizens who lost their homes, either to the tornado or to the floods. I know these gifts will bring a smile to their faces, and make this holiday season much brighter!'
This winter, many Iowa families will be the recipients of the highest quality new caps, mittens, scarves, and sweaters created lovingly by strangers with the wearers in mind. The St. Ansgar community will remember the joy of giving, and as inhabitants of Parkersburg and surrounding areas use their new dishcloths, perhaps they will smile at the thought of one empowered Iowa woman and her heartfelt idea."



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