Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Blogger -- Lisa from Central Ohio Binky Patrol

Hi everyone,

My name is Lisa and I'm honored that Michelle has asked me to be a guest blogger. I am the Area Coordinator for Central Ohio Binky Patrol. We make blankets, hats, baby booties, and scarves for children in need. We are a local chapter of Binky Patrol, which is a national organization. I decided to start this chapter, the only in Ohio, in April of 2010. I had been feeling the desire to do some charity crafting and loved that I could help children of all ages.

My main motivation in starting the chapter was to help foster children here in Ohio. My husband and I were foster parents for about three years. We were able to witness firsthand how difficult it is on children when they are removed from their homes and families. Although we knew that the situation they were in wasn't best for them, all they cared about was being near the people and places that were familiar to them. When I started Central Ohio Binky Patrol a big part of my motivation was to eventually provide a binky, which is a blanket, to every foster child here in Ohio.

I've been blessed to receive a large amount of help and support from many wonderful friends throughout the country. I am amazed everyday by the number of generous volunteers I've met online who are willing to send me beautiful handmade items to help the children in need. In April 2011, our one year anniversary, we had delivered 361 binkies/blankets, 434 pairs of baby booties, 294 hats, 5 toys, 27 scarves and 7 gowns/sweaters! Pretty good for our first year in existence and it is all thanks to my wonderful volunteers!

When the tornadoes hit throughout the south in April and May I felt the pull to help them. It was such a devastating time for all the people that lived in those towns and I wanted to help in any way we could. I sent out a plea for help to all the volunteers of Central Ohio Binky Patrol and immediately began getting emails of project people had started. For the next couple months volunteers sent a wide variety of items to both Alabama/Mississippi and Joplin, Missouri. You can read more about it on our Tornado Victims page as well as view lots of photos. Here are a couple of pictures to enjoy now though….

Yet another big project that we've recently completed was helping Snowball Express. They are an organization that helps children of fallen military heroes. Every December they hold a great party to help support and entertain some of these children that have lost a parent through military service. It was their desire to provide each child in attendance, approximately 600, with a hat. That is a lot of hats! Again, I sent a plea out to my volunteers and we have almost met our goal! There is lots more info on our Snowball Express page. Here are a couple pictures to enjoy….

Currently we have some ongoing projects that I'd love your help with. The biggest need are binkies/blankets. They can range in size from 36"x36" up to 65"x90". They can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, tied fleece, even crochet edged fleece. Any pattern or style is appreciated. As long as it is handmade and cuddly it is perfect! Also, we need baby booties for our Heartbeats project. These go to help pregnant teens here in Ohio and are always a constant need. Another project we are working on is making scarves for victims of domestic violence. We also have a wide variety of local agencies that are in need of hats, scarves, baby booties and binkies/blankets. The children, a lot of which are foster children, are always so appreciative!

As you can imagine, we are always looking for more volunteers. Please feel free to contact me for more information! I'd love to hear from any and all of you!



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