We wanted to share a letter we received from Barbara Jennings and Carla Harwood, the Portland organizers of the Caps for Soldiers drive so many of you took part in this summer. Janet and Bea, the women behind the drive, sent this letter out.
Dear Knitting Angels:
This will be our last message to our knitting angels. We just wanted to thank you again for all your support in our Caps for Soldiers Program this summer. Many of you have seen the TV reports so know how successful it was, but many of you live out of this area and we wanted to let you know what the final results were. We are still receiving calls from people who have caps to send to us. I hope this will be helpful in letting you know where to send them.
On September 9, Bea and Janet attended a BBQ at the base with the 116th Brigade and their families. Bea made a speech presenting caps to the commanders and formally presenting the caps to the unit, although physically 3,428 caps had been delivered to them a few days earlier so they could be passed out by the officers to the soldiers while they were in the field in training. The amount was more than the 2,700 that we had been asked for and because we had more the soldiers had requested that we give them some to give to their family members as a bonding tool with their children while they are gone. We were happy to meet this request. It was a wonderful day and we were very touched by the presence of so many soldiers and watching them spend this special time with their families. Please keep these soldiers and their families in your prayers.
We continued receiving caps until the end of October and ended up with over 6,300 caps. We were able to give a large number to the Veterans Resource Network. They send gift packages to service men and women on an ongoing basis so have already sent several hundred off to other units in Iraq and Afghanistan. If any of you still have some caps and still want them to go to soldiers, you can send them directly to this organization. They also need some knitted or crocheted baby afghans in neutral colors as there are a number of babies to be born to 116th soldier’s families while they are deployed. Another requested item from soldiers are for some of those bootie type slippers women used to knit and wear years ago. These need to be large enough to fit men’s feet as well as women’s, can be of any color and do not need to be wool yarn. They will be wearing them at night inside their sleeping bags. If you are inclined to make some of these items, the Veterans Resource Network will get them to the right places. Veteran’s Resource Network is 7025 W. Emerald, Ste 200, Boise, ID 83704. You can call Pat Gore at 208-376-0753 if you need to. She is the contact person. Their web address is: email@example.com.
Other caps that wouldn’t be acceptable by the commanders either because of color, size, or seams in the back that would be uncomfortable under the helmets were given to soldier homes in three Idaho cities to thank those former soldiers for their service. We hope you know how appreciated your caps have been by the men and women of the 116th as well as these other military groups that received them. You have been especially appreciated by Bea and Janet. In April, it looked like an almost impossible goal and at the end of October; we had more than doubled our goal. You should all be very proud of your contribution.
God Bless You and Your Family. Have a great holiday season and thanks again.
Janet and Bea