This time of year it’s natural to wonder if scarves are a good idea. With a heat index of over 100 and warnings about heat stroke, do we really think that giving someone a scarf is a good idea? In a word: yes.
As you can see from this message we received on this day four years ago, the scarves are a good idea, whatever the weather outside.
This morning I watched a sexual assault victim choose a scarf, open it and revel in its softness, read the tag, and cry tears of relief. No matter how many times they’re told in words that they are not alone, sometimes the thing that helps that realization sink in best seems to be the tactile experience of choosing and putting on their scarf, and being told that without knowing them, other survivors care about them and wish them well as they move forward. I was asked to thank Threads of Compassion OKC on behalf of that person. Thank you.
I am so thankful for the people that have helped us over the years with this project! There are a couple who have been here from the beginning, and others that we’ve just met. We really appreciate each one of them.
A few months ago a reporter from The Oklahoman newspaper joined us and learned about our work. It was fun sharing with her and answering her questions. The article she wrote about us was published February 12th.
While it is a great snapshot of our work, it’s important to know that we have lots of great volunteers that didn’t make it into the article. One of those is a lady who lives in Michigan and has sent over 800 scarves over the years. Yes, over 800!
If you’re looking for a great way to encourage people going through a tough situation, we’d love to have you join us. You can visit with us at a Work Day, or work on your own and drop them off during the week.
We are nearing the beginning of our 10th year serving together!
Amazing, huh? When we began back in 2010 we had no idea what to expect. I am so thankful for the countless volunteers who have participated in this great work of offering comfort to survivors of sexual assault in Oklahoma County!
Some people have been able to volunteer a time or two while others have been contributing for months or years. Some have given scarves and others have given yarn or funds to help with packaging costs. Some have worked on the website and others have worked on packing the scarves. Some have joined us at Work Days and others have donated at the State Fair or simply dropped off scarves.
With so many of us working on this project together in so many different ways, we wanted to share a few reminders, some “housekeeping” kind of things that can help us continue to work together to offer great comfort. Please take a moment to look over the suggestions below and let us know if you have any questions.
Please use acrylic yarn. This helps avoid allergies and allows the scarves to be washed without much special care.
Please create a scarf that is 5 – 8 inches wide and 65 inches long. This helps ensure that it’s a size that can be worn by most recipients, and it helps with packaging and storage. (ones larger than this are difficult to package)
When changing colors please use a method that allows you to weave in about an inch of yarn, rather than tying a knot in the yarn and clipping the ends close. Ones that have been tied have come untied, both in the laundry, and with use over time.
Again, “thank you” to those that have participated with us in the past. And, “welcome” to those who are thinking about joining us. We’d be grateful for your partnership, in whatever way you can participate.
Our friends at the YWCA Oklahoma City did some fun shopping recently. They picked up lots of new yarn for us to use.
It really was perfect timing since our great volunteers had turned most of our previously-donated yarn into cool scarves already.
This picture is just a portion of the new yarn we received. Also, besides the shopping trip they collected some from volunteers who had extra to share. And, around the same time, a man contacted us asking if we would like some yarn that had belonged to his mother. So, we are all set with yarn for awhile.
Come on to our next work day and pick up a fun color to work with, we’d love to have you join us!
We are so proud of our 3 who finished the race on Saturday!
Threads of Compassion had 5 people registered this year in the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K. Three of them ran and 2 decided to “Snooze for SAAM”. What an encouragement to have these 5 join us this year!
The three in the picture made it out to the event and ran. Our youngest ran in the Kiddie K, while our 2 adults ran the 5K, finishing quite early.
A short way into her race, the little one said “I’m tired of this running thing”. We hear you, kiddo! Sometimes us survivors get tired of the running thing, too. Tired of being reminded of the assault, tired of working on healing, tired of the random moments of fear that seem to pop up out of nowhere, tired of wondering if it will happen again, tired of figuring out how to regain a sense of normal after tragedy, tired of thinking about it all.
Yet, at the end of the race she told us “I ran the whole way, I didn’t walk at all!” And she was proud.
That pride is how we feel about survivors who keep on going. We’re proud that you face another day, that you keep on going even when you wish you could turn back time. We’re proud that you move on, deciding that evil won’t win. Through our participation in this event and through the scarves we make, we are attempting to let you know we’re proud of you and we’re standing by your side.
Saturday’s event was a chance to join together to support survivors. It’s also a chance to remind our community that we can make a difference. Not only can we stand with survivors, but we can work on teaching each other that kindness is valuable, that assault isn’t ok. Five of us have new t-shirts to wear. They’re grey with orange text that says “sexual assault isn’t OK”. We’ll wear them proudly this year as a reminder of a successful race, and as a reminder that we can all work together to support survivors and stop this violence.
To the five who participated this year (and those that joined their fundraising efforts): Thank you!
We’re already looking forward to next year and hope you can join us!
We have a sweet volunteer that I’d like to share a bit about. She began working with us in January of 2011. Though she lives in another state she has faithfully made scarves with us for 5 years. She heard about Threads of Compassion OKC from her daughter here in Edmond and was happy to join in.
This photo includes some of her beautiful work, with her most recent donation she passed the 600 mark. Yes, 600 scarves donated by one volunteer! Amazing, huh?
What’s even more amazing is that she had a stroke a year and a half ago. Her right side was affected and she was initially unable to crochet. The use of her fingers and hand were the last things to come back. After a lot of therapy and hard work she says that she is so grateful to God that she can still crochet and quilt like she used to. Crocheting was great therapy for her and she just loves making scarves for the group.
Thank you sweet lady from another state! We appreciate you and look forward to many more years of working together. You have been a blessing to this project.
Here’s a thank you card we received from one of the advocates who supports victims during exams following assaults.
We wanted to be sure you know that the work you’re doing is making a difference. Please read below to hear directly from them:
It must be hard looking from the outside in, how do these scarves help – what do they do for a victim. One story of “A Victim & A Scarf”
After the support one victim received during her SANE exam, she said as she picked her scarf, “Everytime I put this on, I will remember all the survivors before me; and their hands have woven me a scarf of overcoming.”