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Handmade Hugs Society

Cowichan Valley



OCT / NOV / DEC 2016

Posted by handmadehugs on February 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Excerpted from our President's Message for October:

September is always a transitional month, both personally and with all things Hugs. We come off the summer hiatus and immediately start gearing up for the winter, for year end and then swing full speed ahead into the new year when the loop begins again. And while September is the transition, October is the launch.

Prior to the two final Group Hugs, one in October, the other in November, we take a really good look at, an accounting of, our inventory numbers. We decide what items we need more of, which ones have now reached our goal amounts. We prepare our lists and letters, do the planning and prepping for the Winter Woollies distribution day, do the whole myriad of last minute things that culminate when, in mid-December, we’ve emptied our warehouse and packed away the remaining supplies for another year.

I always get a little melancholy in the fall. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because, every year that we’ve done Winter Woollies, the number of requests for help have increased. I feel happy that we have the resources to help but sad that there are so many in need. Perhaps it’s because it’s the end to another year and a time when, because we take a couple of month’s break, we don’t get to visit with our volunteers who come out for the Group Hugs, people I’ve come to care about on a personal level.

I do know, though, that with the melancholy also comes a profound sense of gratitude; gratitude for the things I have in my personal life, my family, my friends, my job, the joy I find in my many blessings (Hornby, sewing, stitching, reading). Gratitude for the generosity of those who support Handmade Hugs year in and year out; Darlene at Creative Quilting, Lake Cowichan Country Grocer, Neiser’s Storage, Thrifty Foods, School District 79 and many others. But mostly I’m grateful for our many volunteers who continue to produce amazing inventory items again and again, filling our warehouse year after year. Some of these people come to every Group Hug or event, some we never see but who drop off bags full of finished items time and again.

We are so fortunate to be able to rely on these wonderful people to be willing – and able – to help their neighbours in times of need. I’m grateful too for our Board members who are selflessly giving of their time (so much more than just meeting times!) to make sure that everything runs smoothly from month to month, all year long.

And so, as we work our way through the fall months, heading towards the busy time of Winter Woollies and into the quiet time that follows, we can all take pride in what we’ve accomplished, in how many lives we’ve touched. We’ll know soon just how many numbers we’ll need this year and whether it’s more or less than we served last year, know that we’ve made a difference and whether that gives you a sense of happiness or a touch of melancholy, know that what we do matters. Thank you all for your dedication to Handmade Hugs. You make me proud.

~ ~ ~

Oh my, what an exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting way to finish 2016!

The last couple of weeks before Winter Woollies Distribution were full of inventory pick-ups (from Creative Quilting), inventory counting and sorting (at the Warehouse), last minute shopping or collecting the required supplies for Winter Woollies Distribution Day and a whole myriad of last minute errands and chores. Add to that, all the requests coming in and being processed – Whew! But, thanks to our crew and other volunteers, everything got done and Winter Woollies Distribution Day went off without a hitch . . . .well, only one hitch; we had to vacate the hall where we were working three hours earlier than planned (because of the snow warning that was due any minute and expected to shut down the Valley) but we even managed that with a little help from some unexpected sources!

Thank you, one and all. It was an amazing day! The most amazing part, though, was our distribution total, a record-breaking,

3,111 pieces!!

Pat your own back; that is an amazing accomplishment. You should be very proud of what you’ve done for our neighbours in the Cowichan Valley.

We have received letters and cards of thanks from many of our clients. Our exceptionally cold winter has meant an increase in the numbers of people who needed our help and, because of you, your generosity of spirit and your willingness to share your talents, we were able to help everyone who asked. Our cupboards were bare (for about a day!) by the time we were done, but no-one went without. As I said in our last Newsletter, what we do matters; thank you all for your dedication to Handmade Hugs.

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