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Almost There!

Hats4Heroes.org Members:

Through the help of a few members, we have raised enough funds to get half of our backlog out. The total raised last month was almost $200 - sent in by six very generous people - but we still have at least that much currently on hand. Please remember, we are not accepting physical donations this month so that everyone can put their shipping expense into donations instead.

This past week I have received 20 boxes of hats - something that we are not in need of at the moment. As stated previously, we change our focus during the summer months to lapghans and amputee covers for our heroes at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I will hold these (and they are not counted in our backlog shipment needs) until we reach August so they can make it to our heroes in the field in time for colder weather. While I can do this for a small amount, we are quickly losing space to accommodate all the items. If you enjoy making the hats, please try your hand at the amputee covers - as they work up pretty much the same way. You can find the pattern link on the front page under "Amputations Covers - DIY Craft Project Instructions".

In regards to the recent hat shipments, we have noticed a few areas of concern that we need to address. The first is the large holes at the tops of the hats. These are for warmth so please be sure that you are decreasing enough to close the hat completely. If you can get a finger or pencil through it, it's not closed enough. General rule of thumb is to not run your sewing seam through until you have 8 or less stitches on your needles. This practice will ensure that you will not have a hole.

Also, the knitting on several hats is rather loose. We need to make sure that our stitches are tight to ensure proper warmth and safety for our heroes out in the field. Please use the pencil rule here as well. When changing colors, be sure to carry your wool and not simply tie a knot, as that will make for a very uncomfortable hat. Finally, please indicate what type of material you are using so I can ensure the safety of our heroes out in the field. Acrylic blended yarns are alright for those on the ships but not out in field - only wool has been approved for these soldiers because the acrylic will melt and adhere to the skin, should the unthinkable happen, therefore careful notation of the material used is required.

The lapghans and amputee covers that we did receive were beautiful! I love the creativity and pattern choices of the lapghans. Let's make sure that we choose yarn that is soft to the touch and luxurious against the skin. We have received some feedback that a few of the previous lapghans and amputee covers were "itchy" and "rough" against their amputations. The last thing we want is to provide any more discomfort for those who have sacrificed so much for us. To help with this, just think of what type of yarn you would use for a baby project - chances are they will love it too!

Our final item for this letter is in regards to heavy scents on the items when they arrive. Our youngest daughter and myself have severe asthma and allergies - these heavy fragrances aggravate our condition. Several of the boxes had to be opened by my husband and left out on the front porch or in the garage to "air out" so that they could be handled. If it is detergent or fabric softener being used, please refrain as we do wash all of the items prior to shipment.

So to wrap things up - thank you so much to those who have donated this month, please keep up with the monetary donations so we can get our backlog out the door, be sure the hats are pulled tight to close, stitch work is tight, color work is carried across instead of knotted, identification of material used, no heavy fragrances and lets make sure we use soft yarn when making our lapghans or amputee covers.

I appreciate all of your efforts and continued support. If you ever need anything, please be sure to post here or send me an email. I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Warmest wishes to you...

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