Monday, May 26, 2008

Sensory Blankets for autistic children

Click here to get the May 2008 flyer to copy and share.

New Project – Sensory Blankets!

This month we started on a new project that will serve newly diagnosed autistic children in the Inland Empire. We began making ‘sensory blankets’ – small patchwork blankets made of 12 squares of different colors and textures of fabric. They will be dispersed through the Inland Regional Center. We are enjoying this opportunity to serve these children who live among us, and invite you to join us!

Upcoming work dates

Note change beginning in May: workdays will be held at the stake center on the 2nd Thursday of each month only.

  • Thu June 12
  • Thu July 10

Come anytime between 11:00am - 8:00pm

Location: The LDS Stake Center at the corner of 5th & Wabash in Redlands (next to the temple).

Parolee Support Update

A warm welcome to Trinity Episcopal Church, the newest congregation to join in contributing to the hygiene kits for Redlands parolees. The participating faiths now include:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist
  • Redlands United Church of Christ
  • First Lutheran Church
  • Congregation Emanu El
  • Community Presbyterian Church
  • First Baptist Church
  • Trinity Episcopal Church

Current priority hygiene items are shampoo, toothpaste, disposable razors, and gallon & sandwich size Ziploc bags. Remember that hotel samples of soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc. are welcome. Again, everything on the list is needed (see May flyer).

From our collection of hygiene items, we were able to contribute nice lotions and travel size packages of Kleenex to the activity bags for the children and youth who went to visit their mothers in prison on May 9th as part of the Get on the Bus program. To read the article in the Redlands Daily Facts about this even, go to

Our first three tutors are nearly trained and ready to go. We are so excited to have this available to our parolees and appreciate these three women so much!!! If you would also like to train to work as a tutor to our parolees in their quest for education, we can use you! Lack of education has often been a major factor in the lives of those who make decisions that eventually lands them in prison. Upon release, the situation hasn’t changed, and many of these individuals continue to lack a promising future for the same reason. Basic literacy skills are often severely lacking. In an attempt to secure a permanent change, the Step by Step Coalition (the organization through which we work) is working with the San Bernardino County Library Tutoring program, Great Start 5, to provide tutoring services to parolees who are ready to take this step. No experience is necessary to become a tutor. The training and materials are free and completed at your own pace. Your level of time commitment is determined by you. If you are interested in learning more, please call Jean Arnott 794-0456, or reply to this email.

If you would like to learn of other ways the Step by Step Coalition is working to improve conditions and opportunities for parolees who have returned to our community – thereby improving our community – come find out more! The monthly board meeting – which is open to anyone who would like to attend – is held on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm at the Redlands United Church of Christ. It is located at 168 Bellevue Avenue in Redlands (corner of Olive and Bellevue).

Afghanistan II project news:

What a unique journey this project has been for many of us as we have sought to serve the women and children – so many orphaned – of war-torn Afghanistan. President Thomas S. Monson said,

“I can think of no more Christ-like service than to hold a motherless child in one’s arms or to take a fatherless boy by the hand.”

General Conference, April, 1990.

In a way, haven’t we done exactly that? I have felt stirrings in my soul again and again as I’ve spent time on His errand – serving as I feel certain He would serve if he were here. I know He is pleased with our offering.

We have completed so much, but alas, we haven’t quite finished what we set out to do. Many of you have asked what you can do to help and are busy doing things at home and/or in other group settings. There is plenty that can easily be done this way for those who would like to see it through. Some examples are:

  • Serge diapers, receiving blankets, and surgical drapes.
  • Cut out baby gowns. (Just trace the acrylic pattern piece on the panels of fabric and cut out. We could use up to 3 women for this.)
  • Sew baby gowns.
  • Write personal notes to include in the kits we send. We have the cards to write on and samples for notes.
  • Sew school kits.
  • Prepare and assemble smaller kits that will go into larger kits.
  • Cut plastic sheeting and receiving blankets (a group project).
  • Crochet hats, tie quilts, make wall hangings, etc.
  • Cut out doctor’s coats and nurses smocks.
  • Cut and sew doctor’s coats and nurses smocks.
  • Gather any of the items on the ‘donation’ list*

*You have also asked if you can still donate items. YES! If you have any of the following you’d like to donate, please let us know so we can arrange the best way to get it from you. We are so grateful for the quality and quantity of donations that have already come in! As one sister recently said,

“One more hat I make means one more warm head.”

YES! That applies to each individual item we send. Every relatively small effort we make here means so very, very, much there.

So here’s the list again with a few additions:

  • Medical equipment: wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, commodes, braces, etc. (all in good working condition)
  • Eyeglasses: in good condition
  • Clothing: all sizes, modest, new or nearly new
  • Shoes: new or nearly new
  • Coats: new or nearly new
  • Children’s and Juvenile Books: very good condition
  • Textbooks – elementary thru university levels: very good condition
  • Medical journals
  • Sets of Encyclopedias and Dictionaries: very good condition
  • Puzzles - wooden or jigsaw: new or nearly new
  • Educational Games: ie. memory games
  • Sport Equipment: basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, ping pong balls, jump ropes, etc.
  • Lotion is regular size containers: not samples for this purpose as the packaging takes far too much shipping space for the value of the lotion.
  • Twin Size Flat Sheets: new; preferably white, but any color or print ok

Special Thanks to…

Villa Rotary Club in Villa Park, who assembled 200 back packs with educational supplies. We brought the packs here and they will be shipped with our gifts to Afghanistan. We also came home with 10 boxes of medical journals!

Five senior students from Cal State Fullerton, who have given us loads of donations that they have collected as part of a school project in public relations. They have collected books, sets of encyclopedias, educational supplies, clothing, games and puzzles and lots more – just haven’t been through it all yet to know for sure.

Special activities outside of this month’s regular workdays included:
  • Sisters of the Tustin 4th Ward Relief Society, who have been sewing school kits to be filled with supplies collected as part of a young man’s Eagle project.

  • Girl Scout from Troop 17, who are continuing to crochet hats and prepare ABC books. They’ll also be donating a large number of children’s books. and they’ve brought in Troop 979 to assist.

  • Sisters of Redlands 5th ward – who included assembling sewing kits as part of their recent Super Saturday. These sewing kits will be included in the hygiene kits we send.

  • Corona’s Citrus Hills Ward sisters who have continued to work on diapers and are anticipating working next on blankets! What a blessing you are!

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”

John W. Whitehead

  • Do you remember the medications – seemed like tons – that some of you sorted and inventoried a long time ago? Well, we’re getting our first reports that it is being used in Gardez, a community in eastern Afghanistan. We’ll give you more information as it becomes available.

  • A suitcase full of a sampling of our gifts accompanied Juliana Ditty of International Orphan Care to Afghanistan in March. We’re getting some wonderful photos in return that show the children with these gifts. We hope to get a website going soon where you’ll be able to access the photos. Meanwhile, imagine a group of children in an orphan care center in Jalalabad each holding an animal puppet, imitating their sounds and learning their names in English.

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”

Dr. Haim Ginott

  • Thanks to all who continue to work on things at home. It’s a big help! Please be sure to return your work as quickly as possible when you have finished. Some items are counted closely and we’ll need each one to be able to complete a given kit.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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