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A Year Ago Today…

A Year Ago Today…

It was a year ago today that I was walking through the house with my dogs, taking them out for the seemingly millionth time that day when my Mom stopped me to tell me she needed to talk to me when I got back. Upon coming back inside, she started telling me about her idea about a non-profit organization. She mentioned lapghans repeatedly and of course, not being creative in the least, asked if she meant afghan instead of lapghan. That is when she told me what a lapghan was. We searched the area and could not find any local organization that was doing anything similar to what my Mom had wanted to do. We discussed various names and on Flag Day, June 14, 2014, Sgt. P’s Lapghans for Veterans was born. I immediately started working on the website and Facebook page, setting up twitter and email accounts. My Mom typed up her first flyers and started displaying them in local businesses.

She discovered quickly something I had discovered with all my work with military and veteran organizations over the years, that many people only gave lip service to the notion of supporting our troops and veterans. We have had many ups and downs over this past year, encountered unexpected joys and discouraging obstacles, but we are still here and going strong.

In our first year, we have distributed 183 lapghans to veterans. Our organization has grown from my Mom being the only one producing lapghans to our 44 volunteers today. My Mom has been interviewed in local newspapers and on local television stations, she has given presentations to local schools, churches, and other organizations. My Mom pledged to have 200 lapghans for the Top of Illinois Veterans Stand Down in October of this year, and so far, we have 150 set aside for that event alone. As you saw on Friday’s post, we are so thrilled that we have finally received our 501(c)(3) designation. This opens up more opportunities for fundraising and yarn drives. As we continue to grow and become more and more aware of the need for these lapghans, we will continue to collect yarn and can now collect monetary donations to offset the costs of paper, ink, transportation, and of course, yarn.

I write this today because I am so very proud of my Mom. She has been amazing as she has taken her idea and transformed it into a reality that has exceeded her expectations. I am so thankful for all of the volunteers and for everyone who has supported this cause. It is so important that we demonstrate in actions, not words that we truly stand behind our troops and veterans. So on this Flag Day, I ask that we remember and honor those who have served and sacrificed to defend our freedom.

So happy first anniversary Sgt. P’s Lapghans for Veterans and congratulations Mom for all you have done and all you continue to do. My grandpa (Sgt. P himself) is so proud and humbled by your actions, as we all are.

CMK

Weekly Update May 29, 2015

Weekly Update May 29, 2015

Hi Everyone:

This week has been a busy one catching up on paperwork and trying to make lapghans. We gave out a total of 15 lapghans this week and that brings our total to 182. I can’t believe that we have given out that many in less than a year! I owe a lot to all of my wonderful volunteers. They are so dedicated to our organization and I could not have done this alone. I want to take this time to once again thank each and every one of my volunteers. You all have a special place in my heart.

A special thank you to Sally who is putting together all of the squares for the 200th. lapghan that will be presented soon.This special lapghan will be presented to Midge’s husband, Lowell. He is a Word War II Veteran and is 91 years old. The purple heart lapghan that was made by Val will be presented to a Viet Nam Veteran who is Karol’s brother-in-law.

We have 150 lapghans set aside for the Veterans Stand Down in October and we have another 50 lapghans that will be distributed to the Veterans at the VA Hospital in Madison some time in June.

I will be taking pictures of the lapghans that were collected at the last KAC social gathering and the lapghans that we received from the VFW volunteers during the next few days and once that is done, Colleen will post those pictures on facebook and on our website.

We will be participating in a Craft Fair in June and the proceeds from the sales of our items will benefit our organization.

Have a great weekend! Charlotte

Weekly Update May 22, 2015

Weekly Update May 22, 2015

Hi Everyone:

It was great seeing so many of my volunteers at the social gathering. I sooo look forward to them and it was nice to get out of the house after being sick for so long. It was as if I were in prison, LOL. Thank you again for the cards, prayers, and get well wishes. You don’t know how much I really appreciated them. We have 150 lapghans earmarked for the stand down and about 50 lapghans that will go to the VA Hospital and other VA organizations. One of my volunteers brought yarn that her daughter donated and another volunteer brought a few skeins that she received. We also received a small bag of yarn that was dropped off at the KAC. Thank you to those donors. We can never have enough yarn as that is something that we ALWAYS need. Thank you to Sally and Zeta for volunteering to put together the squares for our 200th. lapghan which will be presented to another World War II Veteran. This 91 year old Veteran is the husband of one of my volunteers. What better way then to show him how much we appreciate his sacrifices and service by presenting him with this special lapghan as a small token! 26 Volunteers participated in making the squares for this lapghan. We also welcomed 2 new volunteers to our organization. As I start to get better and get my strength back, I will be back to recruiting yarn donations. I am also looking forward to planning some type of fund raiser or benefit dinner. If you have any ideas, please email them to me. Well, have a great weekend and on Memorial Day, please say a prayer for all of our veterans that lost their lives for our freedom. God Bless our military men and women. We love you and support your mission.

Charlotte

Update for April 24, 2015

Update for April 24, 2015

Hi Everyone:

Thank you again for all of the get well wishes. I really appreciate them and they really made me smile and feel good. I want you to know that each and every one of my volunteers is precious and important to me. Since we are continually growing and getting more and more lapghans made, we will be making more trips to the VA Hospital and other Veteran facilities to distribute them. I can’t wait to feel better and make plans for the next trip. Regarding our 200th lapghan,if you have not submitted your 2 six-inch squares to me, please try and do so within the next week, if possible. We would like to have it ready so it can be presented on Memorial Day. Have a wonderful weekend. Charlotte

Weekly Update April 3, 2015 – Another VA hospital distribution

Weekly Update April 3, 2015 – Another VA hospital distribution

Hi Everyone:

This week, we made a trip to the VA Hospital in Madison, WI. One of my volunteers, Karol, accompanied us and we were grateful for all of her help. Going there is truly a unforgettable experience. To see so many Veterans in such bad shape makes me want to cry! All the sacrifices they have made, be it family, friends, health and even death to protect our freedom. We should thank each and every one of them when we see them in a store, restaurant or wherever. I am proud to say that we gave out 40 lapghans. In the 9 months since I have started this organization, we have now given out a total of 160 lapghans. Our 200th. lapghan will be a group project and every volunteer that wants to be involved will make some squares and then it will all be put together. I am so lucky to have such wonderful volunteers and so many supporters and would not have been able to accomplish this without all the support. Thank you to everyone.

Have a Happy Easter.

Charlotte

Weekly Update March 27, 2015

Weekly Update March 27, 2015

Hi Everyone:

This has been another crazy week! We received a lot of yarn from the 4H Club International Night Event. One of the girls liked the idea of the yarn collection that she presented it to her teacher at school and had the classroom do a yarn drive as well. Both of these yarn drives were very successful and I want to take the time to thank everyone that was involved. Along with my campaign to keep the yarn donations coming, I was also presented with a $75 gift card to be used for yarn purchases only from the Belvidere Walmart. Thank you to everyone there. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone’s support. Today, at the KAC social gathering, we welcomed 1 new volunteer and are now up to 32. We had the biggest ever group today and it really kept me on my toes and prevented me from socializing with each and every one of my wonderful volunteers. All in all, it is fun and I always look forward to them and hope that you all do too. We did decide that since we are getting close to the 200 mark, each volunteer will make 2 squares or more. The size of the squares are to be 6×6 and can be knit or crochet. Your choice of pattern and colors. These squares are to be turned in to me by April 24th. To date, we have given out 120 lapghans and with a planned trip to the VA Hospital in Madison, 40 are set aside for that upcoming visit. We continue to get lots of requests for lapghans and hopefully will be able to fulfill all of these requests as soon as possible. So volunteers, get those needles and hooks clicking, LOL! Today, I received 2 scarves and 20 lapghans from my dedicated volunteers. I also received a lot of items for the craft sale. Thank you to everyone for all of these items. Hopefully, selling them will bring us closer to obtaining our 501(c)3 status. Once again, a big hug and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work and support. Love you all! Have a great week.

Charlotte

23 people reached

Weekly Update January 9, 2015

Weekly Update January 9, 2015

Hi Everyone:

This week has been a good week to stay indoors and work on lapghans. I have finished my 21st. one and have 2 others started. As of Jan. 1, 2015, we have welcomed 2 new volunteers and have received 2 donated lapghans made by one of our new volunteers. Pictures of these lapghans will be put on both facebook and our website tomorrow, due to my social media guru being sick.
Unfortunately, our first social gathering/meeting at the KAC was cancelled due to the weather. But, we really look forward to the next one in two weeks. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. Next week will be a busy one for me. I have 2 presentations and also need to get more yarn donations. As we continue to grow, yarn is something that we will NEVER have enough off. The Belvidere VFW Post 1461 has the permanent bin decorated by Cub Scout Pack # 141 ready to collect yarn donations for our organization. I’m sure the other bin is also in place at Larsen’s Patriot Store and Veterans Drop In Center in Belvidere. Well, that’s all the news for now. Check back tomorrow to see the photos. In the meantime, stay warm and work on those lapghans! We have some big goals to reach.

Charlotte

Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving Message

All of us at Sgt. P’s Lapghans For Veterans would like to take this time to wish a very special Happy Thanksgiving to our Troops and Veterans. Without you, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have. We also appreciate the sacrifices you make each and every day – like being away from your friends and family during the holidays. May God keep you safe and thank you for your service to our country.

I would also like to thank all my volunteers and supporters. Without you and your help, I would not be able to do what I love to do. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Charlotte

Weekly Update November 14, 2014

Weekly Update November 14, 2014

Hi Everyone:

This week we welcomed one new volunteer. I have still been working on getting yarn donations, but was not successful. Our website has some new pictures on it so be sure to check it out. I wrote one new pattern that I will be posting on our website. I was denied permission by the owner of the Granny Ripple Afghan to post that pattern with my modifications, so therefore the pattern will not be on the website only the pictures of the ones I did using that pattern. Sorry.

The Belvidere Daily Republican did a fantastic job on their article about our organization. I only wish the picture of me showed me 20 years younger and 25 lbs. thinner, LOL. See my daughter’s post from earlier this week for the links to the article.

Looking forward to meeting all of my volunteers in person, hopefully soon. Take care everyone and have a wonderful weekend.

Charlotte

Link to Article that appeared in the Belvidere Daily Republican

Link to Article that appeared in the Belvidere Daily Republican

For Veterans Day, my Mom was interviewed and featured in an article in a local paper, “The Belvidere Daily Republican.” Here is the link to the article: “A Daughter’s Love Turns Into a Mission To Help Veterans” By Tricia Goecks. The link will take you to Facebook, however, you do NOT need to have a Facebook account to view the article.  CMK

Below is the pdf version:

Belvidere Daily Republican Article Veterans Day 2014