Tuesday, September 29, 2015

True confessions....why I am on hiatus

This is not going to be an easy post....but I think I owe an explanation to the people who support Iowa Comfort.

First off I am not truly on hiatus.  I have continued to work on projects and by the end of this week I will have a total of 8 Christmas lap quilts pieced together and hopefully quilted....not bound but at least that far in the process.

Now to the brass tacks of the situation.

There is a reason that I am not an IRS recognized non-profit.  Actually there are several.  

The first of which was to be a recognized non profit with the IRS you must have a board of directors.

When I started Iowa Comfort, I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to be, and who I wanted to serve.  I did not want to have to get approval from a board.  I also wanted to serve my immediate communities.  In the beginning that meant Dallas and Madison counties.

When I got in contact with the center, it seemed like a really good fit.  They worked within the geographic area that I was wanting to serve, and our quilts would be providing comfort to someone in need.

The second reason I am not a bonified  non profit is the mountains of paper work that is associated with. 

The paperwork for the day to day operation was going to be absurd.  I spent 30 years working for the Post Office, and believe me I have had way to much paper work in my life.

The last reason is that there are banking laws associated with non profits.

Iowa Comfort is funded by the quilting I do for customers.  My customer base is half of what it was four years ago.  Several customers have moved away, 5 have gotten long arms and I have had three pass away.  For the last three months the Iowa Comfort books have been in the red.  That is not me begging, it is just the fact of the situation.

Imagine my dismay when I received an email asking if the quilts that we have donated could be used in a silent auction....instead of providing comfort to someone.

I will admit it, it hurt.  I told them that I guess since they had already been donated I really had no control over their final disposition.

12 hours later I sent another email and explained my concerns about using the quilts for this purpose.  I told them that over the years I had donated several quilts for fund raising purposes..... and there had never been great success.  That silent auctions were the worst method of all to try to raise funds. I also questioned if I had over saturated their need.

The director of the center said they would put a min. bid on each quilt and asked for my help setting that price.  

The next day I received an email saying that after thoughtful consideration they had decided to cancel their event. 

Now I know I am being a baby.... but they knew what the intent of those quilts were.  I felt that everyone who donates their time, talents or supplies have done so because they have been lead to believe that they are providing comfort to someone in need.  And I am still not over it, I am better, but I am not over it.  SO PLEASE IF you attend the Covered Bridge Festival....let me know if you see a silent quilt auction.

I received a packet that was suppose to be filled out from the center...It was large.  

I knew that they had volunteers fill them out so they could preform background checks to protect their clients.  I don't work with clients....no reason for me to have to fill it out.  

Remember I hate paper work..... and I grumble every time I go to make a donation there because of their need to have a fixed number in value of the quilt and time to create the quilt.  I just want to donate them....

Okay I am guessing you have the picture.  I am frustrated, with the process and I am going to be making some changes in the future. (and I am so thankful I don't have a board)

I am looking for additional organizations that could use our quilts or pillowcases.  I would like them to stay within Dallas and Madison counties if possible....but I can be flexible there.  Exception to the rule might be someplace like the Ronald McDonald house....I know they serve the families of Dallas and Madison county.  

I am thinking hospice organizations, chemo treatment centers, nursing homes, schools, food pantries or churches.  So put on your thinking caps and help me out.  If you know of an organization that could benefit let me know.

Now the center will still get quilts from us, they just will not get them all.

Hopefully I can move on now.  I promise pictures next week.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The view from a three year old's eyes

This past weekend Owen visited.  He is my three year old grandson, and is really coming into the "WHY" stage.  I am sure you all remember that stage well.

Owen decided that 3:00 am was the perfect time to rise and shine Sunday morning.... so needless to say by 9:30 he really could have used a nap.  Owen does not take morning naps anymore and I really didn't want to mess up his afternoon nap for his parents.

We decided it would be the perfect time to sort out all the Beanie Baby's that have been donated by theme.  Allowing me to quickly find a toy to send along with the Hope Quilts.  Well that was the plan anyway.

You know the old saying make a plan....stand by and watch it fall apart.

Owen was excited to help sort....for about three minutes and then the debate was on!  I explained that we were going to put all the teddy bears together, all the farm animals together, all the animals from the sea together and all the jungle animals together.  Seemed so simple to me.  

We started with this container full to the rim, along with another small basket.

Owen and I were pretty much in agreement of the Teddy Bear category.  We ended up filling two containers of them, altho he did questions many of the colors as not being bear colors.

The farm animals took some negotiating.  Owen said he had never seen a buffalo or eagle on a farm.  I tried to explain that they would not be in the sea or jungle so they needed to go with the farm animals.  He let me have that one but only because he was digging his heels in on the next sortation.

Hawkeye was supervising the entire operation.

When it came to the sea and jungle animals, he insisted that we had to add a new category.  If he has seen the animal at the zoo, they all needed to be together.  So the penguins, lions, flamingos and elephants all got put into one bucket.  Separate from the octopus, snails and crabs.

When it was all said and done we have 5 containers sorted (well sort of) to make it easier to find the perfect beanie baby.  Owen stayed awake, and I was in awe of his reasoning abilities and his ability to defend his thought process.

It does appear that the school was able to come up with a couple of students to volunteer some time.  I think I will delegate finding the appropriate beanie baby to them.  {wink wink}

This past week I have finished a twin size bed quilt, and two of the Christmas lap quilts.  I also worked on a quilt for my granddaughter that is do next month.  I am going to get that one quilted before I head out to New Orleans this weekend.

Hope to show you some of the finished projects in my next post.... if not you may see shots of New Orleans.