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Big Sisters and Brothers needed for Special Needs Youth

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Love to crochet, are you a yarnaholic, fabricaholic, love to Knit? Crochet? Loom? I volunteer with a 501c3 charity organized to teach special needs youth and young adults various leisure activities including crocheting. The kids learn how to make beautiful things and in turn they donate these items, experiencing the joy of giving when so often they've been the ones to receive. Right now they are working with Project Linus, makingblankets and Teeny Tiny treasures, making things for preemies. Many of the youth are in group homes or are the remaining child at home with older parents. Often they have only a small 'personal needs allowance' of around $30 a month and can't afford many craft supplies.

 

By being a big sister or brother, you would commit to serving a minimum of a year. Your obligation is to make contact once a week - via telephone, email, or snail mail, and send a CARE package once a month. The organization has both a yahoo group and a blog - your contact will be directly with the youth - or that youths guardian - it is an easy thing to do but - serving as a Big Sister or Brother to a Special Needs Youth requires commitment - as they have had a lot of losses in their young lives already.

 

The financial obligations are minimal - it is like having another child or grand child - you will find you are shopping and will think - Mandy would just love this and you send it off to her. Or perhaps your little sister will challenge to make hats for TTT and you will set a number - and see who can get theirs done first - Once you complete your paperwork you are given a list of waiting little sisters and brothers and you choose the girl or boy that you feel matches you the best and then you will be sent a form with a little information about them, a photo and mailing addresses. As you can tell it is a whole lot of fun - but be prepared because the rewards of the commitment are overwhelming - you will make a cherished friend for life.

 

If you are not familiar with Special Needs Youth, what better way to learn about someone than sharing in a craft project together to benefit someone in need?

You can contact me if you have any questions, or join OurSpecialAngels@yahoogroups.com

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Plantinum angel - please write us directly - for some reason the blog wont let us write you back being in australia is definately not a problem we have several other Bis Sisters from Australia and we can share more and see if you are still interested.

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Hi! I just signed up to join your yahoo group, and I look forward to learning more, and seeing what I can do to help. Right now, we are thinking about moving, so I might have some craft supplies, or other things that you can sell at a craft show, that I've got around here that I'd rather see you use than me have to move. :)

Victoria

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I just joined the group and I am so excited about learning more.

Crochet and charity are my two passions so I think this is perfect.

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Here is some information about a few of th waiting Little sisters

 

Name

 

Age

 

Disability

 

School?

 

Ability level

 

Interests

 

Crafts ?

 

(LF)

 

18 yrs

 

Downs syndrome

 

12th grade

 

Reads at 3 grade level, likes to write

 

Movies, likes to email and get snail mail, Harry Potter

 

Knits, looms. Bubbly personality, has a dog that is her pal

 

(GCD)

 

20 yrs

 

Downs syndrome

 

Post hs transition program

 

Reads, has a job, living at home

 

Loves her looms – lost everything in fire

 

Looms, happy, joyful, very pleasant to visit with

 

(GL)

 

18 yrs

 

PDD

 

12th grade

 

Some reading

 

Tall young women just coming into her own. Only child –

 

Beading, looming, scrapbooking,card making, knitting, Very enjoyable

 

(AD)

 

19 yrs

 

Downs syndrome

 

1st year transition program

 

Reads

 

Music, movies,

 

New angel

 

(GS)

 

19 yrs

 

PDD

 

1st year transition program

 

Some reading

 

Music, movies

 

Knitting, some looming, very sweet, youngest child older sibs all gone

 

(MS)

 

18

 

Propionic Acidemia

 

12th grade?

 

 

 

Involved in sports gymnastics and bowling

 

New Angel – she has just joined and we are getting ot know her

 

(MH)

 

18

 

Downs syndrome

 

12th grade

 

3rd grade level

 

Likes to dress up – very sweet, youngest of family only child at home

 

Looming, knitting

 

(HB)

 

18

 

PDD

 

Transition

 

3rd grade level

 

Loves pink, involved in sports, spilts her time between bio mom and step family - participates in softball

 

Looming, knitting, has the crank type knitter

 

(RVR)

 

29

 

Blind, austism, CP

 

Hadley school for the blind

 

5th grade level

 

Loves books on tape or CD. Music of all kinds, can Braille, and used crank type knitter, loves DVDs and videos especially Disney, has a dog and 2 cats

 

Yarn for knitter machine, card making, brailled the cards, good memory loves, memory games. Enjoys snail mail, email and telephone

 

(SRR)

 

24

 

PDD, post liver transplant

 

Works at Culvers independently

 

6th grade level

 

Loves books on CD, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, very athletic, big Twins and Viking Fan, enjoys email, snail mail and packages loves her cats

 

Looming is her passion,

 

(KS)

 

20

 

PDD

 

Transition program

 

3rd grade level

 

Enjoys visiting, shopping, pariticipates in softball and gymnastics,

 

Looms, card making

 

 

 

 

You decide which Little sister sounds like the best match for you - you do have to complete some paperwork to be part of the program , and in turn you will receive information and a photo about your Little Angel. The program does require a committment on your part we do ask that you either snail mail. email, or phone your little sister once a week, and send her a CARE package once a month. It is very difficult for an angel to understand why anther member hears from her big sister every week and she never hears from her Big Sister - part of the work is teaching these young people how to be responsible adults and Big sisters need to set the example. YOur contact will be directly with the little sister or their guardian. thank you as you can see I am <<<<<Hooked On Helping>>

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If I am unable to get involved at this time are there other ways I can help? do you need supplies, yarn, crochet hooks, what about this new crochet hook with a light in it? Might help those that have vision problems? Let me know where to go to help -

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let me get ahold of one of the leaders - I know they are collecting chirstmas colored yarn, fleece and interlock to make hats for premies - but I will have them post exactly what they can use - yes those LIGHTED CROCHET HOOKS would be great especially in H,I, J size for those fingers that don't work quite as well as ours.

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Hi I am one of the Angels - and I wanted to ask your corchet help - we are making premies hats - we have learned to sew and crochet but we are making hats from knit material and I wondered if anyone knew how to make snow flakes or poinsettas or chirstmas things out of crochet threads - the hats are to be holiday theme and if we make out of palin material maybe we could glue christmas type things on to decorate like a snowflake or something - if you would like to help us this way please write to ourspecialangels@yahoo.com - thank you

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Hi I am Nancy the current President of Our Special angels - Being a Big Sister is a wonderful learning experience for both you and the Angel - but not everyone is in a position to do that - so I thought I would write up some other ways you can be involved.

 

right now we are getting ready for our fall kick off and that means we have a large number of new Angels coming into the group - we are a totally volunteer non profit - there is no over head at all - everyone is a volunteer and all meeting space is also volunteered - so everything given is used directly for the youth. right now we are in need of the following items - if you can de stash and might have any of this around you would be making a disabled youth extremely happy

 

1) set of knifty knitter looms - you can purchase and send - we will

do our best to get you a 40% coupon form Joann's or Michaels - or you

would like to save the postage you can send gift card (can be

purchased on-line or in the store) we will get the set - wrap it up

and give to the girl from you (I always figure - why give the post office all the money when your angel can really use the supplies instead.

 

2) Fleece in holiday colors or ribbing - if it is solid red, white, or green

and you embroider we would be more than happy if you put a holiday

designs on it for us. WE would love if you wanted to crochet a batch of snow flakes or poinsettas or snowmen or?( there are a lot of free refirgerator magnet patterns out there that would work) If it is all ready in a print then no ecoration is needed. the Angels are using this material to make hats for premies and our current goal is 100 hats for each angel - they set the goal so we sure could use your help.

 

3) Yarn in 4 ply holiday colors - there may not be any variegated

holiday colors out yet - but we can make do with red and green,

making a tassel or bow of the other color we we make the last row of

the other color. We are going to work very hard to shoot for 100

hats for each Angel.

 

4) We will be making tied fleece quilts for both project

Linus and the homeless - so fleece is need in any size - those for Project Linus need only be one layer - so a yard of fleece would be great - but those for the homesless will need to be at least two layers.

 

5) Cotton fabrics for cool ties - we are makin sport

themed cool ties for selling at the ball games with the funds ear

marked directly for the little angel Gretchen who lost her home (it

was totaled) in a fire - and male and kids fabrics we will make into

cool ties for the troops and the abandoned children on the streets in

Iraq - We also could really use some donation of the water-

absorb crystals that go inside the cool ties if you would like to purchase a 4 or10 pounds supply you can order from them direct and have it shipped

directly to us - remember to keep track of things as we are a 501c3 and can provide a tax receipt for your needs

 

6) Craft fairs are scheduled for late October and late November - we

do not have the exact date yet - we have been making things all year

but really appreciate what you can send to add to our supply - right

now we would really encourage Christmas items, especially for the

late one - as that is what everyone wanted - things to give as

stocking stuffers etc.

 

7) Big sisters - are always needed (we have some 12 girls waiting

and will have more before the end of August) - there is an obligation

as we do need you to be active with your little sister - write once a

week - snail mail or email - (email is the hardest a lot of times as

the Angel may not have access to a computer) And

we ask that you send a CARE package once a month - it can be

something personal for them or something to help them along with what

they are making in Angels - they love to bring that special yarn or

fabric or ?? and bring it to share for the current project saying My

Bis sister sent this! When becoming a Big Sister you will need to

fill out some forms to give the Angel a little information about

yourself and in turn you will receive information about your angel -

we will be taking photos of all the angels at the kickoff in august

so all Big Sisters will have photos of their girls! We really stress the committment part of the Big sister program - there is nothing worse than the tears that come when a little sister does not hear from her Big Sister -

 

I hope that this has been helpful to you in coming up with ideas of

ways to be involved. You do not need to be a big sister to be

involved any of the above items are needed for the entire group

(generally the leaders have been purchasing the supplies) instead of

sending for a specific Angel to use you would send for the group to

use!

 

Thanks for listening - Nancy

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Nancy I found some leftover holiday colors of yarn and I'll be getting that out later this week. I knew I put it away after last Christmas so I'd have it for you to make things this year! Now to get to work on some little things for the craft fairs. I remember how well the simple hair scrunchies went, especially in holiday colors.

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I cant wait to set started, I am sooooo super excited.

Dont know what I can do yet I am waiting to be accepted to the group. Hope to be soon.

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I am so in on this! I'm happy to see there are individuals with Down syndrome!! Can I specify having a little sister with Downs? (I have two daughters with it.)

 

I do want to correct you (it's the special needs mom in me) you're adding an "s" onto the end of it. The correct term is Down syndrome, not DownS syndrome.

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As soon as you complete your paperwork to be a big sister - dont worry it is only a page and just asks your likes and dislikes and where you live and such so your little sister will know a little about you - you will be given a list of Angels that do not yet have Big Sisters and you may choose the one that seems to fit you the best - go have fund get your paperwork done and run with it -

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I am an angel and my mom asked me to write what a Big Sister means to me - I dont have one right now - but I had one before - and she was so neat - she sent me emails each week - I like the computer so I could write her back - I learned about her and her grandkids - and she was like a grandma to me - I dont have any grandmas - she kept track of what projects we were doing in our angel group each week and would send me special things to work on. it might be yarn, or a pair of flip flops, or glue or appliques - just what ever I might need sometimes she send me things just for me - I love whales and dolphins and she sent me a pillow that had a whale on it - it is on my bed. And I made her a soap bag for mothers day and I also loomed her a hat - she was a readl buddy to me - so please know you are important to your angel - simone

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Hi, I am Natalie and Chairwoman of The Big/Little Sister program. I have 4 special needs girls and 3 of them are adopted, Two of them have Down syndrome, I am also leader of Our Special Angels South. We are the location of our special angels that is located in Georgia. All the girls in my group have Big Sisters exept our new girl. I get to see first hand how much it means to the girls to have a big sister and how much it means to the big sisters when they are able to bulild a bond and relationship with their sister. My girls have received, email, ecards, and gifts their big sisters and in return have done things for them, I maybe something the girls make or even a card with stickers on it, But the girls enjoy making these as much as they do receiving them.

 

On of my daughters who has down syndrome is low functioning and does very little talking. She communicates with body language sign language and pictures, She rarely got mail all her own, Now that she has a Big sister she gets mail regularly and loves opening it, The smiles on her face make everything worthwhile. She's "got Mail" I usually respond for her by email to let her sister know that the package arrived and while doing so I tell her what the reaction to it was, I try to paint her a picture as though she was right in front of her watching her open it. The last package had a little craft kit and a package of gummy worms, Of course the gummy worms had to be opened first. She goes around the room munching on them, I told her I was sending an email to her Big sister and asked if there was something she would like to say, her response with a mouth ful of gummies was "Thank you" Wish her sister could have seen that and heard it. WE have sent her pictures though and this young lady is also an artist and sent her Big sister one of her abstract paintings.

 

Although some of the girls have difficulty communicating there are way to connect and have a meanful relationship with these young people.

 

My girls are currently making hats for the Christmas hat challenge. We are using fleece in red, white or green and iron on embroidered appliques. The hats are cute and easy for the girls to make so in addition to helping TTT they are rewarded by seing the things they make,

 

Come and join us and be a Big Sister, the rewards are beyond words. We know its a commitment and it should be, As you see how much it means to them, you can also see how they would feel if they were left out and others received things or built a relationshilp with their sister and they did not. So if you thilnk this is something you could commit to, Join us, It does not require much money, but does require caring, understanding and the desire to contact your sister weekly and send her little packages, You will have a form from us with the girls interests favorite colors etc and she or someone in her family will share more with you about her likes

Natalie

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I can not tell you how pleased we are with the response we are receiving from all of you - please know we still have many Angels wiating for Big Sisters and they need you so come and have some fun and help a disabled perosn along the way

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Hi all! My name is Nancy and I'm the President of the group OurSpecialAngels. I just wanted to say a HUGE welcome and THANK YOU to the members that have decided to join our little 'family' over there. Jump right in and tell us about yourselves. If you ever have ANY questions, throw them out and someone'll help you out for sure!

 

Wanted to let you know there are still a LOT of Angels needing a Big Brother or Sister so come on over!!!

 

Nancy E./IL

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Hi! Anyone out there doing any destashing? The Angels at OurSpecialAngels could use your extra craft supplies. Things like red and green fleece (for hats), ribbing (for hats), Xmas fabric and flat head pins (to make Xmas ornaments), a Clover iron if you have one you're not using, baseball and boy related fabric for cool ties to sell. The money made from the cool ties will be given to an Angel's family who recently lost their home to a fire. Anything else sold, the funds are being put towards an embroidery machine.

 

If you need to ask a question, feel free. Thank you! Nancy E./IL

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That's great Kathy! Anything will be GREATLY appreciated and you know it'll be used....!

 

Thank you

Nancy

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The answer to that is yes - we want this to be the best possible match - if you are family with a certain challange such as austism, blindness, down syndrome, CP, and so on and would like an angel with that disability - or you love cats and want an angel that is into cats - here is how it works once you sign up for the Big Sister/Brother program you will be sent a list of waiting angels with a little information about each - you read it over and see which one seems to click with you - if that Angel has not been assigned you will be matched and you are off and running - our big kick off for the new year is August 22nd and if you are in Georgia or Minnesota and would like to attned just PM anyone on this list and we will help to make it happen, you DO NOT need to live in either state to be a Big Sister or even in the US - we have Big borthers and sisters from all over the world - the big factor is your COMMITTMENT

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The answer to that is yes - we want this to be the best possible match - if you are family with a certain challange such as austism, blindness, down syndrome, CP, and so on and would like an angel with that disability - or you love cats and want an angel that is into cats - here is how it works once you sign up for the Big Sister/Brother program you will be sent a list of waiting angels with a little information about each - you read it over and see which one seems to click with you - if that Angel has not been assigned you will be matched and you are off and running - our big kick off for the new year is August 22nd and if you are in Georgia or Minnesota and would like to attned just PM anyone on this list and we will help to make it happen, you DO NOT need to live in either state to be a Big Sister or even in the US - we have Big borthers and sisters from all over the world - the big factor is your COMMITTMENT we can not focus on this enough - A big sister is obligated to write once a week and send a CARE package once a month - the Angel will be counting on you for some help with project supplies - and remember you are their example as you gift to them they in turn will turn those supplies into gifts for others and learn along the way. And the best of all is the fun you will have and the new friend for life that you will make :yay

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I too am an angel - and I love working with yarn - I have a couple of different problem - I can not see, and I have paralysys CP - so to use a crochet hook is very hard for me - and because I can not see people did not include me in crafts, but the Angels leaders did - they got me a crank knitting machine by I think i think imagination - something like that last year they got me a little one and I made 450 premies hats for a project called TTT and this year they got me a big one - I know they dont tell but I know they paid for it themselves - that is how good they are to us - come craft with us - you will have a good time - Rosa

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I have joined this group and am very excited to get started. I haven't had much time to look over all the info on the group site yet but plan on doing it this weekend. At first, my assumption was this was out of Minneapolis but I guess it is all over. That is awesome. Another question I have, what are cool ties?

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You should see all the beautiful things Rosa makes. When she had surgery earlier this year, she was sitting up in her hospital bed cranking away! The Angels really enjoy being able to give nice warm hats and things to the babies.

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We have two groups now - one in the north located in Minnesota and one in the south in Georgia, basically we are under one umbrella with the main group being in Minnesota. We have our 501c3 and are a non -profit, between us we have about 30 plus angels participaing each and every week and meet weekly on Saturday mornings at a community room in a local grocery store - it has worked very well as this store has a coffee shop and a bakery - all of the employees know our kids at this point each and every one by name - and they come to work - when tried they ask to take a break and purchase a hot chocolate and perhaps something from the bakery - those that have big sisters were give last year a gift card from the coffee ship to handle the money situation easier - those that dont another leader and I cover their expenses so that no one is left out. It is really a wonderful group of young poeple - who are learning proper behavior in public, budgeting money, good use of their time, and watching out for each other - and along the way some crafts!

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