by Melinda Beachell / ga11292009

Melinda writes, "The year 2010 is going to be a year of service for our young women. When we first were called into YW we felt strongly the YW needed a lot of love and attention. We focused on that for a while and now it is time for them to give some of that love back to the community! We are going to pair this service project with the advice from our leaders to go back to the basics. The basics we are going to teach are sewing, knitting, crocheting and being creative :) They will put these skills to use by making hats, scarfs, gloves and blankets all year long and giving them to people who could really use them. We will be giving them to homeless men, women and children. With the economy the way it is now there are more people in need than ever! Let's do some good :)

Throughout the year I will be sharing ideas for lessons and retreats that will go with this project but first I have a proposal. As I was thinking about this whole plan I started thinking about how wonderfully cool it would be if we could get other YW groups to join us in this next year. Either join us in making warm stuff (hats, scarves, gloves, blankets) and deliver it to a homeless shelter in your area or send us the warm items you make and we will deliver them. During this process we will keep in contact, send each other pictures and that fun jazz. The YW will love it!  Working with other YW groups for a good cause all over the US...maybe even in different different countries...what a excellent thing to be a part of of! I think this will be a life changing experience for all of us.

I've been thinking of fun ideas of ways the YW from around the world can feel united in this project.  I think it would be fun to have a map displayed somehow, somewhere for each group with little dots from where we are each from.  I just had a woman e-mail me from South Africa!  This is going to be AMAZING! Another idea is taking a picture of each YW group and sending them to everyone.  For sure taking pictures of the items being delivered and sent to those who helped.
As a YW leader myself I'm always thinking about personal progress.  This will fit into the personal progress program perfectly.  Our YW will have the option of using it as a 10 hr project or a value experience depending on what they need.  I love when things just seem to fall in place!  Can you tell how excited I am about this whole thing? :)

I will be doing all the hard work for you! I will send you the patterns of what we are doing. I'm busy altering patterns so you will have one for men, one for women and a kid size. The patterns will all be beginner/easy. Don't know how to knit or crochet? I bet you could find someone in your ward dying to teach you how. If needed I can do a youtube tutorial on the exact items we are making and send it to you or you can just focus on tying flannel blankets (flannel is on sale at Joann's for $2.49 right now!!) If you live close enough come on over and I will teach you:) If you are interested please contact me (Melinda) at I will give you even more details if you are interested. Spread the word...If you know someone you think might be interested pass on my e-mail address!


Early December of this year we will be having a Sunday lesson about service (I will post details later). It will be at this lesson we will annouce our plans for next year's service project. Hopefully they will walk away from this lesson feeling inspired and motivated :)

The first few months of the year (Jan, Feb, March) we will take the YW in small groups to the Portland Rescue mission where they will serve dinner to homeless men, women and children. My point in this is I want the yw to have personal experience serving people in need. After serving these people hopefully they will realize there really are people without homes, cold and that are hungry. When they are knitting that scarf or hat they will be able to visualize that scarf is for someone who really needs it.

Early in January we are having someone who volunteers at the shelter and also someone the shelter has helped come and talk to our YW.

Also in January the teaching process will begin. We will have 4 different groups: a knitting scarf group, crocheting hat, crocheting gloves and a tying blanket group. The first activity will be all about learning the basics. We are dedicating one activity a month and 2 retreats to this project. Our hope is the girls will start working at home on their projects also. I will also give you our retreat details as we get closer. We have one planned in January and one planned in August.

We will be working away until the end of the year. In December we will take the girls to deliver the items they have made. I think we will be helping a lot of people not only stay warm but keep them smiling! Most importantly we as leaders will be doing what the YW program is for, helping the YW "come unto Christ" though service. I can't think of any better way to "stand for truth and righteousness". Make it a great day!!!! fulltext