Saturday, November 10, 2012

Target Volunteers - Library Makeover

I had the great pleasure of spending my day off giving some much needed love to a Chicago Public School through Target and Heart of America. Target and Heart of America have been partnering for the past five years to makeover libraries in schools in need all across America. Ryerson Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood was chosen to receive the 149th library makeover. Hundreds of Target team members, along with a local construction company, the Chicago Food Depository, and many from Heart of America volunteered their time to make this library makeover a success, and also to hand out books and food to each family.
The sea of red that attends these events makes me very thankful to work for such an amazing company. Target gives 5% of all of their profit back to communities in the form of these library makeovers and thousands of other volunteer events. That translates to about $4 million and many thousands of hours each week!

The library not only got a facelift with new paint, carpet, seating, tables, and bookshelves; it was also provided with 2,000 new books! Promoting literacy is a huge initiative of Target Corporation. I was blessed with a family who read to me very often as a child, and thus, with the ability to read well before I started school. I never even considered that there were children in the United States who didn’t have a similar opportunity, much less the ability to read by 5th grade! This is a very real battle for children and families in Chicago and many other places in our great country.
Bullseye came to visit!!

All of the children’s families were invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the library (which was completed before we got there), and then they were provided with seven books for each child to start their very own home library, and 20-30 pounds of healthy “brain” food for each child. They sure were weighed down when they left! Yet, I’m sure some of their everyday burden was lifted. 

I was part of the team that handed out food. My day consisted of unloading the truck, setting up the assembly line of food, and filling up the families’ bags with all of their great food!
Setting up shop 
This room was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables 
The dry goods room is all ready to roll!
They're here!!! 
I must confess that I was a little grumpy to have spent my one day off in my 11-day stretch working. How awful that the thought even crossed my mind. Having the opportunity to work for the good of God’s Kingdom instead of for the good of just myself is something I’ve been craving and now have been blessed with! I see so much need around this city – physical need, spiritual need, the need for fellowship, among so much more. What a blessing to have to opportunity to address it. Praise God for his goodness, and for giving us what we need, even when we don’t really want it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Keeping Cozy

I finally took the time this weekend to block and photograph these lovely socks! Socks sure look intimidating to make with all of their special shaping, but they really are quite simple, as is just about everything in knitting! The pattern I used for these came from Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks.  This book allows you to choose nearly any yarn and needle combination, and sock size, to create a perfect sock every time. The instructions are so clear and the formula so versatile. It is a great book for anyone who would like to knit socks.
The yarn is Paul and Carol Wagner’s (aka Hidden Valley) Willow Series yarn – a 50/50 blend of Suri Alpaca and Coopworth Lamb. This is my all-time favorite yarn.
I wore these socks under my boots to church on Sunday and, especially for being in high heels, my feet felt so great! After church, hubby and I came home, put on our comfy clothes and hand-knit alpaca socks, got some work done and then snuggled up to watch a movie. Perfect!