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The George Mark HouseOctober 5, 2012

First off, the winner of the Happier at Home drawing is jdrbel -- you've been emailed! Thanks for subscribing! I love doing random giveaways to people on my list

You guys, I loved this book. I actually liked it better than Rubin's original Happiness Project. (I'm all about home. I love home.) It got me off my ass to do a couple of things that I'd been putting off because they were difficult to do. 

Rubin quoted Mother Teresa at one point (that sounds sanctimonious, but I promise, it wasn't). Mother Teresa said, when asked how people could help her with her mission, "Find your own Calcutta." 

This struck me SO hard. Now, I'm not drawn to assisting a leper colony. 

You know what I am drawn to? Hospice. And specifically, children's end of life hospice.

Years ago, I learned of the existence of the George Mark House, the country's first freestanding palliative care center for dying children in the United States, and I've been unable to stop thinking about them. It's been helping children and their families since 2004 (and is still only one of four children's palliative care homes in the nation). 

In 2010, they had to close due to lack of funds. See, they provide care to children who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. It's a non-profit. They ran out of money to care for children at the end of their lives. They were closed for six months (I thought erroneously they'd shuttered forever and had been broken-hearted about it). 

But they're open again, and they need money.

Okay. I'll give you a minute. Here's a Kleenex.

Last night I put in application to be a volunteer there. I can't tell you how much I want that. But no matter what happens with my app, I want to help in some way. Thus, what follows:

Another thing that Rubin's book helped me to do was to get rid of stuff (oh, how I love to do that). 

I went through my sweaters and found a bunch that I don't wear, that don't suit me (or that are honestly just strangely patterned and/or knitted). I was going to donate them, but I thought that was weird for handknits. I was going to sell them, but I thought that was kind of odd, too.

But this? This is perfect. I'm holding a fundraising drawing for George Mark. 

Every $10 donation gets you an entry (therefore, $50 gets you five entries). At the end of the drawing, I'll pick the eleven winners. Winner number one can have her first pick of the sweaters. Winner number two can have the pick of what's left, et cetera. 

I'd love it if you sent the money to my paypal so I can make one nice donation from The Knitters and Writers.   It's been pointed out to me that Paypal might shut this down as they don't like raffles, so let's just go this simpler route:

Send your donation to the George Mark House directly -- just send me your receipt (to yarnagogo at gmail dot com) so I mark down your entries. 

And thank you, dear hearts. I know money's hard to find these days. So thank you, for anything you can give. Many ten dollar donations add up to very real money that HELPS. YOU are helping. 

With no further ado, here are the eleven sweaters available (click each sweater's pic for Rav/yarnagogo link, etc.). 

Sweater1

Ruby's Bookstore Sweater, from How to Knit a Heart Back Home, Noro Shirakaba. A bit too big for me. 

Sweater2

Drops 110-23, in Paton's Classic Wool. A little rounded shape, esp. in the back. But I do love the knitting of it. 

Leve

Levenwick, Cascade 220. Never worn, never blocked. I didn't even put fasteners on it -- I was victim of the photo fallacy, forgetting that I had boobs. Sigh. 

Sweater3

Cabled chickami, Rowan Calmer. Cute. I just don't wear it. 

Sweater4

Lace Wrap Sweaterbabe #112, Brooks Farm Mas-Acero. I have NEVER been able to make this wrap around me the right way. Someone's body style is perfect for this. Not mine. 

Sweater5

February Lady, Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I love this, but it's too big on me now. 

Sweater6

Spring Forward Fall Back, Knit one Crochet two Cotton. This is also great, but just a wee bit short on my long-waisted torso. 

Sweater7

Coachella, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. Cute, never wear it (requires racer-back bra). 

Sweater8

Artfibes cardie, Artfibers alpaca. I've wornt the hell out of this, a little nubby. Still a good sweater, just rarely wear it. 

Sweater9

Shapely Tank, Soy silk. Just fine, rarely worn. 

Sweater10

Back in the DAY (bonus points if you were reading me then) - Noro Kureyon Raglan, now with buttons, rather worn out of shape, but still fun. Rarely wear. 

I'll draw winners in two weeks, on October 19th. I'd love your tweets and FB links to this -- let's spread it far and wide, my darlings. Thank you so much for considering donating to this amazing cause. I kiss you on both cheeks, mwah! mwah! 

Really. Thank you, from my heart. 

Comments

Done! Though you might notice the email addy is slightly different. It's my married name. :)

I hope you're able to volunteer there, I think you would be so much help to those children. Hospice care is such an important thing to have. <3

Yup. Got to work on our own house (figuratively speaking). Plenty to do right here.

I hope you're able to volunteer. Sounds like lovely hard work.

WOW Rachael! How you inspire me....thank you!! I'm sure your app will be approved and very quickly. I can't imagine they could ever have too many volunteers for a cause that is so touching to most of us but would be sooo very hard to do. But you are perfect! With your experience and expertise in life, I'm sure families will appreciate your help and treasure the memories of this time in their lives. It doesn't matter if you're the mother of a 2 yr old or a 35 yr old.....they are still your CHILD. Some of us were blessed to have had more years with our child than many others do but loosing a child is still a special loss in ones life as is loosing a spouse or a parent. Each one with its very own pains. What makes it so very sad is that little children are so helpless and its hard to imagine a purpose for this happening. I have for years aided in the efforts of Make A Wish Foundation but I never realized this organization existed. Thank you for enlightening us!!! I have looked over the sweaters, beautiful each one!! I know I couldn't get one leg into any of them.....lmao but I know very special people in my life that could!! So next payday I will be entering for my chance to help in your efforts.........thank you for this opportunity and I hope everyone helps you make a very substantial donation!! Love ya!!

It's fun to see all your hairstyles through the years. :) Best wishes for being accepted as a volunteer!!

As soon as I'm on a secure comuputer, I'm emailing my donation to them. Wow. What a place. My knitting charitiy of choice is that I make gowns for the stillborn. The parents are most often a mess and have nothing planned and this might be the only picture that they ever have of their child. I donate them to a local high risk neonatal unit.

This is just one step further. I hope so much that you get you application approved.

What a worthy cause...I had not known this place existed until just right now! Bless you for championing their mission and for wanting to donate your time, that is more than most would venture to do.

If the sweaters weren't motivation enough, the cause certainly is.

You are such a positive person! Thank you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at [email protected] to make arrangements.

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