Sunday, November 01, 2009


My heart hurts.
I wish there were no wars. I wish the young men and women in our ground troops were safely back home with the people who love them.
But they aren't. They are in danger, and putting their lives at risk as part of their jobs.
I am not omniscient, I do not have the broad view with all the facts to make a determination as to whether the wars are right, or wrong. All I know is my heart hurts for the individuals caught up in them.
Some of the ground troops particularly in Afghanistan face freezing cold. They do not have enough woolen hats and neck gaiters to make certain they all stay warm, so they trade off what they do have, so at least some of the people sent out on missions have something to help keep the cold at bay.

Those hats and neck gaiters are provided in part by a group called The Ship's Project.
I am on the email list. Yesterday a message came through from Ellen, the project founder, that galvanized me into action.
Part of the subject line said "A Major Problem". Part of the text said:
"Jim mailed about 45 boxes today. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that I went through the labels I prepared for ground units requesting warm things, some of them for as many as 600 Marines. We have nothing to send them. "

Ellen is extending the mailing period (usually the 1st 7 days of the month) to November 10th.
That gives me 10 days to get as many woolen hats and neck gaiters made as I can.

If you want to help, these are the steps to follow.

1. Join the Ships Project and the Ships Project Email List.

2. Go to the Members Only Information Page linked on the yahoo groups main page and familiarize yourself with the group's needs.

To summarize needs for the ground troops, hats and neck gaiters need to be 100 % wool / animal fiber in dark colors. For the hats, they need to fit between 22 and 24 inches around when stretched, and measure between 8 1/2 and 10 inches tall. maybe you already have a few knitted ready to send. They also provide patterns.
The neck gaiters must also be in animal fibers only, and measure 10 to 12 inches high, per the military guidelines.

You will also need to add two labels for the ground troop items. One contains the post office box mailing address of the Ship's Project, to provide an address to which the troops may send thank you notes. The other needs to state "100% wool, hand wash and lay flat to dry".
The labels need to be such that they can be removed easily.
Templates for those labels are provided, all you need to do is print out a page of them and attach them to the hats and gaiters.

If you can't knit, but want to help, Ellen says the postage costs each month come to around $3000. usually only $1000 in donation funds are received. You may send money using Paypal to this email address:, but please join the yahoo groups mailing list first.

Please, help in any way you can. Even if you can only send 2 hats, because the troops trade off, you can help many more than two people.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info. On another note, I *love* the photo in this post.

Lynx said...

damn it, why must everyone want wool?! I can't knit wool, it makes my fingers itch. if they could use acrylic, I would send a dozen hats. sigh.

luckily there are other groups that I can donate to, so I don't feel useless!

Karen said...

Thank you for this post, Diana. it doesn't take long to knit a few hats.