Wednesday, March 28, 2007

An introduction.

There is very little in this world that is worse or more stomach turning than hearing the words "You have cancer." or being a parent of the person who is hearing those words. I have been very fortunate so far in my life but others I know and love have not. This is my effort to raise money for cancer research and patient care by selling various things. I will be using the majority of the money I raise to pledge myself in the Relay for Life, a fund-raising division of the Canadian Cancer Society held here in Sioux Lookout on June 8th, 2007. The part I don't use to pledge myself will go to pay for some of the materials I need to make or have made the things for sale.

You can read about all the things that the Canadian Cancer Society does to help out with prevention, research and general patient/family support on their main page here. One of the biggest expenses for cancer care in our area is getting to it. Patients often have to drive four or five hours for some of the treatments and volunteer drivers are the angels that make it so much less stressful. We are very fortunate to live in a country where doctors and treatments are free so they won't beggar you and medications have price caps to keep them reasonably affordable for most, but that doesn't mean every one can afford to pay for all the things that go along with having the disease. The best thing that could happen is a treatment/cure that doesn't devastate the body or budget and is portable, meaning that people all over the world can have access without having to leave their loved ones and homes in order to be helped.

That is where we all come in. We may not have the time to volunteer, or the equipment to help find a cure or a better treatment, but we all have a dollar. In the words of Terry Fox, "If everyone in this country gave just one dollar think of what could be done." According Canada's population clock if every Canadian gave one dollar, we would raise $32,877,570.00. If every person in the U.S. gave just one dollar, $301,577,431.00 (Census 2000) would be raised for cancer. Imagine what could be done with that kind of money going to the right people. If everyone in the world had one dollar and gave it, that would be $6,525,170,264.00 (est. as of 2006 - CIA World Factbook). There is no way cancer would survive that kind of money being put into research. There is no way any human would be forced into the street after losing their homes to medical bills.

So this is my small effort to raise a bit of that money to give. I will be selling stitch markers made and donated by Kristy. The full price of them goes to the Relay Fund. You can see them here and order them by following the directions at the bottom of this post. I am also selling sunflower and lupine seeds. Half of the price of them goes to the fund, the other half to pay for some of the things I will be selling over this month and the next. I hope to raise a minimum of $2,000 for the walk.

Here are a few pictures of some of the sunflowers I managed to grow in my garden last year. I was so excited about actually having something grow in my garden, that I named them all. I am a little weird too.

This is My Girl Saturday
and Nexus.

My Girl Saturday although beautiful, was small and didn't get to be old enough to produce seeds. Nexus opened a bit late in the season and didn't have enough time to produce very many seeds although she did her best. Most of my seeds were eaten by birds before I managed to scare them off with a windchime. There was also Hope (my first, some seeds), Joy (some seeds), Chary (some seeds), Bustle (many seeds) Nexus (pictured, some seeds), Autumn (no seeds, too late), Wish (no seeds, too late) and My Girl Saturday (pictured also no seeds, too late).

Ordering information at end of post.

Sunflower seeds will be selling for $2.00 + shipping ($3.00 to Canada, $4.00 to US, $6.00 International) each. You will get 6 seeds in each packet and if they don't sprout for you this year, I will do my best to send you a replacement at no cost to you not even shipping at the end of this year if I manage to get some sunflowers to grow in my garden again this year. How to grow sunflowers.

Lupine seeds will also be $2.00 + shipping (same as for sunflowers) each. You will get 8 seeds in each packet and they will come up every year and multiply a little every year so you will end up with far more than 8 plants over time if you aren't careful about thinning out new shoots in the spring. They don't multiply so fast that they are problematic, but you should check with your province, state or country to make sure they aren't a banned plant before ordering any. How to grow lupins.

$1.00 from each packet of seeds sold goes to the Relay and $1.00 goes to pay for some of the supplies needed to make postcards (not available yet) and hopefully one other project I am trying to get ready on time (also not available yet).

Stitch markers are selling for $2.50 each set. All the money goes to the Relay. You can see what is available on this page. Please remember to put which number you would like in your order.

Postcards when I get them, will be selling individually or as a set of four. There are four photos and you can view them here (my knitting/life blog, you will have to scroll down a little to the widget and give it a minute to load). I will set a price once I get an idea of how much I need to cover costs, pledge half and still have a little to put away for another fund-raising project I hope to get up and running by the end of next year.

How to order:

Send me an email at knittingintothecold @ gmail . com with Relay in the Subject line. Let me know what you would like (sets of stitch markers are numbered at the top left of each photo on Photobucket, simply tell me which number you would like of the ones that are still available). If you are ordering seeds, please let me know what kind you would like and how many. Lupine seeds are pretty limited. If I run out of postcards, it may take up to two weeks to get more printed up and sent out. I will honour all orders for postcards though. After the Relay, I will continue to donate half of the price of the postcards to the Canadian Cancer Society. The other half will continue to go to pay for materials for the postcards and other fund raising efforts.

Everything is on a first come first serve basis and since emails have a time on them, that is how I will be keeping track. I will send a link to Paypal in the email replying to your order or make sure to let me know before that you need my address to pay by money order or cheque.

I hope you find something you like. If you don't wish to buy anything, but still wish to donate, I will be happy to accept donations. Make sure to put your name and address on the Paypal form and donation in the comment line so I can write you down on my pledge sheet and have a receipt sent to you by the Relay. If you don't have a Paypal account and still wish to buy or donate, I will be happy to accept money orders or cheques (I can't ship until I get them and they clear though). Send me an email with Need Address in the Subject line and I will send you my snail mail. Thank you for anything you can do to help give cancer the boot.