Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In search of advice..

So, I'm at home in Tennessee & loving every minute of it. I've been busy knitting away, but since it's my first adult sized sweater, there's really no progress to report. (Plus, who wants to see a giant pile of black stockinette stich? BORING!) I'm hoping to be finished by the end of the week. I'm just working on the trim now, and I have another pocket to sew on. It's so exciting!

Anyway, I'm hoping to get some input from you guys. Here's the situation: since starting law school, I've become very selfish with my time. It's just the nature of the program - you have very little "free" time, and even then they guilt you into doing something law related. Anyway, I don't have time to give back to my community like I used to, and knitting things for charity is the closest I get anymore.

My church at home does a Shawl Ministry program where I send scarves, baby hats, etc. Anyway, this past Sunday, when I brought in some new things (here and here) to add to the collection, they gave me a check. I was hesitant to take the check, so my mom took it for me. The purpose of the money is so that I can continue knitting things for the program without taking away from my own fixed, student income. However, most of the things that I've been making have been made out of my leftover stash and a few gifted items, so only rarely has it been an out of pocket expense.

I feel like taking the money makes me even more selfish, but my mom says that I need to take it and buy yarn for more projects. So, the question I've been asking myself is - do I take the money & just go out sale hunting and stretch it as far as possible, or should I stick it back in the collection plate on Sunday? (However, option #2 just puts the money back in the general fund, not with the shawl ministry.)

I'd seriously appreciate your advice on this one!

20 comments:

Shelley said...

Put the money aside for yarn you think will make good hats, scarves, shawls, etc. You don't have to make it a job and stretch the money as far as it can go because I don't think they want you to feel pressured to "produce" for them. They just wanted to say thank you for your generosity and show how much they appreciate what you do for them. This sort of thing happens when you're a generous person. It always comes back to you when you don't expect it. Let them say thank you because it makes them feel good, too.

Mary Mary said...

I agree. And how appreciative would someone be to receive a hat or scarf made out of a nicer yarn, like part alpaca, and how much more fun will you have knitting it :)

Amy said...

Take it as an opportunity to do more kind things. :-)

Sarah said...

Why don't you use it to sponsor someone else to knit for the shawl ministry? Buy them some yarn, or even some knitting classes at the LYS (or Michael's).

Criquette said...

The Shawl Ministry clearly values your knitting and the time you give to do it. Use the money for something good - it's still being done for good even if it's something that brings you pleasure too.

YSP11 said...

You can "re-seed" the money --- donate it, or buy yarn and send it to a charity that needs materials. Accepting it doesn't say anything bad about you. . .

Denise said...

I see no reason why you shouldn't buy yarn to make more gifts to donate. And Shelley is right, you don't have to go out and buy the cheapest yarn you can find either.
Don't feel guilty at all!

Kathy said...

I guess I'll go with, "How much more extra do you have in the stash?" If you've still got plenty to work with then you can put the money in the collection plate. If the stash is getting low then you can use the money to buy some more materials. Either way you're doing a good thing!

Carrie Penny said...

That is a hard one. I know how bad you feel about taking the money, but depending on the amount they gave you... This may be a great thing. I would shop the sales and find as much decent warm yarns for things to donate and stash them for charity.

Does this fund have its own account, or did it come from the churches fund? If you haven't already cashed the check, you could just hold on to it and never cash it therefore not taking the money and keeping it in the fund...

I am the same way about things for charity. It is my gift from what I can give, but depending on the amount, I don't think that I would feel bad about taking it and buying more to make gifts out of.

KnitTech said...

You're donating your limited resources, they're gifting back with the only thing they have, money. They're not "buying" your time. They're saying "thank you for taking the time to make these lovely items, here is some $$, so you can continue to make them."

bobbi said...

Charity is a wonderful thing. I'm so into it that I would put the money back into the Sunday collection plate. If you take the money for better yarn is also charitable. I think if you're thinking about it you really don't want to take the money and that is what you should do. Do what feels right for you.

Mary said...

I think you should use the money for yarn to keep knitting for the shawl ministry. The obviously value your knitting abilities and that you are willing to share your time and talents. Do not feel bad about spending the money on yarn. You will be helping so many people when you knit this yarn into scarves and hats.

Ava said...

It's a tough decision. I understand why you wouldn't keep the money. Sometimes when we refuse a gift we deny the giver the opportunity to show their appreciation. I would keep the money and use it to buy really nice yarn for your charitable items. (Not that you don't already use really nice yarn - I've seen your stash!) Don't undervalue the time you put into making these gifts. A quick calculation of hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours put into an item is quite revealing.

Laura said...

Hm! Interesting and difficult situation there. Thoughtful of them to thank you in that way yet confusing since you didn't expect it.

I'd probably use the money to get more supplies/yarn for further charity projects. You can't go wrong with some good KnitPicks wool of the Andes. I've tried Patons Classic Merino lately - it's awesome. And they won't break the bank. I'd probably use it to get yarn at knitpicks and get something for myself at the same time too so you can spend small on yourself if you have to but still get free shipping! Yay!

Something that has happened to me during the afghan project is the strange surprise of getting occasional little gifts (pretty much yarn) from complete strangers who are sending afghan squares. I can't send it back and say "No". And it's always something so nice. the best way I can show my appreciation is to actually use the gifts. And I will. Just as soon as I can get a few other things done around here!! hehe

Kara said...

I just wanted to say that you're ministering to people in this way, and that your church wants to make sure you can continue to do so. If it were me, I would spend the money on a nice but affordable yarn, and set it aside from the rest of my stash solely for the shawl ministry. I'm sure the people who tithed to the church would be glad to know that their funds were being used for such a great cause.

My husband is a high school pastor, and we reimburse volunteers all the time for taking students to lunch, bringing food to events, etc. It's part of ministry.

hakucho said...

I think that is so wonderful that your church appreciates what you do. By all means use that money to purchase yarn. Finding bargains all the bester. I belong to our church's prayer shawl ministry and we as individuals buy all of our own yarn ourselves. It does get expensive. Occasionally we are given a gift of money from those who are touched and appreciate what we do. We graciously accept the money and buy as much yarn as we can with the money, which helps us to continue :)
Keep up the great work!
happy knitting :)

Donna said...

Amanda, you have gotten so many wonderful suggestions. So I won't add anymore except to say that you are a good person to donate your time and effort. No one but another knitter knows how much of ourselves goes into each project. Keep up the good work-and don't feel guilty, leave that to someone that has something to feel bad about.

Terri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri said...

Well, I left a comment, but noticed I can't spell worth a darn. Good for you in having a conscience (sp?). Think on it or pray on it, and do what you feel is right. It looks like you've made good choices so far when it comes to giving of yourself.

Gnat said...

Go out sale hunting and get more yarn for you to make stuff. It doesn't hurt them to give you money to make more great things for their cause. I'm sure they were happy to give it to you. Being a part of a ministry at my church I understand that sometimes we are able to give back to those who help us out and sometimes we aren't. Take it as their are investing in you to help them out. Good luck with all that you do.