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Scarves for Christmas 2023 volunteers St. Andrew Methodist Church members lead effort for the second year, resulting in 1,531 scarves for neighbors in need at The Storehouse of Collin County. Pictured are Becky Wonsmos, Camille Tantibanchachai, Cynthia Beets, Cathy Goddard, Tina Zale, Sue Gover-Lee, Elizabeth Thomas, and Lori Rough.

St. Andrew Methodist Church members lead effort for the second year, resulting in 1,531 scarves for neighbors in need at The Storehouse of Collin County

“Scarves for Christmas” proved to be another year-long labor of love for a group of ladies who worked day and night knitting and crocheting 1,531 scarves for neighbors in need at The Storehouse of Collin County. On Thursday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 2, the group distributed the scarves to each family coming to The Storehouse to receive food. To add to the merriment, they arranged for Santa and his elves as well as carolers to entertain the families while they were waiting to receive their food.

“When we first launched this effort for 2021, we distributed a grand total of 621 scarves,” said Elizabeth Thomas, co-founder of Scarves for Christmas. “With the rising number of neighbors coming to The Storehouse for food – approximately 1,300 weekly – we knew we had to do more!  I’m so proud to say that our group of 55 ladies, with the help of Warm Up America who donated over 400 scarves to us, surpassed our goal! Each scarf is created with so much love, and we pray over each one for our neighbors. Creating one scarf can take anywhere from 4-20 hours depending on the complexity of its pattern. It is our hope that the scarves not only provide warmth for our neighbors but also warmth for their hearts, serving as a reminder that we are all one community, and we care for one another.”  

The group, originally formed in 2021, recruited women from all over DFW as well as some outside of Texas. Many participated in St. Andrew’s prayer shawl ministry, which provides warm shawls to those in the hospital; however, with the pandemic, hospital visits stopped.

St. Andrew Methodist Church member Elizabeth Thomas had the idea to make scarves for the neighbors coming to The Storehouse following a moving personal experience. Her friend and Scarves for Christmas co-founder Patti Hoff brought her a prayer shawl one Christmas season during a very difficult time in her life.  

“I was overwhelmed with love and comfort from Patti’s beautiful homemade gift,” said Thomas. “After visiting with her, we both felt a subsequent calling to spread similar comfort, joy, and cheer to others. As we reached out to others to participate, we had an overwhelming response. Because it was the middle of the pandemic, we connected over emails for that first year sharing crocheting and knitting techniques while working on our scarves. The effort was such a grand success we decided we would start the effort again in 2023!”

Once all scarves were completed, they were sorted, individually wrapped, and tied with a bow. Each packaged scarf also included a Christmas card with a prayer of encouragement in English and Spanish. On November 29, the group came together for a special blessing of the scarves, led by St. Andrew Pastor Jennifer Powell.

“Both Patti and I feel that Christmas is a way of life at St. Andrew and The Storehouse of Collin County,” said Thomas. “We cannot adequately express our gratitude to all who spent countless hours crafting these beautiful, colorful scarves. We have seen firsthand that they are comforting to our neighbors.  I’ll never forget one summer following our 2021 Christmas scarf distribution when I was volunteering at The Storehouse.  As I was placing groceries into a neighbor’s car on that hot summer day, I saw one of our scarves pinned to her car seat and was overcome with emotion. I knew that it must serve as a reminder of the love and care we have for her. This is what it is all about. We hope to launch another Scarves for Christmas effort in 2025.”

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The Storehouse of Collin County, a nonprofit founded in 2009, provides short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin, Dallas, and Denton Counties through four programs. Seven Loaves Food Pantry serves over 5,000 families each month; Joseph’s Coat Clothing Closet provides clothing at no cost; Project Hope Neighbor Care offers case management and resource referral; and The Academy Education Program provides free and reduced-cost classes to assist with language, job, or life skills development. During its previous fiscal year, The Storehouse served 146,922 unduplicated neighbors with the support of more than 2,000 volunteers. In August 2023, the North Texas Food Bank honored The Storehouse with the Hope for Tomorrow Award. Visit www.thestorehousecc.org. The Storehouse EIN: 27-1883333

St. Andrew Methodist Church, founded in 1986, is located on 21.2 acres in Plano, Texas, and has more than 7,000 members. The church hosts over 2,000 people each weekend for worship services in both a traditional style with the classic pipe organ and a contemporary style with an LED center screen and lighting technology. St. Andrew extends an open invitation for all to be a part of a community ready to embrace faith in Christ that is real, practical, and life changing.  Many opportunities are provided to gather on campus and serve locally, regionally, and globally. Through Invite Ministries, St. Andrew’s publishing house, and Beacon of Light, a mental health ministry, St. Andrew offers innovative ways to reach Christians within its congregation and out in the community. The new 300-seat Hasley Chapel provides worship and other gathering opportunities in a scenic and more intimate setting. In 2022 St. Andrew became an independent Methodist Church seeking to live more like Jesus every day and to learn in deeper ways what it means to follow His teachings, live in community, and serve the world. 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewmethodist.org; call (972)380-8001.

 

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