Can we make the item with any pattern or must we use Alice's Embrace patterns?

We ask that you use our patterns because when we make a delivery, we make it to the entire memory care unit at one time.  It's nice to have consistency in the patterns, but also nice to know the names.  The residents really love to hear the name of their pattern... it is one more way to interact with them and they seem to really enjoy our unique pattern names.  Also, we don't want to cause hurt feelings if one resident's prayer shawl is so much fancier than his or her neighbor's lap blanket.  Consistency seems to work nicely. 

Can we make it in any shape we want?

Again, consistency seems to work.  If someone were to receive a triangle shawl and all the other residents receive a rectangle shawl, it could cause hurt feelings.

Can we use a yarn that isn't listed?

Definitely.  We just ask that you use the weight yarn that we recommend and that the yarn you choose is machine washable and dryable.  Think of this project as something you would be making for your own mother, father, grandparent or friend.  Try to avoid very inexpensive yarns because they likely will not hold up to wash after wash. 

Why don't you want us to use yarn that has a tweed, metallic, or hairy characteristic?

It is hard to resist these types of yarns because they really are beautiful, but the reason we ask that they be avoided is for the safety of the recipients and their fellow residents.  A common mannerism with Alzheimer's patients is the urge to pick at things that don't look like they belong.  Therefore, if a yarn has something shiny, hairy or a "weird" (to them) bump of another color, then it is more likely going to get picked at.  We don't want the blankets to cause undue frustration or anxiousness... we want them to soothe and calm, so this is the reason we ask for you to avoid these yarns.  We do receive them from time to time and Diane keeps them separate from the rest of the items and goes directly to the staff person or caregiver and asks if someone is on hospice or is bedridden because these are the only situations where we feel comfortable giving these away.  If another person who doesn't have that picking urge choose that as their gift and then leaves it on a chair where all their other residents are going to see it, we just don't want this to cause any problems for the resident and staff.  Thank you very much for complying with this request.

Of the yarns listed, which are the least expensive?

This is a tricky question because your local yarn shop can have very affordable priced high quality yarns and they often have nice sales.  Also, the bigger craft stores have some good quality yarn along with some great sales.   

Can I donated yarn to you for your knitters and crocheters to use?

We typically do not accept yarn donations.  Our items take a specific type of yarn - the generalities about weight and wash-ability are listed on our Yarn Suggestions page.  Also, our items take quite a bit of yardage - up to 1600 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Our knitters and crocheters purchase the yarns they enjoying working with, and then make our lap blankets and prayer shawls, and then they send them to us.  We have found that if we receive a yarn donation, it can be tricky, and a bit time consuming, to find someone who might enjoy working with that particular yarn.  Since we are a nonprofit organization, our contributors will receive a tax deduction for the yarn and shipping costs, so it's just easiest for them to choose their own preferred yarn.

Can Alice's Embrace partner with a shop near me?

We love spreading the word about Alice's Embrace and do realize that connecting up with yarns shops is a great way to do this.  As we grow, we hope that there will be partnering yarn shops everywhere.  For now, we have about 30 in the general Northern California and Northern Nevada area.   Take a look here... hopefully, in time, the list will grow.

Where do we send the finished item?

Alice's Embrace,  9762 Silvertrail Lane, Elk Grove, CA 95624

Do I need to keep my receipts for tax deduction purposes?

Yes, the yarn is tax deductible as well as the costs for shipping to send it to us. 

Do I need to give you a total for what my yarn and postage cost me?

No, please just keep records of these items for your tax preparer.

Who will send me a letter for my tax records?

Alice's Embrace will send you an "In Kind" letter in January of each year for your tax records.

Is Alice's Embrace a non-profit organization?

Yes, we are a not for profit organization and we have our 501(c)(3) classification with the IRS.  Our Federal Tax ID number is 47-3287723.

Why do you show just a little pattern swatch instead of the finished item?

We show just the little swatch of the pattern to help get an idea of what the pattern stitch looks like.  As we have been receiving items in the individual patterns, we have been adding new pictures to the patterns.  We feel the small pattern swatch is a quick way to see if that particular pattern appeals to you.  Once you click on the PDF of that pattern, you can typically see it in a completed project.

Who will be getting these items?

We make deliveries to memory care facilities in California and Northern Nevada.  As we grow, we will branch out to more areas.  We realize the need is out there.  This endeavor has just touched on the surface of who will be benefiting from all of our knitters and crocheters hard work.

Do you have a time-frame for when the items are accepted?

No, this is an ongoing effort.  We want to bring as many smiles to as many people as we can.

I have a bunch of items from my grandmother's knitting - can I donate those?

While this is a very kind request, we cannot accept these types of donations.  Not knowing the fiber content or if the item is machine washable and dryable makes it impossible to know if these items would be appropriate.  Plus, with the desire to keep things consistent - this just would not be practical.

I am taking care of my loved one at home, can they receive one of these special gifts?

While most of our focus is making deliveries to memory care facilities, every now and then, we do send a lap blanket or prayer shawl to someone because of the request from a family member.  If you have someone in mind, please contact Diane at tell her about your situation.

Will you be opening Alice's Embrace Chapters in other states?

Right now, we are keeping it more local.  Opening additional chapters would involve quite a bit of work and time, and those are two things that we don't have room to spare right now.  We are still a fairly young organization (website was up and running on January 1, 2014), so we continue to learn new ways to operate in the most efficient manner.  If the day comes when we branch out to other states, we want that transition to be as seamless as possible.  We're not saying never, but we're taking baby steps when it comes to expanding.

Can you send me brochures to distribute to my knitting/crocheting group?

Yes, we have a beautiful brochure that we can send you to pass out to fellow knitters and crocheters.  We also have the PDF available to view/print right here.