22 in 12 days

Last week a friend and I were able to volunteer with the YWCA’s Santa Store. It was a good day. In addition to the fun of helping people wrap up and select presents we had a bit of time to visit with some of the staff members.

While it was really encouraging to hear about the good work they are doing, the way their services are available at crucial times, it was also really discouraging to hear a recent stat. Already this month, by December 12th they had served 22 survivors of sexual assault. Yes, you read that right, 22 hospital visits in 12 days.

Back in 2010 when I started volunteering with Threads of Compassion OKC they served an average of 30 people a month. That seemed like a lot. But, to hear that number has increased so significantly sure hurts.

15 years ago I sat with a group of other survivors and listened as we each shared a bit about how we were doing at that time. I remember looking around at others who were like me trying to process their traumatic event and find a way to not feel crazy. It hit me then that I sure wished we did a better job of teaching people not to hurt others. Instead of all of us having to learn how to move forward, it just made sense to teach everyone from a very young age to be respectful of others and to not hurt each other. I know that’s a simplistic view, but really, if each parent, teacher, and other adult that interacts with kiddos intentionally focused on respect and boundaries, if we’d all teach that “no means no” no matter what preceded it, then fewer people would need to do the hard work of healing from assault. Because, there’d be fewer assaults.

So, here I sat 15 years later with tears starting to run down my face as I thought of all that faced these 22 brave survivors that have started a journey to healing. And, I remembered that moment years ago looking around a room of strong women and thinking “why don’t we teach the guys not to do this?”

So, I guess that’s my Christmas wish this year, that each of us will look out for those around us, that we’ll teach our sons and daughters to love one another, that we’ll model and teach respect, that we’ll start in simple ways like when we’re tickling a toddler who laughs out a “stop” we’ll stop. Instead of teaching self-defense to our girls, let’s teach all the kiddos to keep their hands (and other parts) to themselves. Let’s listen to one another and teach each other what respect looks like from the very early days. Let’s let consent be real in every situation and stop the violence. We can do it together.


Threads of Compassion OKC, LuLa Roe Kari Littlejohn, and the OKC YWCA are all working together this month

Last fall I was introduced to LuLa Roe clothing when a friend in Texas started selling it. I purchased a fun pair of leggings and shirt to see what it was all about. I was totally surprised by how comfortable the leggings are. My kiddo was too, she kept wanting to feel them 🙂

Then in February this year a friend who lives just around the corner started her own LuLa Roe business. Shortly after that she shared that she wanted to use her business to give back to the community in some way. So we talked about maybe doing something during April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. She visited with staff at the YWCA and came up with a great plan!

This month we can purchase a pair of leggings and then purchase a 2nd pair at a discount to be donated. The donated ones will be delivered to the YWCA to be distributed to survivors.

So, if you’ve been thinking about checking out what all the excitement is about, maybe this could be a good time for you. Not only can you get yourself a pair, but you can make one available to someone who could really be blessed by it.

You can shop for leggings online. This “shop” is open until the end of April.

Time to train for the 5K/Kiddie K?

I just realized that the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K is just about a month away. So, is that enough time to get ready to run the Kiddie K with my kiddo?

Hmm, I don’t know. Running has never been my favorite thing…way back in high school I decided to be a manager for the tennis team instead of trying out for the softball team when I realized how much they had to run 🙂 Now, that ended up great, lots of my friends were on the tennis team, the coach was great, and I learned a lot about the sport. But the decision was definitely motivated by a desire to not have to run.

After the high school experience came a a college PE class. It was the required one that included running, swimming, and aerobics. The first day of class when we ran around the track and then checked in with the teacher for a heart rate check I was told “when we run the dorm loop you’ll want to be sure to walk some”. Yep, the PE teacher told me to plan on walking. Not long after that I was lapped by a celebrity who was out running on the track during our class. I was at not quite half way around the track when he passed me. So, as you can see, running has just never been my thing.

Last year one of our friends ran the Kiddie K with her before doing her own 5K. Since she’s actually a runner that wasn’t all that big of a deal for her. But, for me, running the Kiddie K would be kind of monumental, because, well, I don’t run. I just don’t.

And, right now it feels like my 5-year old’s legs are almost as long as mine. She has tons more energy and lots less weight, so I’m not sure trying to run the whole thing together is a great or very fair plan.

But, I know that she’d think it was cool if mom ran with her. So, I’m considering it. Like, if I made it over to the Y 3 times a week and started out with walking and ellipticalling (that’s a word, right?) I could work up to being able to “run”with her, maybe?

So, no commitments yet, but I’ll plan on hitting the Y tomorrow and see how it goes from there.

And, you can join us! You can sign up to do the 5K, you can register a kiddo for the Kiddie K, or you can join our team and Snooze for SAAM (that’s the option I really want to do) -you just pay the $20, get a t-shirt and advertise that you were part of the event.

Planning for the YWCA 5K

I just finished registering for the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K and creating our Threads of Compassion OKC team.

This is an event that we’ve participated in since 2010. Some years Morgan and I and Joanna have walked the whole thing together, some years we’ve hung out and visited while others ran and walked, and last year Joanna ran the Kiddie K with a friend.

Though it’s usually windy and often cool, this is an event that I look forward to each year. It’s so encouraging to see so many people gather together to support survivors of sexual assault. We get to visit with people that stop by our booth to say hi, and to say thanks. Each year ladies stop by to let us know that the scarves we are providing are making a difference for survivors. They are an encouragement to them at a traumatic time.

So, if you’re in the OKC area please think about joining our team and hanging out with us the morning of April 22nd. If you’re not in the OKC area, you can still be part of our team -simply choose the “Snooze for SAAM” option on the registration.

If you’re interested in a bit more information, check out the Threads of Compassion OKC site for the info we shared there.

Threads made it into a newspaper!

Chances are if you know much about me you know that I like to crochet and that I’ve been making scarves for Threads of Compassion. An article was just published about our work! You can check it out and learn more about what I’m doing as well as see some of the ladies that have been joining me in this cool work.

When my friend Chellie asked me about doing a story on us for the Christian Chronicle I had no idea what to expect. I think she did an awesome job! It’s so cool to see our group in action, as well as get a bit of perspective from Karla at the YWCA. She really did a great job showing some about the scope of our work.

If you knit or crochet (or want to learn) and live near Edmond, please join us! We always enjoy having more people at our meetings.

Fair fun with Threads

This year, for the first time,  Threads of Compassion OKC  scarf donations were included as a category in the Oklahoma State Fair. It took 3 of us working together with the fair officials to get all the information in on time, but we did it!


It was so cool to see our work on display at the fair last week. Reading the tags on the 36 scarves displayed and realizing that I didn’t know most of them was really neat, too. That showed that by being listed in the fair program more people heard about Threads. What a cool way to spread awareness about it.

This was the first time I entered anything in a fair since I was a kiddo participating in 4-H. Way back when some of my family and I went to a day camp in the summer that included making stuff to enter in the fair. The only thing I can remember seeing displayed is some cookies we made one year. As I remember it, my cousin’s bag of cookies had turned to a mostly liquid form by the time we saw it, not a pretty sight.

And, I’ll admit, seeing a ribbon on my knitted scarf was kind of amazing, it was the first scarf I’d knitted and I really didn’t expect it to be worthy of an award, I just did it because I could and I wasn’t sure we’d have many submissions so I figured the more I could do the better.

So, while the reason for the scarves continues to be heartbreaking, the fun of working with others to offer support continues to be an encouragement. I’m hopeful that we can do this again next year, and that someday the violence will end and we’ll have to find another charity to donate to because Threads won’t be needed anymore. Until then, we’d love to have you join us if you can.


Started my scarf for the fair


Awhile back I wrote about the opportunity to enter scarves in the Oklahoma State Fair for Threads of Compassion.

Though most of my needlecraft experience is with crocheting, I decided to give knitting a try for this project. Each contestant can enter a knitted and a crocheted scarf so I’m trying to do both.

Knitting takes me way longer than crocheting, but I’m hoping to finish this one in time to crochet one too 🙂


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Registration opened today, and I’m proud to say I have registered to enter a knitted scarf!


If you live in OK and knit or crochet you can join me in this cool project. Just register on the OK State Fair’s site and then select Creative Arts as the Department, Threads of Compassion as the Division, and then knitted or crocheted as the class.

It would be pretty neat to have lots of entries for Threads of Compassion in the fair this year!


Crocheting for the fair

I have a new thing to be excited about! I’m planning to enter a scarf in the Oklahoma State Fair Creative Arts Competition. This is the first year that exhibitors can submit a scarf to be donated to Threads of Compassion OKC.

I get to make a scarf for Threads, have it displayed at the fair, bring home a ribbon, and have the scarf donated at the end. So cool!!

Now, the tough part is deciding what to make. I can register online starting July 1st and then drop off the scarf September 10th and 11th. So, I have plenty of time, and too many ideas of fun colors and patterns.

I have vague memories of entering items in a fair when I was a kiddo. I’m guessing it was the county fair, but it could have been the state fair. As I recall it was cookies I made at 4-H camp down the street from my Grandma’s house. I believe I got some type of ribbon (which is probably still in my Dad’s garage with all the other stuff I should have sorted out by now). I’m pretty excited about working on this new submission and picking up a long-time tradition of submitting things to the fair.

You can also see the post I wrote about this over at the Threads blog 🙂

If you’re living in Oklahoma and can knit or crochet I hope you’ll join me.

She ran the whole way!

We had a great time participating in the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K again this year!

Last year Joanna was registered for the Kiddie K, but after starting she turned around and ran back to us, tears streaming down her face. The problem was that there were 2 mascots cheering on the kiddos, they had to run past them to start the race. That was just too much for our 3-year-old to do. She turned and sought comfort from us. This year she said she wanted to run. She remembered last year and said that she wouldn’t be afraid this year. So we signed her up and planned on having a grown-up friend run with her.

Here she is about to start, a bit bummed because our friend didn’t make it, but still willing to run. She was willing to run with dad (who came not planning to run) but wasn’t too happy about it. For weeks she’d been telling us how excited she was to run with our friend. IMG_20160416_075821

Just after this picture another friend arrived. She was scheduled to run the 5K but was there before the Kiddie K and was willing to run with Joanna prior to her race. As you can see, this prospect brightened things up for our girl 🙂


When they got back we had one proud girl! She very happily told us “I ran the whole way, I didn’t walk at all!” She was rightfully proud of her running accomplishment.

Just a few more pictures from the race:

I love that we have friends who are willing to spend their Saturday morning joining us in supporting the YWCA’s event. It’s a bright spot in the midst of reminders of the horror that is the reality of sexual assault.

This year 3 friends joined us – 2 running the race and 1 snoozing at home. And, one friend’s whole family was there, her kiddos played with Joanna while she ran and her husband and family dog hung out with them at the playground. What a blessing to be surrounded by people who take time out to support me and this event!

I wrote a bit about the experience for our Threads blog too. http://www.threadsokc.org/they-did-it/