Twentycoats Wreath Creations……2014

10580759_1524928827720656_4286286043348015739_oI wanted to close out 2014 with an update on Twentycoats Wreath Creations, a status on the scholarship endowments and share my wreaths from 2014 that made it all happen!

First, due to our move in October, I wasn’t able to make any Fall/Halloween wreaths or go to the two Sami craft shows that I was planning on attending.  Christmas was focused on making custom orders but with having craft supplies at the house, at my storage unit in Georgetown and Harker Heights, it was challenging, but I was able to make it all come together!

The great news is that I now have a permanent wreath/craft cave space at our new house that will go through a transformation in the spring that I can’t wait to show you when it is finished!  The majority of my craft supplies will be at a storage unit that is right around the corner from our house!

As you may remember I decided to start the accounts for the scholarship endowments in September 2013.  By the end of 2013 (4 months), with some ‘seed’ money to start the process from John and I, we ended 2013 with close to $6,000 in both scholarship accounts!  John and I funded the $1,000 scholarship award at Salado HS in the spring of 2014 for the 1st Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy Scholarship.

So, as we bring 2014 to a close, I am thrilled to share that Twentycoats Wreath Creations has contributed $5,360 the full sale price of the 62 wreaths to Elizabeth’s scholarship endowment fund!  Which brings Elizabeth’s Methodist Children’s Home Scholarship endowment account to $13,300 and the Salado HS endowment account close to $2,000 (I don’t have an exact amount at this posting) and awarding a $1,000 scholarship at Salado HS!   So, even with the move and not being able to make holiday wreaths, God has blessed this endeavor with a passion in my heart and our $2,000 seed that we planted.  Thank you God for placing this passion and keeping me moving forward!  John calls Twentycoats my ministry.  I like that.  I hope it has ministered to others and for years to come as they hear the story of Twentycoats.

I am excited that we are over half way to endowing Elizabeth’s scholarship!  $11,700 left to go!

So, what are my goals for Twentycoats Wreath Creations in 2015?

1. Fully fund Elizabeth’s scholarship endowment

2.  Focus on raising money for the Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Salado HS scholarship.

3.  John and I look forward to funding the Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Dowdy Salado HS $1,000 scholarship for 2015.

4.  Enter the CRAFT/TRADE show scene!

I also am touched and honored by those that have sent in memorial contributions to honor Elizabeth and the boys without a wreath purchase.   Thank you for joining me in being part of something that is bigger than ourselves and to make a difference.  My heart is full.  This is proof what we can do together.

Lastly, I was so blessed in 2014 to make numerous memorial wreaths to honor loved ones.  To be included in such a private and special place with others is such an honor and blessing.  I love making all my wreaths, but there is a special place in my heart when I am asked to do a memorial wreath.  I want them to evoke wonderful memories of their loved ones and to honor their legacy and how their spirit lives on in us and we are better people for knowing them.  So, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your families in this way.

Words don’t describe my heart when I say that I appreciate your support of Twentycoats Wreath Creations!  I am looking forward to 2015!

To re-cap the year, here is a video of 2014…….

To Him who is worthy, all honor and glory is yours…….

Julie

Twentycoats Wreath Creations…….2013

IMG_0903As many of you may or may not know, I purchased Elizabeth’s website domain www.twentycoats.com.  I wasn’t sure what if anything I was going to do with it, I just knew I didn’t want anyone else to re-purpose the URL site or name.  In August, when I decided to start a scholarship fund and decided to auction off Elizabeth’s Easter wreath to start her scholarship, I also received an order to recreate her 1 year anniversary wreath for a dear friend in Salado.  That’s when God showed me the way and what I was going to do with her business name and how I would raise money for her scholarship at Methodist Children’s Home and the boys scholarship at Salado High.  I was going to do it by selling wreaths one creation at a time!

As we close 2013, I wanted to take the time to reflect on my wreath creations and sales/contributions for 2013.  I have been very blessed in the last four months!   Due to the generosity and support, I have contributed  $8,000 dollars between Elizabeth’s scholarship fund at the Methodist Children’s Home and Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes’ scholarship fund at Salado High School!

If you purchased a wreath from Twentycoats Wreath Creations, I want you to know that I prayed over each wreath that I created, delivered, and shipped.  I prayed that God would bless your homes in a mighty way!  I also sent these wreaths knowing there is a part of my daughter and grandsons memory adorning your homes during the Christmas season, everyday, and for those special moments in your life!  As I told many of you when I delivered your wreath and many of you knew Elizabeth and the boys………..my prayer is that you have a wonderful reminder in your home of her amazing spirit and may it bring you joy!  And when you look at your wreath or take it out and hang it for another season, my hope is that you will remember my little girl and three amazing little boys and may it give you an opportunity to share her story with others.

I also collect pictures of the wreaths hanging on their new owners door.  These pictures are such a blessing to me.  These pictures allow me to see my wreath creation placed in your home and knowing there is a part of my daughter and grandsons story all over the State of Texas!

I am looking forward to 2014 as I continue to build a legacy!

Therefore, I wanted to catalog the wreaths that I sold in 2013 and to that end I created a video.  The song that I chose is titled “Mountains” by the group Lonestar.  I chose this song, because when I was in Connecticut in 2006, Elizabeth called me one day and told me that I needed to listen to this song.  When I asked her why, she told me:  “Because this song reminds me of you Mom!”  I still to this day remember that fall day in Connecticut when it came on the radio and I pulled the car over to the shoulder and heard the song for the first time and the tears began to flow.  You see, as a single mom, that quit college and returned 25 years later to finish, who purchased her first home on her own and established a career past her prime, my youngest daughter understood the significance of all of that.  And so, 7 years later when I have a tough day, I listen to this song and it encourages me because of the message but also because my daughter associated it with me.  It speaks volumes to me in these days past July 30, 2012 and her homegoing.  So, in honor of that special memory, I have selected that song for this video.

Please click on the video below and see all the wreaths I sold that contributed to their scholarship fund in 2013:

Secondly, I created many wreaths as gifts, donations for ministries, schools, etc. along with the memorial wreaths I created for Elizabeth and the boys at their resting place in Salado.    I have also created a video to catalog those wreath creations.  Please click and see the memorial wreaths and wreaths I made as gifts:

Lastly, I am humbled at the support for Twentycoats Wreath Creations and I am looking forward to continuing this success in 2014.  To those that have sent contributions to their scholarship funds without a wreath purchase, gave more money than the price of the wreath, my heart is full of blessings and gratitude!

Julie

Keeper of her legacy…….The Christi Center

Christicenter tree groveThe Christi Center is an Austin organization that began 25 years ago.  The story of the Christi Center is also a story of bereaved parents and the loss of a child.  According to the website www.fortheloveofchristi.org  they share the following:

“When 20-year old Christi Lanahan was tragically killed by a drunk driver in 1985, life was permanently altered in an instant for her mom and stepdad, Susan and Don Cox.  In a state of shock and consumed with grief, they found few community resources to support grieving families. Drowning in grief and facing great personal and marital challenges, the Coxes (along with Christi’s brother, Sean) decided to reach out to others instead of retreating.

On the two-year anniversary of Christi’s death, they founded nonprofit “For the Love of Christi”, with a mission to provide free, ongoing grief support to Central Texans who have experienced a loss of a loved one, regardless of circumstances.  Recently re-branded as The Christi Center, the organization provides peer-based support groups information/referral, outreach and education on grief issues, and limited individual counseling.

At the heart of the organization is the Center’s peer-based grief support group model, which “normalizes” the grief experience by connecting the bereaved with others who have experienced losses of a similar nature, showing them that a “new normal” is possible after loss.  The Center serves children, teens, and adults, and is constantly conducting outreach to better meet the needs of grieving people.

In 1993, we began partnering with Austin Independent School District (AISD) schools to serve children on site-at schools.  In 2010, we opened a satellite office in Williamson County at the Georgetown Community Resource Center. We offer groups for children (ages 5-12), teens (13-18), loss of a child, loss of a spouse, adult general loss, men’s/women’s groups, loss to suicide, and loss to violent crime.

We have a 25-year legacy of providing love, hope, comfort and support to people of all ages in a warm and welcoming environment. Many who come here say that we saved their lives, and stay with us for years as volunteers and donors, becoming part of our Christi Center “family”.  Although we come together out of sadness, the Center breeds friendship and hope for a new life after loss.  We’re always here for you.”

One of the activities that The Christi Center does to remember loved ones is the Memorial Tree Grove Dedication. The Christi Center has planted a total of 954 memorial trees at Lady Bird Lake  in Austin from 1991-2000 and Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock from 2001-present. The tree groves are a living memorial to loved ones, and many families gather there to reflect, picnic, and enjoy the restorative powers of nature.  The next tree grove planting is scheduled for October 19, 2013 at Old Settler’s Park.

I am excited to announce that as a memorial to Elizabeth, Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes, I am having a tree planted in their honor.  I wanted to do something in Round Rock for the time that Lizz lived with me and the two years that she spent at Stony Point High School.    The Round Rock forestry department will plant the trees at Old Settler’s Park and will maintain them in perpetuity.  They will place a plaque with their names:  “ELIZABETH A., FISCHER P., BENJAMIN S., & HAYES W. DOWDY”.  Once I know the location of where their tree is planted I will let you know in case you are in the area.  There will be a dedication ceremony on October 19th, and I am looking forward to sitting under their tree on special days (i.e. birthdays) or a wonderful Texas sunrise/sunset and will watch for butterflies, lizards or perhaps a rainbow sometime?  I will be sure and update the blog post with pictures of their tree after the 19th!

Beautiful park

Until next time!

Julie

Keeper of her Legacy…….a scholarship for Elizabeth Anne Herro Dowdy

mchlogoI announced in a previous post that John and I have started a scholarship at Salado High School, the “Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes Memorial Scholarship” to begin in the Spring of 2014.  Well, today, in honor of my daughter, I am thrilled to announce we are creating a scholarship in honor of my daughter, Elizabeth Anne Herro Dowdy through the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco which will also begin in the Spring of 2014.

We started partnering with the Methodist Children’s Home several years ago when my family stopped purchasing Christmas gifts for each other.  When we selected our respective charities to honor our family and loved ones, Elizabeth chose the Methodist Children’s Home.  When July 30, 2012 happened,   Sam wanted to have donations sent to the Methodist Children’s Home in her memory.  The generosity to honor Elizabeth, Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes meant charitable donations over $10,000!  Because this was Elizabeth’s selected charity, it just made sense that a scholarship for those students that reside at the home would be a perfect tribute to honor her!

Elizabeth had dreams of going to the Aveda institute to complete their program on cosmetology and esthiology once the boys were in school.  Elizabeth had already attended massage school in high school and after attending the Aveda Institute she had hopes of having a spa/salon on Main St. in Salado.   I always told her that after I retired, I would come work for her and answer phones, do the bills and other office tasks.    Oh how Elizabeth could dream!  I loved that about her.  Her dreams were always big and large!  I have no doubt that her dream has come true in heaven and she has the spa of her dreams!

Therefore, I feel this is a wonderful way to honor Elizabeth and help some graduating seniors at the Methodist Children’s Home.  The requirements of this scholarship are that they are a MCH resident that wants to attend a post secondary program.  This scholarship could be to attend a college/university or to attend a trade school similar to Elizabeth’s dream of attending cosmetology school.

If you woud like to participate in creating a legacy and honoring Elizabeth’s memory I would like you to consider contributing to her scholarship fund.  You can do so by mailing your check to:

Methodist Children’s Home

1111 Herring Ave

Waco, TX  76708

Attn:  Trey Oakley

Be sure and put “Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship” in the memo line.

Your scholarship donation is tax deductible.  I hope you consider this opportunity as you consider your charitable giving and end of year giving.

I will keep you updated on the status of the scholarship as we progress.  I hope to have some fund raising events in the future.  I will also donate funds that I receive from my wreaths that I make for others.

Until next time,

Julie

Elizabeth makeup

Elizabeth applying make-up to a bride.