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October's 2012 Chapter in Spotlight
Sue Ocha's Santa Monica
Samantha DeMato
    In addition to making Huggable Octopi, Sue Ocha’s chapter of Binky Patrol makes chemo caps, baby hats, fleece blankets, ponchos, picture frames, and 9x9 inch squares.  Her chapter located in Santa Monica, California, has been around since 2000, and meets on the last Sunday of every month at volunteer Sara Lewis’ home.  She became involved with Binky Patrol in 2000 when she had originally been making burial items for a group in Iowa for premature babies.  Along with that being very sad, so she wanted to find something else to do.  Sue did a search online and came up with Binky patrol, which is how she began. A local group, called One Brick that volunteers regularly, is the main volunteer base for Sue and her chapter. One Brick, had started the idea of making Japanese Yarn Octopi without any removable parts. Around eight to sixteen people normally come to volunteer and make blankets, octopi, as well as other items.  They are very versatile, hardworking people!
    Some places they donate to are: Baby to Baby, and Centro Medico MacArthur Park, which has regular monthly baby showers for excepting mothers in need, and gives them gift baskets with items from local donors, including Binky patrol’s Santa Monica chapter.
    A-Major-KnitWork has included Sue’s chapter on their website, and generously donates yarn, needles, and time committed to helping make and put together 9x9 inch squares into 36 inch and bigger blankets.  Another donor of theirs is Yarns Unlimited.  Both donors can be found on Sue’s chapter website, located at:
    Ocha had been buying fleece originally for her chapter with money from her own pocket, without any chapter funds.  Until she stopped buying fleece, One Brick had been making wonderful polar fleece blankets for the agencies and organizations her chapter serves.  However, she has since taught them how to knit which, the One Brick volunteers were very delighted to learn.  Some of them had already known how since they were little, whereas the rest just wanted to learn how to knit.  Ocha has been  able to get supplies such as yarn and knitting  needles donated to her chapter for this very purpose of teaching people how to knit.  She had taught children how to knit before, but never older groups.
      In 2006, the Santa Monica chapter had been awarded with the G. Gene Parks, M.D. Community Volunteer Service Award.  This award is only given once a year to whomever serves Westside Family Health Center the most that year, in a unique way.  They delivered many baby hats and blankets to the Westside Family Health Center that year. “We've also received a commendation from the State of California and County & City of Los Angeles for a mega delivery we made to King-Drew Hospital at Christmas. I organized four chapters to join for this delivery: Santa Monica, Palos Verdes-Torrance, Lawndale and Calabasas.  We went through the hospital and handed out binkies and toys to ALL the pediatric patients, and then went to the E.R. to hand out the rest!”, says Sue, on an award given in 2004.

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Composed: 10-02 | Modified: 01-22
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