The Unstoppable Sylvia Saffell

by Kelli Nemec


Move over, Marie Kondo, and make way for Sylvia Saffell’s organizational skills! We’re so fortunate to have Sylvia serving on the Board of Directors for AZ Blankets 4 Kids. After a few years hiatus, she has rejoined the Board and serves as part of our Distribution Team. In prior years she organized many of our printed materials, including our incredible library of patterns (click the Patterns tab on our menu bar), as well as the original guide book we use to keep the business matters of our organization on track.

Where the KonMari method of organization may have you get rid of physical items that do not bring joy, I suspect the SaffSyl method would infuse those items with her own spark of joy. Sylvia hasn’t suffered boredom during her time at home these past months. She’s been keeping busy! A typical day has her alternating between making masks (many for Mesa PD) and finishing blankets. At the time of this writing, she has over 600 blankets ready for when our agencies call us back to action.



As you may know, AZ Blankets 4 Kids is an all volunteer organization, with no brick and mortar headquarters. All of our blankets reach recipients because of the efforts of our Distribution Team. They are tasked with picking up blankets from all sources (drop-off locations, quilting groups, sewing bees, etc.), processing the blankets (sort by size, check for sturdy construction, ensure each blanket has a label), and finally delivering the blankets to our recipient agencies. As you can see by the photos, this takes time, space, reliable transportation, and unwavering dedication.

We’re all looking forward to the day we can meet, and chat, and hug, and make blankets together again. Until then, we hope this inspires you to keep calm and sew on, the Sylvia Saffell way! If you are making blankets for us while you stay safe at home, please continue to save them for us. We will let you know when we can resume our blanket pick-ups and get them into the hands of our kiddos once again.

Thank you!



  1. Thank you for all you do and for sharing with us. A lot of people don’t know what goes on behind the scene and all the
    additional work that must be done. I do some of this same work for our group here in Puyallup Washington. Unfortunately we are going out of business as we can’t find anyone to lead the group. I can’t do it as I was in the hospital for 2 months at the beginning of the year and am still on a walker. I haven’t even been able to sew since then. Have neuropathy on 3 fingers so it is a little dangerous to get the sewing machine going again. Keep up the good work!

    • Rilla, you are absolutely correct (and you understand). We have 30 sewing grouos, our own quilting bees, many volunteers, Board members and a Distribution Team of wonderful ladies–together we made and distributed 8,662 quilts to agencies in the last fiscal year. It is a team effort! So sorry to hear of your health issues and that your group cannot continue. You might want to check out Project Linus—perhaps they would accept all the quilts-in-progress, finished quilts and materials that your group has. and they have local chapters everywhere. If your group cannot continue, it can live on through giving to the local Project Linus group. Hope this helps. Stay safe and be well!

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