Shelia’s Shawls Project 10 years later

Who would ever have dreamed back in 2003 when the Sheila Shawl project was started in honor of Sheila Wellstone that 10 years later we would have distributed over 6000 shawls and scarves to the families of domestic violence and abuse victims.

Renee Youngberg is the Sheila Shawl National Coordinator and she and other coordinators have done an incredible job of keeping this project alive. Contact her at

Learn more about the project at




Thank you messages from those who have received shawls.


I just received the two boxes of shawls that you sent – THANK YOU!!! I feel like I’m swimming in them!

I had a magical day today… I had to take our shelter van to the shop for some service. When I was ready to leave, the cashier looked at my ticket and saw “Women’s Resource Center” and asked me, “Is this for battered women?” I said yes. Then she asked me, “Do you get federal funding that covers this?” I told her that we received some, but we rely mostly on grants and donations. She handed me back the credit card and insisted that she pay for our bill herself, saying that she knew “what its like,” and reached for her purse. She didn’t take no for an answer.

As soon as I got back in the van, I knew I had to go back to the shelter and get her a shawl and bring it right over to her. When I gave it to her she had this look of wonder on her face. It was beautiful. She kept saying, “You didn’t have to do this…”

It was a nice moment.

Hi Janet,
I wanted to let you know that all of the shawls and scarves have been received and they are beautiful! I’m sorry I did not get back to you earlier, but things have been hectic. Two of the shawls went to adult daughters of a woman that was killed in Williamsburg County. Her murderer was convicted last week and sentenced to 40 years. I am in the process of contacting another woman whose daughter was raped and murdered by a neighbor. The neighbor was supposed to be in prison on a violation of probation and a bond error resulted in his release. This happened in the fall of last year and the mother is having a terrible time – particularly because this would not have occurred if the system had worked! I know that a shawl will bring her a little bit of comfort.

I wanted to get a mailing address for you, because I’d like to make a contribution. As a non-profit my organization is not able to do so, but I would like to help with the cost of the shipping – I hope that you will continue to be able to “do what you do” for a long time!


In searching the web for domestic violence issues I met Nancy Rafi in Rhode Island.
There was a link for a FREE shawl on the website. Not knowing how fabulous this was about to be, I asked her to send my mother one and my sister since Mama is living with her at this time in Raleigh, NC.  I went to visit with my younger sister this past Saturday, and was so moved to find that from my interest through emails to Nancy Rafi, that she had three shawls sent (yes, one for me also).  This is truly a comfort to sit with my shawl over my shoulders.  All of us were very thankful and I will be writing to my knitter since she did a splendid job on the one I picked. Hilda Pizzuti is her name, and I feel the love she put in this while she sat and worked.  Just wanted to write you after reading parts of your newsletter today at work.   What wonderful things you are doing.
My youngest sister Danette Streater was murdered by her so-called boyfriend in 1998.
We may never find peace without her. She was one of the kindest, and most precious women anyone could know. Now, we don’t get to grow old with her in our lives.
Sorry this is so long.  I must go, but thanks.

With a loving heart, Debby

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