March 2023 Newsletter

The latest in our series on

The People of the Park…


By Dale Dauten

You gotta love that name, “Crafty Ladies.”

And, as we recently learned again, you gotta love their work, too.

Here at The Resorter, we recently got an email from one of the city’s most respected non-profits, New Leaf. They are a major force for good in the Valley, combating homelessness and domestic violence. Their CEO, Michael Hughes, wanted to publicly acknowledge all that the Crafty Ladies had done to support them, even offering to buy ad space to offer thanks. We are, of course, happy to pass along his comments right here:

“The Crafty Ladies of The Resort have always been incredible stewards of their community, donating time, effort, and money to help their neighbors experiencing homelessness. Their support of A New Leaf over the past 25 years has helped thousands of families overcome homelessness at shelters across the East Valley. A New Leaf is deeply thankful to this group of women.


“Every time we have asked them for help, they have gone above and beyond. Several years ago they were contributing about $500 and quilts for the homeless. With a little leadership, some hard work, and contributions from generous residents, this group is now giving close to $8,000 a year – in addition to hundreds of quilts, donations of food, and more. The Crafty Ladies, and the residents of The Resort community as a whole, are some of the kindest people we have ever met.


“Most recently A New Leaf’s shelters were running short on fresh pillows and the Crafty Ladies bought out every Target and Walmart in the area, donating nearly 100 pillows for families facing homelessness. This quick and decisive action changes countless lives, and helps make a homeless shelter feel like home. To everyone at The Resort, and to the Crafty Ladies especially, thank you for making our community a better place to live!” Michael Hughes, CEO


“Some of the kindest people we have ever met.” Nice, right? Specifically, the Crafty Ladies have adopted La Mesita as the focus of their giving, a place where homeless families can stay till they find permanent housing. New Leaf has created what amounts to an apartment complex for homeless families.

(There’s a 90-second video on La Mesita here:

So we asked Crafty Lady Liz Milner to tell us more about the club. She started by praising the spirit of the park, saying, “Our residents are just beautiful. They keep giving to us to give to the homeless.” A recent example is the one mentioned by the CEO of New Leaf, the pillows. We asked Liz to tell us more:

“We got a message from Bridget – she’s our contact at La Mesita – and she said they had a shortage of pillows. That’s because, when residents leave, they take the pillows they’ve been using with them. So we jumped in. Walmart had some nice pillows and we ran them out of stock. We went to store after store and then we ordered online.” Liz laughed at the memory of their shopping days, recalling, “We had so many pillows in our carts that people in the stores made comments. They’d ask, ‘Are you having a sleepover?’ One woman said, serious as could be, ‘Are you having a pillow fight?’ And you should have seen our cars when we were set to deliver them; they were plumb full.”

(Below is a photo from the pillow delivery. Crafty Ladies Anita Duncan on the left and Liz Milner is on the right. Between them is Bridget Talty of New Leaf.)

Although the pillows were delivered to La Mesita, many were later re-distributed to other New Leaf facilities (like the East Valley Men’s Center, a converted bowling alley that houses dozens of homeless men), extending the reach of the Ladies’ efforts.


As for the Crafty Ladies club, Liz told us that they have about 30 members and meet every Monday and Friday from 1-3PM. When we asked if they needed more members/volunteers, Liz answered brightly, “The door is open. Come on in and tie quilts. Or, bring your own craft items.” She went on to explain, “There are two sides to the room – we have people who tie quilts and then there’s other side, with all the other crafts.” She added, “It’s fun to be able to do for those who need help, but we also get to meet more people from the park and make new acquaintances.”

Another avenue of the Crafty Ladies’ giving is raising money via craft sales, and that also includes a bake sale. The next sale day is paired with the car show coming up this month. We asked Liz what people might find to buy at the sale: “People can get quilts for a $150 donation. We’ll have 30 to 35 to choose from. We’ll also have handmade articles, like table runners and hand towels with crochet. And then at the bake sale we’ll have fudge and cookies and banana bread. And there will be caramel corn – it goes like crazy.”

Below is a photo from a recent meeting, showing some of the Ladies whose work you’ll see at the Craft Fair.

We conclude with Liz reflecting back on her 14 years volunteering with The Resort’s Crafty Ladies and summarizing for us how the group thinks about their work:

“We are standing by to help with whatever needs they have. Our attitude is ‘ask and it’s done.’”