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Purple ribbons at an event for Susan

This week marks the 3-year disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. In Washington, we will be dedicating a beautiful angel statue at the graves of Charlie and Braden.

Utah will also have events to remember and honor Susan.

On Tuesday, December 11, we will be meeting at the Hunter Library in West Valley City from 6-30-8:30 p.m. We will be making purple ribbons to give away and we will collect donations for the Christmas Box House, a wonderful organization that gives a temporary home to abused and neglected children, from babies to 18-year-olds. They have many needs for the children they help. (Here is a list of their current needs.)

We invite everyone to join us at the library that evening. Please stop by and drop off a donation. Anything helps, no matter how small! Please note: the Christmas Box House requests NEW items only, and they currently do not need any blankets, gloves, hats, scarves, stuffed animals, or books. But they have many other needs for children, including clothes, art supplies, gift cards, and more. Even if you don’t have a donation, come visit with us and help us make some ribbons.

Event information

Where: Hunter Library, 4740 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah

When: Tuesday, December 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

What: Please bring donations for the Christmas Box House, and stay to help us make purple ribbons to remember Susan and her boys.

If you can’t make it on December 11, here is a list of needs for the Ogden and Utah Valley locations of the Christmas Box House.

We hope to see many of you there!

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Plans have been in the works for months for a Christmas Box angel statue to be placed at the gravesite of Charlie and Braden Powell. This week the Puyallup City Council approved the plan, and construction at the boys’ grave is now going forward.

We hope the statue’s installation will be finished by December 6. This will be exactly three years since Susan disappeared, and it’s also the date nationwide when candlelight vigils are held at all Christmas Box angel statues.

Here is a photo of the beautiful gravestone that was recently placed at Charlie and Braden’s grave:

Charlie and Braden gravestone by Cecil Daily on FB 
Photo courtesy of Cecil Daily

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To friends and supporters of Susan and her family,

Next week it will be two years since December 6, 2009—the day that Susan Cox Powell was taken from her home, her family, and all those she loves and cares about.

The past two years have been a terrible ordeal of grief and heartbreak, but we have not given up hope: we know the police are doing everything they can. We believe they will find her and find the answers we all so desperately need.

But they’ve also brought surprising blessings. We have seen Susan’s life touch the hearts of many thousands of people all over the world. We’ve been the recipients of so much love, so much prayer, so many kind thoughts and wishes. We are so grateful for every person who has spread the word of Susan’s disappearance in any way, whether online or in person. The outpouring of support has helped us keep going.

Now that Susan’s beloved little boys are finally in a safe and stable environment, many people have asked what they can do to help her boys. The boys’ needs are being taken care of, but there are so many other children in need of help.

We know Susan always loved to serve and help others and she especially loved children. We’ve chosen to remember her in Utah at this 2-year anniversary by making donations to the Christmas Box House and the adjacent Group Homes for teens. This wonderful organization takes care of children who are in protective custody of the state, just as Susan’s boys were last month. Please see their website for more information about this organization.

We will be gathering donations for the Christmas Box House and group homes this Monday, December 5, from 7pm-8:30pm in the meeting room at Hunter Library in West Valley City (4740 West 4100 South).

Donated items must be NEW; donation needs include the following:

* clothing
* blankets
* toys
* games
* stuffed animals
craft kits and art supplies
* books
* hygiene products
* gift cards for community activities (movie passes, Lagoon tickets, fast food, etc.)
* gift cards to stores like Target or WalMart are very useful so items can be purchased as needed

Please see this link for a complete and detailed list of needs for the Christmas Box House.

Older children also in state protective custody are in need of many items, as well.  Here are links to donation needs for Salt Lake County Youth Services and their Christmas Wish List.

If you don’t live near Salt Lake City or can’t make it on Monday, but would like to donate, the Christmas Box House has a place to make online financial donations

They also accept donations at these locations:

Salt Lake City:
3660 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Ogden, Utah:
1181 Christmas Box Lane (950 E.)
Ogden, UT 84404

Moab, Utah:
180 South 300 East
Moab, UT 84532

You could also find an organization or shelter in your own local area and donate things to help others, in Susan’s honor.

Susan has a loving and compassionate heart and she would love to participate in a cause like this, if she were still here.  Please join us in helping other children and honoring Susan as we serve others.

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Susan’s 29th Birthday

Saturday, October 16, will be Susan Cox Powell’s 29th birthday.  We will be celebrating her birthday with two events—balloon releases in both West Valley City, Utah, and Susan’s hometown in Puyallup, Washington.

The West Valley event will be at 11 a.m. at West View Park on the corner of 4100 South and 6000 West. 

The Puyallup, Washington event will be concurrently at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on the field adjacent to 14916 114th Ave Ct. E.  

We will be releasing purple latex balloons, talking, and celebrating Susan in a fun way that she would enjoy.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.  If you don’t live in either of these areas, please send up a balloon or say a prayer for Susan wherever you live in the world—and send us a picture. 

   

Picture collage courtesy of Quail Feathers; photo by Chuck Cox

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On June 26 about 30 volunteers gathered at the Simpson Springs command post in Utah’s west desert to search for Susan.

Chris Willden, director of Strategic Tactical Group, led and organized the search.  Several K9 teams lent their expertise and talented dogs and this time, professional mine exploration teams also joined the search.

The main group of searchers concentrated where they’d left off in the April 10 search around Simpson Springs, while a smaller group including the mine explorers went about 25 miles farther away.  You can see a video of the mine exploration here.

Though the teams didn’t find Susan, they did find a couple of significant things.  Here’s what Chris Willden had to say at the conclusion of the search:

“I just wanted to express my personal THANKS and GRATITUDE to everyone who attended the search on Saturday. A LOT of ground was covered and a couple items of interest were emailed to Tooele County Sheriff’s office.  Three flat tires total (thanks to donations we had plug kits and were able to repair them and inflate them… so they could either continue searching or get to a service station and get them repaired), LOTS of water drunk and taken home, NO INJURIES, Munchies all eaten, more friends made, LOTS of effort put out by everyone, K-9’s worked longer than anticipated (Family Search and Rescue), Medics were bored (that’s good), and we estimate about 25-30 miles covered in the West Desert. Thank you again!”

Chris is now asking for ideas/suggestions about where to search next.

This article has a really good summary of the search (and slideshow of search pictures), with quotes from those involved, including Josh Powell’s brother-in-law, Kirk Graves.

The search efforts haven’t stopped, and won’t stop until Susan is found.

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Susan learned the rudimentary basics of crochet from a former co-worker at Fidelity Investments, her first stockbroker job.  She made herself a multicolored scarf and wore it a lot before she made other things.

I remember one day, a few months after I met her, when she told me she was learning to crochet and was having problems with it.  I helped her with her project and that was the start of hundreds of hours of crocheting fun for us—talking, laughing, and watching movies together as we crocheted. 

She loved to crochet and spent many, many hours making baby blankets for friends, fellow church members, or co-workers.  When she was invited to baby showers she liked to take handmade gifts to show her love and friendship.  She invented her own patterns for hats and made one for each of her boys.

When she disappeared, she was working on a blanket for Braden, her youngest son.  It was yellow and orange and she was making it quite big so he could have it for many years.  One of the yarns for this blanket tangled easily and that’s why Susan invited her friend JoVonna over to her house the afternoon of Sunday, December 6, 2009.  She knew JoVonna was an expert yarn de-tangler and she wanted JoVonna’s help with the knotted yarn so Susan could continue making Braden’s blanket. 

JoVonna was the last person (besides Josh) to see Susan. 

One thing Susan made several years ago was a long stuffed toy snake.  She had been instrumental in helping me figure out how to make the same snake years before, when I was new to following crochet patterns and had never made anything round before.  (She hadn’t, either, but we both read the pattern and somehow figured it out together.)

It appears the pattern we used for our snakes is no longer on the web, but here are many similar crocheted snake patterns.

The now-defunct pattern featured this picture:

From the currently non-working Yarncat.com

Susan’s snake looked quite similar to that, but I can’t remember the exact colorway of yarn she used. 

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail Susan sent me about finishing this snake:

Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:00 AM

“Finished the snake and even added my own version of a tail, I chained 2 and went back over it, it was my dad’s idea.  Charlie loved playing with it and pulling the tongue.  I’m contemplating making one for him but adding some type of bendy thing as I stuff it so that it will keep a shape. What do you think?”

I made this scarf as a birthday gift for Susan a couple of years ago.  She wore it all winter long.  I didn’t even know at the time that I’d chosen her favorite colors, either.

I didn’t see this scarf when I was packing up Susan’s clothes when Josh took everything and moved to Washington.  If I had, I would’ve asked Josh if I could have it.  I can picture Susan so easily with her sweet smile and her scarf around her neck.

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