Just One Will Do …

We all love getting snail mail.  Packages, handwritten letters, cards, surprises from our loved ones, so why not give someone else the opportunity to experience that same pleasure?  Someone who by all accounts may not get any packages, at any time.   What am I talking about you ask?  I’m talking about Foster Care To Success and their Red Scarf Project.

You’re probably getting tired of hearing me talk about the news, but I can’t help it.  More and more as it unfolds, we hear of the under-funding and de-funding of social/human services, arts and humanities, science driven programs, lunch programs and it breaks my heart.  As someone who has worked in the social services industry for the last 15 years and understands how much these vital services mean to those who utilize them, it pains me to see that the new government administration thinks so little of the services, the providers and most importantly, those who need them.   I’m not rich, so I can’t provide any kind of endowment, but I have sticks, hooks, yarn and caring in my arsenal and I know you do too.  So what does this have to do with the Red Scarf Project?  Let me tell you.

The project is aimed at providing red scarves for young adults in foster care who instead of just aging out of the system  have decided to go to college.  These scarves are part of their Valentine’s day care package.  If you have sticks, hooks, a loom and red yarn (or some shade of red yarn), you’re already equipped to help.  All that’s required is that you make a scarf 60 inches long, 5 to 8 inches wide.  That’s it!  Cards of encouragement, gift cards, other little tokens are appreciated but totally optional.   According to the website, in the first year of the project, they sent out 25,000 scarves.  That means 25,000 foster care students received a care package in the mail.  That’s a whole lot of scarves and a whole lot of love but we need to keep it going.

The details of the project are here including where to mail the scarves to.  They are to be sent in between Sept 1 and December 15, so crafters, we have a few months to get some done with the same determination and precision we got those p&ssy hats done.

I’m usually very cautious in recommending charity organizations publicly because some of them are poorly run with some non profit execs being just as unscrupulous as the corporate ones.  However the stats, especially regarding spending and transparency of Foster Care To Success on Charity Navigator makes my non-profit loving heart happy.

I’m not asking you to do a whole lot of scarves, all you need to do is just one.  ❤

Are you in?!!!!

We Marched … Now We Get To Work!!!

I think by now, unless you live somewhere without a t.v. or newspaper, everyone has heard of the P*ssyhat project and the Womens March 2017.  I made 4 hats for the march and am still making for anyone who asks me for one.

This time two Saturdays ago (January 21st 2017), I was making my way home, euphoric and just plain overwhelmed with all the feels at the fact that 300,000 marchers instead of the expected 75,000 showed up in NYC and were able to make their choices clear, without division, without anarchy, without a single person getting arrested.  No one got arrested, even when my crew and I jumped police barricades to get to 5th Avenue. 😉 According to reports, 4 million people turned up worldwide to make their “no to hate, no to racism, no to xenophobia, no to inequality, no to taking away people’s individual choices, no to division” agenda known.  Statistics show it was the largest protest march in the history of the US to date.  The idea of strength in numbers was made absolutely real to me that day.  What was even more heartwarming was that there were more pro-inclusion, pro-love signs than there were anti-government.  That said to me what was in people’s hearts and the knowledge strengthened me.  The sea of pink hats have now become the symbol of resistance.

me and my merry band of pro-love, pro-inclusion, pro-diversity warriors

Post march, the lines have been drawn and both sides are hard at it.  I’m not going to rehash what has been dished out to U.S citizens and the world in the last two weeks but I will say that those on the side of fairness, being just, being inclusive, being loving  have a hard fight ahead of us.  I keep telling anyone who will listen, the animal kingdom got it right — they fully understand that what’s good for the group is good for each individual unit.  If they can get it, why can’t we?

So I’m going to apologize now in a #sorrynotsorry kinda way.  I know this is a mostly crafty blog — whenever I post 😉 —  with some books and other things thrown in at times, but this is not a time I can stay silent.  My political and humanistic views are as much a part of me as my craftiness is.  Thanks to my parents, my sense of fairness, of inclusion as much a part of me as my DNA.   So while this will remain a mostly crafty blog, there are times I’m going to use it for craftivism which by the way has the following meaning:

is a form of activism, typically that is centered on practices of craft – or what can traditionally be referred to as “domestic arts” ~ Merriam Webster Online.

Some might be waging this war with bullying, unfair tactics, alternative facts,  gag orders, disregard for anyone different from them, pure hate and greed but to fight back I’m going to use fairness, inclusion,  celebration of diversity, yarn, thread, a set of sticks, hooks but most of all … love & prayers.  I fight for me and anyone marginalized, even if they think differently, worship differently, look differently from me.  Even those who disagree with me politically and those in favor of what’s happening in the US now.  At the end of the day … aren’t we all human?   The march has come and gone, but putting our money where our mouth is needs to continue.  It doesn’t end here, there is so much more to be done.  We can’t return to status quo and expect change to happen.  As Gandhi encouraged, we each have to “be the change we want to see”.   I don’t care what you do, what side you’re on or how you show true activism — just as long as your efforts have their foundation in love, inclusion and community building.

I don’t know this lady, but she is who I want to be — her reason for marching — “I can use my entitlement and resources to help fight for others who are marginalized.”  Her sign, my favourite one of the day, said all that needed to be said   It was not intentional, but my photo of her also caught sign held up by the woman on the left.  Together both of them portray the overall message I want my craftivism to have — we the people, protect each other.  Stronger together.  ❤

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