Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks and Give Back

This week, most of us will be meeting with family and/or friends to...


        give thanks
                             be together...

and often, a little squabbling and nitpicking will take place too, as tends to happen whenever large family gatherings take place.  And perhaps, if you are lucky, you will get to spend some time in your creative space - be it your fully stocked art studio, or your spare bedroom-turned craft room, or your corner of the kitchen with a craft closet - and be able to do what your heart loves to do...MAKE.

Where-ever you will be, and with whomever you will be, I want to remind all of us to take the time to remember just how much we have to be thankful for.  As I tackled the project of cleaning and re-organizing (for what seems like the 100th time) my craft room this week, I was overwhelmed with thoughts about how MUCH STUFF I have, particularly because of a couple of other projects I had running through my mind.  I wanted to share them with you, because I think that during this time when we "Give Thanks," and before we all run out and buy a bunch of stuff for all the people on our Christmas lists, maybe we can "Give Back" a little too.  So...with that said, here are a couple ways we can use our crafts - or our craft rooms! - to "Give Back" this season!

Handmade Book, image from Melody Nunez;

Melody's Art Journaling Program

I "met" Melody online just a couple weeks ago, when I actually won a handmade journal she was offering as a giveaway on her blog.  It was while perusing her lovely blog that I found out about her awesome art journaling program that she does.  Every year, she collects art supplies and/or financial donations/gift cards so that she can get enough supplies to go into her aunt's classroom and teach art journaling to about 40 underprivileged public school children.  These children face a lot of challenges in their lives, and art journaling  is an incredible gift that she is providing them - an outlet, a way of expressing themselves, an awesome boost to their self-esteem.  While the "official" deadline has already passed, she has assured me that she is always in need of supplies, and the children are SO appreciative of the supplies!  Click on the link above to go to her site, where you can find out more about the program, watch a short video - where you will see some of the kids' artwork and how proud they are to show it off - and find out how to send donated materials.

St. Mary's Elementary - Joplin, Missouri

(Taken from Simply Handmade - Holidays, 2011)
"On May 22, 2011, a tornado swept across Joplin, Missouri, leaving a catastrophic wake of destruction.  Schools, businesses, and homes were destroyed and many were killed.  St. Mary's Elementary School, which housed pre-school through 5th grade, was demolished and is in desperate need of supplies and cash donations.  Several CHA members, including Niki Sivils and Kristi Parker Van Doren, have been coordinating craft supply drives.  Any monetary or product donation would be greatly appreciated.  The school has a wish list of products including school supplies, adhesives, plastic bags, pom-poms, yarn, crayons, markers, paint, paper and more."  Click on the link above to see the list and the address to which donations can be sent.

I know that as I'm cleaning and re-organizing - I'll also be DE-STASHING - (because, really?  Why do I need 12 pairs of scissors and 30 glue sticks?) ...and making piles of supplies to send off to some kiddos who will certainly appreciate them more than my dusty shelves and I do!  Won't you join me?


Melody M. Nunez said...

Thank you for spreading the word about my Art Journaling program, Jen. I really appreciate it. :o)

Sally said...

These are great links! Thanks for doing the homeword, because I've been feeling the need to rid myself of some of my crafty stuff, too. Of course, I also wanted to give it somewhere that I think it will really be appreciated.


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