As some of you know, I am the MA National Chapter leader for http://enchantedmakeovers.org/category_28/National-Chapters.htm. I recently got my first donation to send to a local shelter. The goal of the National Chapter leaders is to: "Enchanted Makeovers is growing across the country one sewing project at a time! Each state has a chapter, led by a coordinator who will answer your questions on our three sewing projects and collect/deliver the hand-made pillowcases, capes and dolls to shelters for women, teens and children. Hand-made items are a big part of our mission because we believe each gift carries with it the love and positive energy of the crafter. We have seen first hand the impact this has on those who are re-building their lives while living in a shelter. Please join us by donating our sewing projects to your state chapter. The National Chapters only represent our sewing projects."
I now have to find local shelters that would like to have these donated items. My goal is to make at least 40 pillowcases, dolls, and/or capes to donate to the shelter that we partner with. My thought is to find a smaller shelter as the larger more well known shelters more than likely have a lot of donations coming in. They probably don't have items like this, but I'm sure they have more things donated than smaller less known shelters outside of Boston. I love this idea and it is inspiring me to do something in my own community, I just have to actually formulate a plan and put together something that will fill the needs of my community.
I am thinking that we have a local food pantry and that maybe they would like to have handmade hats, scarfs, mittens, and blankets. I can only imagine that if they can't afford to buy food, they probably can't afford other things either. Also, having something handmade to comfort them and keep them warm is always nice. We also have a large population of people with mental health issues. I was thinking of tapping into that area to for areas to donate handmade items.
This is one way that I am trying to merge my love of social work, community, and crafting. One of the things that I would love to work on is figuring out how to make this into a career. I was thinking of at some point looking into grant writing for some funding. I am contemplating working with my local farmer's market to have a place to have collections of handmade items to donation to local agencies that have needs, maybe even a knit, crochet, sew out. They do a plain aire paint out every year and have the wakefield collaborative there. This may all be a pipe dream, but I really want to utilize my love and passion of my social work career, community involvement, and crafting in my career. I don't want to not do something for fear of failure, but I want to make sure that what I do has the thought and time that it needs put into it.
Before I do anything, I do need to do a community needs assessment to figure out what my community needs. I certainly can start small and see what I can do even by myself and hope that it will grow in to something larger. I have a lot of thoughts spinning around in my head. I also have a part time job, 3 kids, a husband, and a house that need my attention. I do need to find something for me that I enjoy though, and have it maybe even be something that can grow into a career. Lots of research to be done, but I am looking forward to it. (I wish my iPad didn't get ruined. Maybe since I don't have a ton of money I can look into a windows one.)
PS- I also have the goal of getting healthy. I want to eat healthier, exercise, and have good mental/spiritual health!