So many packages came to my door over the last month. Big ones and little ones. Some were still nice and pretty. Others looked like they'd been run over by a truck*. They originated in 15 different cities from 3 countries. And they all had one thing in common - They were filled with love, kindness and generosity.
As I sat on my couch Wednesday opening them all, I felt a bit like I was opening someone else's Christmas presents. I told myself I had to because I needed to inventory and photograph all the items. But really I was super excited to finally get to see the wonderful work done by members of Artist's Helping Hands.
So what was this all about? Elise of Black Ant Beads had a vision of artists collaborating every month to use their talents to bring a bit of joy into the lives of those in need. The group is still forming but seems to have a clear focus and is already making a difference. The goal is for one charity to be chosen every month from a list of suggestions made by group members. Then either one collaborative project is completed or individual handmade items are gathered throughout the month. The collaborative items are auctioned off and the proceeds given to the target charity. The collections are given directly to the charity.
Here's a link to the Etsy team:
The group member that suggests a charity that gets chosen is asked to be the organizer for that month. I was quite surprised when Elise asked me to help out for the groups first month, but I happily agreed. The charity focus for April was The Genesis Woman's Shelter in Dallas, TX. Women and children at these shelters have often had to leave everything behind in order to reach safety. Artist's Helping Hands decided to donate individual items to help brighten their days.
The response was impressive. Thinking about the hours of work that went into these donations is just daunting. To think of such generosity in these hard economic times really brightens the heart. There were so many donations that I couldn't get a decent picture of all of it. Instead I laid out a few items from each donation.
I realized after that I should have gotten a picture of all the packages. Here's a picture of them all loaded up in a basket for transport. They almost didn't fit!
In total 182 handmade items were donated to the shelter. There were also 68 store bought items and 2 letters of support.
I think the groups off to a great start. This months charity is Beads of Courage. There are also 2 long term projects. One is a collaborative scrapbook and the other a quilt. Be sure to hop over to Etsy and check them out.
*Ironically the run-over looking package came via airmail from overseas. Maybe the plane backed up onto it? Thankfully nothing was damaged :)