Posted by Art Division Staff Submission from Luanne Seymour / View original blog post HERE Langley, Washington
One of my favorite signs from the Women’s March in 2017 was this:
The message really resonated with me because I am an introvert and I don’t like large crowds. But I was there marching with my friends, my daughter, and my grandsons because I needed to do something to express the outrage I felt. The outrage and the need to do something about it hasn’t left me these past few years. If anything, it has intensified as people continue to express their cruelty, hatred, misogyny, and bigotry in myriad ways. I have felt frustrated and helpless when I ponder what I can do to change things around me. Mostly I have focused on small things I can do to make a difference. In social media I have consciously chosen to be positive and upbeat instead of railing against the state of things. I’ve aimed to inspire instead of depress or anger but its hard to judge whether this actually makes a difference. Since moving to Whidbey Island I’ve been in search of a way to have more of an impact in my own introverted way. Serendipitously, I met Darcy Sinclair, another former graphic designer who had similar feelings about wanting to make a difference. We came up with a plan to start a community of makers who would gather weekly to make things together and then give them to people in need. We both sew so we started searching locally for people who might need stitched items and found that the sheriff’s office and a local agency that works with foster kids needed blankets and tote bags for children who are suddenly moved out of their homes. I stumbled upon a Facebook post about ArtDivisionLA, a group that is making blankets to send to the people who are trying to immigrate to the US and have ended up in cages at the border.
Posted by Art Division Staff Submission from Eileen McCleary San Antonio, Texas
On Sunday July 14 I invited some of my family and friends to meet at my home. I simply told everyone that I was very distressed about the situation at the border and knew that we all felt the same. I wanted to do something positive by creating something. I really wasn't sure about the how and what, but I needed my friends and family for support.
About 10 people came. I opened up our gathering by talking about some things that had recently happened to me to get to this point. Several weeks ago I was talking with my 4 year old grandson about his blanket ( actually he has 2) and how important they are to him. He said he needed them to sleep and make himself "feel warm." We laughed about the time I forgot to get them at his daycare and how his sister let him sleep with her bunny (not the same!)
Shortly after this discussion I talked with my brother, Dan, and he told me he was starting a "Blanket Project" with the Art Division. " That's how the idea spread to San Antonio.
Our meeting was emotional for me, just to express my sorrow and anger about the suffering seen daily on television. I specifically asked all of us to keep the politics out of our gathering and stay positive. I think we all agreed that positive energy and love was in the room. We talked about what kind of blanket we could make. Some of us will try knitting. The popular item was the no-sew fleece blanket that just requires making a trim that you tie off!
So we are going to meet again on Aug 11 and I will have some willing friends over before then to work on the fleece blankets. We ended with a prayer for the children and families traveling across the border and for God to bless our efforts. I shared a thought that my brother shared with me: "We can't expect the world to be loving and kind unless we treat others with love and kindness."