Last week 8 migrant workers died in the back of a tractor trailer in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Another 2 died in the hospital. Altogether 30 people were taken to hospitals in San Antonio. TWENTY were in extremely severe or critical condition. This is the toll of human trafficking. Gut wrenching, harrowing, and yet all too common story. My daughter and I decided we wanted to find a way to use our talents, and perhaps mobilize others to join in the fight to help men, women, children (a lot of children) caught up in the snare of human trafficking. We found 1 amazing, no, I take that back ASTOUNDING, entity that truly wants our help. I don't use organization or charity because those words don't even begin to touch the living movement that is Enchanted Makeovers. I spoke to the founder, Terry Grahl by phone, trust me when I say, this is a really big story and it is a story about which I am absolutely passionate. T.k. Wilson, my daughter, has also been touched, drawn in, and captivated by this story. We wish to share our heart with you.
Humans, people, flesh and blood, bone and soul, women with children, they need to be valued and loved. These are all words that come to mind when I read stories of the human/sex trafficking which plagues the world right now. The middle aged lady standing next to you in the grocery store, a child attending your Vacation Bible School, the noisy single mom with 4 kids in McDonald's. They don't wear a sign that reads I'm abused, I'm being molested, or I was brought to America in a metal box with 30 other people. They don't start a conversation with, "I've been taking meth so I can work more hours", "I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder", or "I was abused from the time I was 4 years old". You may look askance at them for one reason or another, and they may appear hardened to your judgement; don't you believe it. At one time or another as Terry Grahl reminds us, "They too had dreams, but where could they be found again?" However, I've skipped to the middle of Terry Grahl's story. There's a beginning to the Terry Grahl story. One you should read for yourself. It comes complete with tears of joy and trepidation. (tissue alert) Read it here:
When you talk to Terry, and really listen to her you find out pretty quickly that Terry Grahl, is not now, and never has been about herself. She was born to be a gardener of sorts, she goes into a bear patch of landscape pulls up the rocks, tills the soil, motivates the hands, plants seeds, and decides that beauty will be the watchword of that garden. While the essence of Enchanted Makeovers is to repair and make beautiful the places we call homeless shelters, (among many other projects), Terry Grahl works with people not with buildings. She goes into a place and through the power of God, volunteer help, handmade love, creativity, donations and time, in order to transform a place from a homeless shelter, to a place to call home. Terry Grahl and her army of "makers" will metamorphose a sterile dorm into an environment where hope grows free. Terry is a Christ follower, who believes in the power of God to change a life. "I knew without a doubt that God had much bigger plans for my life, and He needed to use me for His glory. We made a deal with each other on that day. I asked that He would continue to provide the needs for my family (food and a roof over our heads) and His request was, "Glorify Me''
~Terry Grahl. (please, I urge you, read these stories for yourself!) Every woman, child, volunteer, in a home/shelter (not homeless shelter) has hopes and dreams and needs... just like me, just like you. She IS me. Enchanted Makeovers is a HUGE injection of hope. We, crocheters, designers, knitters, people who sew, we the people who create the outer coverings of aspiration can catch this dream and join the army of "enchantment makers"
Now comes the part of the blog where you and I talk about how we can help. However, when you first open the link to the Enchanted Makeovers website, you'll first see a whimsical place with lace and flowers, very vintage, and you think "I thought this site was about homeless shelters" . It was, at first, at least when Terry started, and then, it wasn't . It became about empowering women and children. As we talk about helping, remember we're not helping some poor soul, as if she is beneath you. We are helping our equals move on, and give their children something to make them feel special. Let's get to it!
There are a couple of things to know first: First, there are SO many ways to get involved with "EM" . Terry and her team are brilliant at finding new ways to release women and children into their dreams. I know that my readers are very, very creative. If you find a way to plug into one of these programs please contact EM. Second, PLEASE follow the instructions. I've said before, I'll say again, the instructions for donations are really crucial to the success of your mission. Thirdly, Laterose Doll Clothes and Doll Repair Abbey will be writing part TWO of this blog for those who sew and make the toys that are needed at EM. (I don't now sew. Sewing machines appear to be allergic to me LOL)
Black and white
Sage green and white
Apple green and white
Pink and White
Mustard yellow and white
If you are in doubt check this list of colors: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors:_A%E2%80%93F
(Colors are listed alphabetically)
size 35X40 (please feel free to use your favorite pattern)"
I hear people say... "That's it? Just lapghans? " These are NOT just lapghans they are gifts of elegance, fun, but mostly love, sent in the form of yarn and stitches. If you pray, pray over the lapghans or pray while you work on them. Pray for the person receiving the lapghan. Pray with love. Terry and her team use HUNDREDS of these blankets so do not hesitate to contact her if your group wants to create a box full of these to send to EM.
Check Pinterest, YouTube, Ravelry, Link Parties, My Picot, Red Heart, Yarnspirations, Lion brand, Premier, JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts, and Michaels stores websites if you need ideas for stitches or lapghan patterns.
It has been my privilege to write about Terry Grahl and her team at Enchanted Makeovers. Her passion became my passion. I love this project. It's filled with the joy and it honors the ideals with which I was raised. To serve others with love and prayer. Terry's dream is infectious because it was God's will for her. Others have seen where God is working and have joined HIM there. Thank you Terry for taking those first steps of faith. If you are touched by the work of Enchanted Makeovers, please let Terry Grahl know.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.