I've made today "Labor of Love Day" on my facebook page. This, was spurred on by a lovely woman named Bev Qualheim who has been my guide to charitable giving for years. She's gone through her own struggles and continues to this day to but has not stopped focusing on what she is able to do for others. (Not on what she cannot do) Recently she created a post on her Facebook page about donating handmade items to victims of Hurricane Harvey (now we also have fires in Los Angeles). She wisely pointed out that victims in the immediate wake of a natural disaster need agencies like the Red Cross to help them urgently. That requires cash, and a lot of it. This is 100% true. Anyone who has ever experienced a large scale natural disaster can attest to this fact. Bev was right, but what if you don't have extra cash to donate or as a designer you make your living from selling patterns? Good question! Let me make two points in my introduction: 1. Natural disasters require rebuilding of physical places like homes, churches, businesses and healing of hearts. If you want to donate handmade items wait until the shock wears off and rebuilding begins. There will be time to give handmade love. 2. Right now there are others who need your help and would gratefully welcome your handmade gift. Donate in honor of the victims, the first responders, or a National Guard Unit thereby keeping the focus on those who need support.
This Labor Day Weekend, let me just declare this Labor of Love Day. Where I get to focus on what we are able to do for others even if it is not for those in the immediate wake of Harvey or any other disaster for that matter. Some of the hardest days for the victims of Harvey are yet to come. In the meantime, let's find other ways to donate to charity in honor of those valiantly trying to recover from Harvey or the fires in Los Angeles said to be the largest in its history. I will have a few words on how to help designers in the path of disasters at the end.
First, social networking is an amazing way to connect with charities large and small that accept handmade gifts. There are many but remember if you want to donate, please follow the guidelines! Also remember that handmade can go directly to your local hospital, or homeless shelters. Simply send along a card that reads that the handmade items are being donated in honor of the victims of Harvey or the LA fires ect. This way we SPREAD the love and awareness around for a greater period of time! 2. If you are so inclined you could donate in the name of a specific National Guard Unit. check with www.nationalguard.mil/ to see which National Guard Units have been deployed to the site of the disaster. 3. In the case of Hurricanes the Coast Guard takes an active role in helping with search and rescue among other important actions. If you'd like to donate in the name of a certain Coast Guard Unit you can find the Coast Guard Districts and other information on the CG website. 4. Personally I check the facebook pages of newspapers in the affected areas to find out if there are local businesses, police departments, fire departments, hospitals or ambulance crews making a difference . Donating a handmade gift in their name really does spread information about their awesome work. Lastly, if you know someone personally affected, give them a boost by donating something in their name. Be it to a local charity or a national group.
Groups that accept handmade love are everywhere. You might not have a group in your state specifically but you might find that a neighboring state or a national organization is looking for donations. Alternatively, if you know of a group in the disaster zone looking for donations of handmade love, check their bonafides then spread the word :) . The disasters might be centered in one area but you can keep the focus on their plight by donating in their name to amazing charities, for example:
If you do have the money to give a cash donation you could show a Indie knit, crochet, sew, pattern designer living in the disaster area a little love by buying a pattern. For instance, My friend Elizabeth (Beth) Taylor, is a crochet designer and lives in San Antonio, Texas. While did not get battered by hurricane Harvey, I know that she would certainly love it if you acknowledged the work of first responders by purchasing one of her First Responder Series patterns. (She's also a boat captain and tour guide.. HOW COOL is that???) These could be donated or raffled off for the benefit of First Responders . If you'd like to find other designers or people who spin yarn in Houston, simply go to Ravelry or your favorite group page and search for folks living in Houston.
Donating to your favorite charity with the focus of dedicating your work to the victims of a disaster or first responders, you/we keep the focus of attention on those in the disaster zone. As Shakespeare writes
"The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown." http://nfs.sparknotes.com/merchant/page_176.html
Thank you for joining me on the Labor of Love Day here on Out of the Parc Designs. I truly hope this blog post will encourage you to keep the focus on those living in the disaster zones by creating something dedicated to them and through your prayers. Thank you for all you do, every day, to bring comfort to people and pets.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.