In July I got an email from Lina, who introduced herself as someone who had recently taken a position at Joseph’s House, a nonprofit in Washington DC that takes in terminally ill homeless adults and provides them important hospice care. Her email in part said,
“I recently became aware of the source of the lovely pillowcases that brighten up our residents’ room on a daily basis. I found out that you had reached out to us and that along with your students made the pillowcases. We were wondering whether this program is still active, and whether you would consider another donation of pillow cases to Joseph’s House. I hope this is not an imposition.”
First, I was so excited to know that those pillowcases students made back in 2017 were making a noticeable difference somewhere and I was honored at the idea that a nonprofit would hope to partner with us again; I feel like it is proof the students are making things that are worth having and are truly useful donations. Of course I agreed.
Since we had already planned a September project, we set pillowcases as our October project. Since our awesome magic pattern sews up pretty quickly, I also reached out to a local agency, Crossroads Safehouse, to see if we could also donate some pillowcases to their organization for those families they take in who are escaping domestic violence situations. Sarah at Crossroads was happy to accept as well, and it allowed us to provide another opportunity to encourage empathy among our students by being able to share information and resources related to Domestic Violence during the national awareness month. This was also a chance to up the quality of our cases, as our acquisition of a serger last year allowed us to make the finished inside not only look more professional but be longer lasting.
In addition to this new means of finishing the cases we were able to add another special touch to some. The logo that Karina Branson designed for us as we were getting started continues to be something I am deeply grateful for and love dearly. I feel like having a design exclusively for our space helps students to feel like it is a complete and well-established program. I took a chance on a company called Wunderlabel and spent a little of my own money on small satin tags with our logo on them, to possibly add to projects as a little “made especially for you” message. They turned out beautifully and I love what they add to the pillowcases:
We also had another fun opportunity this month; I always notify the staff about our current project, so that they are able to mention it to students and post a sign in their room about what we’re working on. After my email this time, our C-team volleyball coach contacted me about her entire team taking some time to help out during one of their practices. It was a great opportunity for new students who might not find the space otherwise to try it out and a good team-building exercise for them at the same time.
We donated a total of 45 pillowcases this month, with the help of 21 students.