December of 2019 feels like a lifetime ago, and clearly one of my pandemic projects was not to make sure this blog was caught up! I do definitely want to honor all of our students’ work and the nonprofits they are helping, however, so these next several posts will be a recap of what we’ve been able to do in the last two years.
Decembers are always an interesting challenge in the space because there’s only a couple of weeks of school before a hectic finals week and the subsequent winter break; so, if we want a project that only lasts that month it has to be a fairly simple operation. In 2019, over Thanksgiving break, I came across a post online showing a crafter’s sewing machine sampler ornaments – they looked like a really fun way to get students some experience with the machines and the different things they are capable of doing, and the idea aligned with another annual philanthropic project at our school, our National Honor Society’s Giving Tree. Like most others, the tree has tags on it that list a few gift options for a deserving child (in our case some of our nearby elementary students), and people take tags and bring gifts for BHS to deliver. I approached the sponsor about us donating an ornament to attach to the gift as an additional show of care for the recipients, got some holiday fabric to stimulate student creativity and provide options (we also let students make stuffed ornaments if they wanted), and we were off.
It was a lot of fun letting students experiment with the machines, and each ornament also got a tag with the year and a short happy message from its maker. The project was so popular we ended up with some extra ornaments to pass on to staff – 25 students participated.