It seemed fitting that on the day we celebrate our Independence as a nation, the residents of the Safelight shelter might celebrate their independence in their new lives. Safelight is the name of the domestic violence shelter in our little town. This organization incorporates many services for domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims providing counseling, case management, court advocacy, support groups and job training under one umbrella organization. Their mission touches my heart, and I like doing little things for them. Not only does it benefit women (and sometimes men) in need, but it allows me to be creative and useful at the same time.
I had an idea to do more of the little treat bags with some special decorations. I made up 20 to deliver to Safelight today to be given to the residents this week. Starting with the bags, I again used the white lunch size bags that are easy to decorate with stamps and ink. Beginning with the roller, a line of a swirly design was rolled onto the left side, top to bottom using blue ink.
It was the closest thing I had to a kind of starry border.
I added the word Celebrate in red.
Looking through all my stamps, I was surprised to find that I don’t have a star stamp that would work. I have some Christmas stamps, so I used one from a snowflake set that looked a bit like fireworks going off, if you use a bit of imagination. At least I hope that is the impression.
This idea for the card is what kicked this off in my mind. I wanted to encourage the residents to celebrate their own independence from violence and abuse. Celebrate their own freedom. No stamp says this in quite this way, so I went to the computer and used a word processing program to create this sentiment. The ink color and shadowing with the large font is in the word art program. I printed it on lightweight white cardstock, several to a sheet, and cut it to size.
Each one is mounted on red cardstock for a frame. On the left is a blue cardstock accent, embossed with a little striped texture that reminded me of a flag. Half of the cards were put on cream cardstock, the other half on white.
Now for the amazing part. I read another blog called Club Scrap, and saw an amazing sentiment on there. Unfortunately, it is discontinued. But Julie on the blog pointed me to a group where I could post a request. I did that, and then was astounded by the generosity of a member, Lucy, who sent me several of her stamps to use in the project. She just donated them, refusing even my attempt to pay the postage. Stampers are amazing people. Thank you, Lucy, your stamps have been put to good use!!
Using three of the sentiments that she sent, I stamped them in red on some cards and blue on others inside.
I found some star stickers at the thrift store, and this was a perfect place to use them, so each card got one on the inside.
I stamped several in red at once. The star stickers were added after this photo.
I found some fun water bottles at the dollar store that were perfect for this project.
Shopping last week, I found some lipsticks at my favorite thrift store, the Blue Ridge Humane Society Thrift Store, brand new Avon products for 50 cents each. I got a few for myself, then realized after I got home that I missed a great opportunity. I went back later in the week for the rest of their stock. I bought all they had left! I had forgotten to bring in a bag for them so I ran to the car to get one (you all know I am on a crusade to stop using plastic). While I was doing that, the clerk told the store manager about my project, and she gave me a discount on them as well to support the project! So, the charity money did double duty this time, benefiting two charities with the same purchase! There were enough for this project, plus more than 50 left for next year’s tote bags.
Packing up the bags, each one got a water bottle, a little hand sanitizer, a couple of cookies-and-cream kisses, and a new lipstick. along with a card.
Altogether, I am delivering 20 bags.
My hope is to help provide support and encouragement, boost spirits, and affirm their decision to create better lives for themselves without abuse, becoming independent and strong. For those who participated in the tote bag gift project, Laresa tells me that the bags are really appreciated, and they love the cards! The extra cosmetic and sunglasses cases will be moved to the thrift store boutique soon, as the Dandelion is moving to showcase items made by the residents. They may actually sell better in the boutique, as there is likely more traffic there.
Are you doing any stamping or paper crafting now?