Checking with the Safelight Domestic Violence shelter in town this past week, they are running low on their spa bags. They have lasted a good long time this year due to the reduced capacity of the shelter. By the time we can get this project done over the next few weeks, they will be out of them altogether. So, it is time to do it again. For newer readers, Safelight is our local shelter for women fleeing abuse or violence with services of immediate intervention emergency shelter, counseling, job training, case management including help with acquiring legal services and accessing community resources, and support groups. Read more about Safelight on their website.
The spa bags go a long way to making a difficult transition a little better, providing much needed support for residents who are going through a horrible time in their lives, betrayed by someone they loved, fleeing abusive situations with their children and virtually nothing else. Residents say the bags help them feel special and cared for, at a time when support is needed most. For those new to the blog, the spa bags are sturdy canvas bags that are filled with nice items, made with the help of readers.
There are three ways you can get involved
and prizes you can win!
First, if you like to sew and have a lot of scraps lying around along with some velcro, you can make matching cosmetic bag, sunglasses cases and tissue covers. The residents love these as part of their gift bags. They are easy to make and finish all by machine. The three items take just under a 1/2-yard of fabric to make (15 inches x WOF). See the step by step tutorials for the sunglasses case and the cosmetic case on my Omiyage post, and the tutorial on the matching Tissue Case.
Download the free pattern pdf for all three – Safelight Case Sets
When choosing your fabrics, please choose bright, novelty fabrics, fun and happy prints, elegant orientals or pretty florals. This is not the time for ugly fabrics, granny prints or solid colors. These victims need somethng fun or pretty to make them smile. The men’s bags don’t have case sets, so please no masculine prints like fishing or sports. This adorable, bright butterfly print is a perfect example of just right.
Lovely oriental fabrics, bright florals and fun geometrics are all good.
Second, if you are a stamper, we need handmade cards for the bags. In my mind, and the counselors at Safelight agree, the cards are a very important part of the gift. The cards provide encouragement and support as these women (and sometimes men) take a big step to getting their lives back. The cards can be read over and over as residents need lifting of their spirits. Cards can also be made just using scraps of papers, magazine images, photographs, stickers, handwritten sentiments, or a computer printed greeting or poem. We make them in the A2 envelope size, which is half of an 8-1/2×11-inch cardstock sheet folded in half. The goal is two cards per bag. Please make them all appropriate for women. We only need a few for men, and I’ll do those myself.
Last year, I ordered wonderful stamps from my affiliate Impression Obsession, Inc. I was very pleased with the quality of these stamps, and they have a nice price point if you get the cling mount to use with acrylic blocks or your Stamping Platform. They can be as creative as you like, from very ornate to clean and simple, whatever suits your fancy. You may use whatever stamps you have, but I hope you’ll look at Impression Obsession’s offerings. Inside, the message should be one of encouragement. IO has a number of stamps with the theme of Believing In Yourself, see those HERE. See more inspirational sentiments stamps HERE (affiliate links). I love their new one that says “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”
The only request is to keep them uplifting in tone, and not to use a religious theme. There are many different religions represented in the residents, and we won’t know who is getting what. Inside the card you can hand write, stamp, or use your computer to make an uplifting message. You could copy a poem, or make up your own sentiment. Please sign them in some way. You can use your name, or just say “a friend”, or “a friend you haven’t met”. When shipping cards, please stack the envelope with the card but do not put it inside. I will put the cards inside the envelopes to ensure that each bag has two different cards, and verify that the inside sentiments aren’t the same. Please stamp or decorate the envelope, too.
Third, make a monetary donation to help fund the cost of the bags, and the goodies inside. Donations can be made via paypal sending money to a friend to my email (frommycarolinahome at gmail dot com), or via check sent to my PO box below. I buy in bulk so I can make a little go a long way. Ordering the same canvas bags ensures that everyone has the same size bag, and they all look similar. Each bag costs approximately $12 now for the bag plus all the items that previous bags have held. You can sponsor 1/2 a bag at $6, or a whole bag at $12, or any amount you wish. I put sparkly tissue paper in the top of each bag so it is truly a gift.
In previous years, the ladies bags had two cards, hand lotion, pedicure kit, lip gloss and nail polish, emery boards, a new hairbrush along with hair treatment, travel tissues and new sunglasses. Adding those items to the sewn cases and tissue covers makes a nice gift for the residents to feel that someone cares.
I’ll collect items for a few weeks, then purchase the bags and goodies for stuffing. Then I’ll pack up the car and deliver to Safelight.
We will also make up a few men’s bags as, sadly, sometimes the victim is male. These get different items, and the cost is a bit more for the duffel style bag. Last year, the men’s bags contained men’s grooming products, aviator sunglasses, 2 cards, socks, travel tissues and a new hairbrush. I’ve usually done 3-5 men’s bags, at a cost of $15 each.
So here’s how the drawings work. Each donation of $6 gets one entry in the drawings. Sponsoring a whole bag at $12 gets two entries. Each sewn item gets one entry, so case sets of three get three entries. Every card with an envelope also gets one entry. So lots of ways to enter! Here is what you could win!
The Fat Quarter Shop will give one lucky winner a $50 Gift Certificate! That is enough to get some goodies and cover the shipping too!! This week Fat Quarter Shop has 20% Off Solid Color Basics, April’s Basic of the Month, and 30% Off Mettler Threads, the Notion of the Month. Check out the Daily Flash Sale – something new at clearance pricing every day!
Aurifil Threads will send a small spool pack in an assortment of colors of their premium 50 weight thread to a winner.
Impression Obsession, Inc. will send a $25 Gift Certificate to a lucky stamper! Click on the link to see their April Featured Products special, 25% off Sunshine theme stamps, perfect for this project.
Finally, Milk Street will send a copy of their fabulous new cookbook, Tuesday Nights Mediterranean to the winner of the final drawing. I am still cooking from this fabulous new cookbook with easy recipes for weeknight meals. If you haven’t tried the Greek Spinach Rice with Shrimp and Dill I featured last Monday, do go grab that recipe.
Send your monetary donations, cards and cases to this address. If you mail a check, please make it out to me and not the project, I don’t have a bank account with that name on it. Please include your email address so I can let you know your donation arrived.
The Safelight Project
PO Box 524
Mountain Home, NC 28758
I hope that most shipments can be received by the end of May, but I’ll be doing the bags in two waves due to storage space. I’ll do an initial delivery of 50 bags as soon as I get enough money, cards and cases to complete them, hopefully by mid-May. Then, I’ll do the second wave of however many more I can make when I have those elements. So, if you can ship soon, that’s great, and if you need more time, I can use them later.
If you’ve read this far, there is a special deal for everyone participating in the Safelight Project! C&T Publishing is giving 25% off any order in May with discount code CTMAY2021. If you thought about The Ultimate Quilt Finishing Guide or Harriet’s Journey from Elm Creek Quilts from my last books post, now’s the time to get it!