We haven’t done this project in quite a while, due mainly to the offices of Safelight moving to a new location, and a bit of renovating in the shelter. That plus a lack of time on my part in the first six months of last year meant the project got put aside. But now, we have time again and the shelter has room so let’s do another Safelight Project, our seventh one! In previous years, we have come together as a community to assemble spa bags for new residents of the shelter. 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 said the bags helped them feel special and cared for, at a time when support was needed most. Read more about Safelight on their website.
For those new to the blog since our last project in 2021, this has been an annual project for reader participation. I fill canvas bags with some nice full size pampering items, handmade cards and sewn cases. I’ll be purchasing the bags again wholesale so they are all the same size and design, and adding the items inside. I usually get three handle colors just for variety. They are nice quality canvas bags so the residents can use them for some time to come.
Readers help me make case sets using my patterns available for free. Download – Case Sets. The best fabrics to use are ones that are bright and cheerful. Please choose pretty prints, bright colors or novelty prints, something fun, cute, delightful or attractive. Please stay away from masculine prints (the guys don’t get these), granny calico prints, ugly prints or solid colors. We want the cases to be fun to receive, with happy, charming prints to give the residents a smile. These below are ideal.
Soft florals make great choices for case sets, too, like the ones below. Anything you’d be proud to carry is good.
The bags include cards that stamping readers help me make. In my mind, and the counselors at Safelight agree, the cards are really the most important part of the gift, providing 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 be completely handmade, or augmented purchased cards. The envelopes are also decorated, and addressed generically, like “To Someone Special” or “Just For You”. Previously, 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. 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 printer 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”. 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.
When shipping cards, please stack the envelope with the card but do not put it inside. I will do that to ensure that the cards are mixed up between bags, and verify that the inside sentiments aren’t the same.
Monetary donations from readers help defray the cost of the high quality canvas bags and the goodies inside. The items chosen are more spa-like, special and full size. We don’t do toothpaste and deodorant, the shelter residents get those essentials from a church group. We do upscale, special goodies like facial masks, pedicure kits, hairbrushes, hair treatments and similar things.
When I am ready to assemble the bags, I lay out the case sets and match up colors of sunglasses, hair brushes and other things in sets.
Last time, this was what went into the bags. Residents got two inspirational cards, sunglasses and tissues in their respective cases, spa sets in the cosmetic bags, and full size hand lotion, facial scrub, facial cleansing pads, hair and nail treatments, lip care, pedicure set, and hypoallerganic soaps in crocheted scrubbies. Total cost was $12 per bag, as I can get some of this at wholesale pricing. The rest came from a dollar store.
Unfortunately, there are sometimes men who are abused and at the shelter. So, I make a few bags appropriate for a man. These have men’s products, aviator sunglasses in black purchased cases, socks and more in a black duffle or backpack style bag. I assemble 5 of these.
When the bags are all packed up, I put a sheet of glitter tissue in the top to make it more like a gift.
I do not know if we can do prizes for participation this year. In the past, that hasn’t been the primary motivating factor to readers getting involved. But I haven’t heard back from a sponsor yet, so that remains to be determined. I may just put together a flat rate box of goodies from my sewing room, as I get some free things here and there, so we’ll see. If you’d like to get involved, please send your donations, case sets and cards to me at this address. Please include your name and email address inside so I can let you know your donation arrived.
PO Box 524
Mountain Home, NC 28758
I hope to do 50 bags by mid-March, so you have over a month to sew, stamp and get them in the mail. Monetary donations are very much appreciated, as the total cost of this project will run over $600 for 50 spa bags. Whatever cannot be raised will be funded by me. Checks made out to me (not the project) can be mailed to the above address, or you can use Paypal to send money to a friend at my email frommycarolinahome at gmail dot com.
Can you help with the Safelight Project this year?
21 thoughts on “Safelight Project 2023”
Good luck with this new project 2023. I’m sure you’ll make a lot of ladies happy knowing others are caring and thinking about them.
Very cold here again today but at least I have a home to keep me safe and warm, food to eat, hobbies to keep me happy – life isn’t too bad when I think about it.
Keep up the good work Carole x
This is such an amazing project Carole, I so admire the time and talents you put into doing this. I will send you a donation, I am honored to help!
So glad to see this post. I have made a bunch of cards and will finish them off this month, as we are supposed to travel next month. This project is very dear to my heart and I am happy to help, prize or not. Thanks you so much for organizing this!
Carole, thanks for doing this again. I look forward to making cards for Safelight Project 2023! It doesn’t take the place of a hug, but let’s just face it we can’t give a physical hug to everyone who needs one. Think I will get up and go give my husband a well deserved hug. Hugs to you.
Hi Carole, I’m happy to participate – no prizes necessary. I’ll sew a few case sets and send a donation to help offset the cost of the bags.
I’m in. It’s always nice to have a small project to work on between quilts & I’m happy to help brighten somebody’s day.
Just wondering…Is Safelight nation wide or is this just NC
Safelight is local to Henderson county in NC.
Wonderful that you are able to do this again. I may make some bags, but I would like to contribute. I will add this to my list and see if I can get some case sets done!
I’m sure it is a need in other states too.
Can you use donations of new travel size toiletry items and toothbrushes, toothpaste, th
Thanks for the offer, but no. Safelight gets the toiletry essentials like toothpaste and shampoo from a church group that does full size items. We do special things, more like gift items.
Carole, will you bring the patterns to the Feb. meeting and inform members? I am hoping many will want to take the patterns home and make the bags.
Yes, I plan to help.
Yes, I will make some items to help.
I have my fabric cut for quilt along but have heard nothing more. Have I missed anything?
I would love to make some of the case sets. Unfortunately I don’t do cards or I would join in that project also.
Donation sent via PayPal. I’m happy to participate again in this compassionate project.
Sent by PayPal. So glad I can help in a small way.
Carole, this is such a wonderful project and I’d be happy to either make cards or (if that doesn’t pan out) send a donation your way. Thanks for the detailed info on what you need.
Working on some cards for Safelight again this year. Bless you for the good works that you do.
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