Safelight Project Update

The past two weeks have seen much progress in our Safelight Project. For new readers, once again we have come together as a community to assemble spa bags for new residents of our local domestic violence 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. This has been an annual project for reader participation for seven years. I fill canvas bags with some nice full size pampering items, handmade cards and sewn cases. I purchase the bags wholesale so they are all the same size and design, and add 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.

Today, I’ll update where we stand on the project, and the news is wonderful. I have enough money, case sets, and cards for 75 bags. So, I started ordering what we need to finish up. It is a bit daunting how much money can be spent in less than half an hour, almost $1000!! I placed an order for the totes, $311.

They came last week. I ordered 72, and added three more from ones I had left over the last time we did the project for a total of 75.

Then, I sat down at the computer to get the order done at Dollar Tree. It is so much easier to get these things in cases, rather than buying them individually in the stores. I can get 72 bags done with this, and I’ll go to the store to get the items for the last three bags. There are 504 items at a cost of $672 on this order for facial masks, pedicure sets, facial cleaning wipes, sunglasses, nail hardener, hair treatment, and hairbrush with comb sets.

The shipment was supposed to arrive at the store on Tuesday, but it hasn’t yet arrived. I did get an email that it is on the way, so hopefully it will get here in the next few days. While I was out yesterday, I went into the store to get the last 21 items needed for the extra three bags, and also tissues for all. These I couldn’t get online. Plus I got some masculine items for a guys tote. The tiny reading lamp is battery powered, so I got batteries too. The bag also has a book of blank pages that says “Plan” on the front, and I added pens, hand lotion, hairbrush, aviator sunglasses, shampoo with conditioner and deodorant. Another $57 for all these items. I still have to get the lip balm and glitter tissue, as I forgot those. But I can pick them up at the store when I get the shipment.

At our last guild Area A meeting, several ladies gave me some case sets for the project. Thanks so much to Susan, Gail, Evelyn, and Teresa!

At the post office, I was excited to find several packages containing more case sets late last week. Thank you Donna F and Cindy W.

Julie sent eight case sets, such fun prints and pretty flowers.

Then, just yesterday when I could get to the PO again, four more packages were waiting. It was like Christmas! Mary Ellen sent lovely soft prints and Amanda sent cases with fun beach prints.

Christy S sent a wonderful donation with her fun prints. Christy, I hope you read this as you didn’t send me your email address so I couldn’t send you a thank you note. On the right, Melanie’s pretty florals will be much appreciated. We now have a total of 86 case sets in hand, and I believe still more are on the way.

We have 152 cards, enough for every bag to have two, plus 20 more that are blank inside that I will give to the director for her to use as extra support when needed. Thank you to Norine O for these beautiful cards.

We are nearing the finish line for this project for now. As soon as the case shipment arrives, I’ll fill the bags and deliver them. I’ll save anything left over to do another delivery in the fall. I had a lovely offer from Liz H to provide handmade goat’s milk soaps for 50 bags in the fall. The soaps take months to make, and she is generously donating 50 bars to our next delivery, complete with a bit of wrapping and a label. Thank you so much, Liz!!

I am continually in awe of the generosity of this community. You are all truly amazing!! To the sewists, quilters, stampers, and generous donors of money to fund the items, to the creative people adding that something extra, thank you! The residents of the shelter are uplifted by your work, and your kindness. They get excited when the bags arrive for those already in the shelter, sometimes a bit amazed that someone would think of them and give them a gift. For those newly arriving, the bags are placed on the bed as they are shown to a room, so they will know that they are special, deserve to be safe, and treated with kindness and respect.

Thank you all for your support of this project, it could not be done without you!!

13 thoughts on “Safelight Project Update

  1. I would think every state has a need for a “safelight” project. If I think long and hard about this would you mind if I use your ideas and patterns . May be a future project as I’ve just taken on Growing Kindness and need to grow cut flowers.

    1. Julie

      It’s so much fun to see all the pretty fabrics! Great job, Carole. You’re bringing some sunshine to a group that really needs some.

  2. Joan Sheppard

    This is such an amazing thing you are doing. My Grandmother used to do something like this for a Gentleman’s Home in Chicago – WW’s and the depression, it wasn’t until the late 70’s that they realized that women might need this as well. Thanks again

  3. What you are doing is amazing, bringing joy to those who are probably at their lowest. I’ve always got some of those case sets in the works, but will save them for future bags, since it sounds like you have what you need this time around.

  4. Christy Szkola

    Hi Carole, I did read this and it made my day to see mine and all the beautiful, special items everyone lovingly made. Thank you Sincerely, Christy S

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