Sunday, February 12, 2006

Well, this was easy

Like most of the rest of the world, I've been fascinated by the whole blogging thing and its potential for sharing thoughts, getting input, and connecting with people in a whole new way. And after spending several weeks thinking about setting up my own, it took all of a couple of minutes to actually do it. So, here I am.

In my spare time, I spend many hours at my sewing machine churning out things to give away. Quilts, baby blankets, caps for chemotherapy patients....stuff like that. Now, let me say right away, that this is just a hobby. I love to sew, to quilt, to knit. The process itself is soothing, creative, inspiring, relaxing, satisfying. And fun. But how many quilts or knitted slippers can you really make for yourself? How many can you inflict on friends or family members who may or may not share your love of handmade things?

So a few years ago, I caught on to the fact that a whole lot of folks out there enjoy knitting and sewing and then donating their finished projects to various worthy causes. Hmmmm, I thought....what a neat thing to do! You get to enjoy a wonderful hobby and have all the benefits of spending many hours with pieces of fabric or balls of yarn, and create something useful and comforting. Then, you give it to someone who could really use a little of that comfort. Win-win!

And again, I emphasize....this is just a hobby. I say this because I've observed any number of folks who take themselves waaaaaay too seriously in this endeavor. Let's be realistic. A donated quilt is not going to change the world. It may, for a moment, bring a sense of comfort to a woman seeking refuge at a shelter...but it's not going to feed her or educate her so she can rebuild her life. Some hand-knit mittens may help keep a child on an Indian reservation a bit warmer for the winter, but they're not going to make a substantial difference in the way that child deals with the struggles that lie ahead of him.

So a weekend spent at the sewing machine cannot, and should not, replace the real service work that every community needs. The way we vote, the way we support agencies in our communities, and the way we apply our own leadership skills are the real ways to make a difference.

But we can do all that....and still sew.

I invite you to come along with me as I explore more opportunities and projects that can, in a small way, be useful to some of our fellow citizens on this planet.

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