What a day yesterday. We shipped 1,995 comfort scarves to 52 shelters for abused women. Incredible.
We did this thanks to Handmade’s fabulous volunteers. I always say “It takes a village” and it really does. However you contribute makes the success of our scarf project possible and helps abused women who have sought the protection of a shelter.
Prior to our shipping, I queried a few shelters trying to find out how many scarves each wanted. Maribel Amaya, a civic engagement trainer at the Korean Youth Community Center, replied with a heartwarming appreciation for what we do. She wrote: the mothers in our Building Stronger program have been deeply touched with the beautiful scarves. Please feel free to send 75 to 100 scarves if possible. At our Menlo Family Center we have multiple program whom would greatly be comforted by such as beautiful gesture. I appreciate your wonderful time and effort. We are happy with the scarves you send our way. Thank you for your heart and generosity in spreading the joy of love to others.
Happily, we had enough scarves to supply them with 75.
Kathi Bowman, Executive Director of WISEPlace, a new shelter in Orange County, surprised me with her reply. Here’s what she wrote: thank you so much for reaching out. You may have heard or read that we are now housing an additional 50-60 women in our gym in an emergency 24 hour per day shelter. This is as a result of the people who were removed from the river bed and the Santa Ana Civic Center area needing a temporary place to live. With that being said, while we would just need 35 scarves for our regular program participants, it would be wonderful if you could supply the scarves to the women in our emergency shelter (SAFEPlace) as well. If you could do all 90 scarves that would be wonderful. We will be happy with whatever you can provide and I know they will provide comfort to the women who receive them.
I seldom think of Handmade’s activities as being effected by what’s going on in the greater community. But here it is. They cleaned up the homeless encampments in Orange County and one of our shelters is filled with the female evacuees. Were they abused? Is it appropriate for them to receive our scarves? I think so and here’s the reasons. Women make up about 25% of the homeless in general. They are homeless often because they were trying to get away from an abusive environment and had no where to go and/or no financial resources to support their independence. If they weren’t abused before they became homeless, they frequently are once they are homeless. Rape and other forms of sexual exploitation are widespread on the streets. There aren’t enough beds for male homeless and there are even less for female. I am glad these women who had been living along the river in Orange County found beds at WISEPlace. And we were able to send all 90 scarves Kathi requested.
So I’m feeling very good about yesterday’s shipping. We worked hard. We wrapped a lot of scarves. We packed a lot of scarves. We had a great lunch and enjoyed each other’s company. We even had a few extra scarves which we set aside for next month. The photo below shows the electricity we generated by our activities.