Did you know that tomorrow is “Make a Difference Day”? I was thinking of a recent project I took on and thought I would share it with you. I am always keeping my eyes open to see where I can make a difference in someone’s life. I know there are needs everywhere. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed in our own personal lives with those needs, but something happens to you when you do something outside your family or close friends. I saw a sign that once said giving to those that can never repay you is the greatest gift. Being a volunteer member of the Assistance League of Boise (https://www.assistanceleague.org/boise/); I go as I am able to dress the children through our Operation School Bell program. It is a delight to do this and bless these kids. For some, it is the first time they have received new clothes for school. We give them new clothes: 2 pairs of jeans, 2 tee shirts, 1 package of underwear, 1 package of socks, 1 sweatshirt, 1 coat, and a book. (Depending on how many we have a handmade knitted scarf, a beanie and/or gloves to most.) I thought to myself you know it would be good to give them a handmade bookmark with various colors made just for them. I know for some positive words and a little love will go a long way.
One of my greatest passions is encouraging others and I thought this would be a great way to give. In 2015 we clothed over 3,500 kids. I thought I would just make a few and see how it went. Various members have told me how much the kids appreciated them and enjoyed this colorful treat. So, I kept thinking I really do not have time for this, but soon got into a rhythm and kept on. I could not just do a few and not give to all. So, I am pleased to say I finally finished these bookmarks. I made 3,618 of them. It took over 900 hours to complete this project. Some wondered why I would do something like this. I believe, “Why not?” I left my signature on those children’s lives in a small way.
I learned to make several styles and colors. I had some leftover Astro bright cardstock from another project in various colors and some unused scrapbook printed paper. Then before I ran out of my limited funds I had to get really creative with some jumbo paper clips, ribbons, buttons and more. I exhausted lots of my scrapbooking supplies. (I took a personality test once, and I was told that one of my greatest gifts is being creative and that I would be good in product development.) My family confirmed that with a resounding, “Yes!”
See my variety of most of the bookmarks I made. Some of the images are not as clear sinceI used my cell phone.
I have found making things is very therapeutic for me. My Mom passed away a few months ago and creating is a positive way for me to grieve. I usually listen to inspirational and motivating lessons online and instrumental music that remind me of growing up with our family. I also enjoy worship music, especially from Hillsong Music. So, as I am creating I am also praying for each child that will receive that particular item. I hope that it will encourage that child in their living situation. No matter how scary life can be that they would see this special handmade gift and they are special with this small gesture of love.
Another one of my favorite things to do is “show and tell.” I have enjoyed it since first grade. I used to help the kids that were too shy to share their toy or special item they would bring and be afraid to share it with our class. So, I would interview my fellow classmates and do it for them. When my teacher told me, “Now Miss Irene the other children need to share.” I put my hands on my hips and exclaimed, “Don’t you know they are just scared!” Apparently, since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed helping and encourage others.
What about you? How do you like to create? What do you do to make a difference in someone else’s life? I am curious; I would enjoy knowing more about you.