Last week, I received an e-mail from Joanne, who has been a customer for a long time. She works in a lower-income area teaching kids about crafts, and although they try a lot of different types of art, she ALSO teaches the kids about needlework.
I didn't know she was doing this -- and she helps the program with supplies and money from her own pocket. You know, and I know, how important teaching arts and crafts to kids can be. It can help with their feelings of self-worth and accomplishment, as well as give them a lot of enjoyment for the rest of their lives as they pursue creative exercises.
Joanne wasn't asking for a hand-out -- we were just chatting about something else. I offered to send her some donations from here and asked her if she'd be interested in me sharing her story and seeing what other help we could give her (as the fabulous group of stitchers we are!) Here's a little in her own words from her e-mails:
Basically I try to teach them about how stitching started with samplers. I tell them about the Loara Standish sampler and how the Pilgrims needed initials stitched on their clothing because clothes were one size fits all. They are amazed. So we learn how to make x's that are crossed right away. We use small scraps for that (so I never throw anything away). They do 50 stitches across. If they do a decent job, they get an alphabet chart. Then make their own sampler and when they are ready, I put out charts from my stash and they go from there. So Aida, thread, needles, any old charts no one wants. Whatever someone wants to get rid of will be so welcome. Budget cuts are terrible. You should see the boys stitch They love it too....I would be grateful for anything you would want to send.... The kids will use anything; some will buy stuff, but the majority are poorer kids and their parents can just about manage. I use a lot of my own stash. I have 1000 kids a week. (So,) you know how much I go through.
Joanne told me the school's budget for art is very low, so she can use a lot of different type of art supplies -- think paints, crayons, markers, construction paper, felt, glitter, glue, scissors, as well as Aida fabric, floss, patterns, needles and other stitching supplies. This is a great way for you to help a new generation of stitchers, and I know Joanne will be very touched by whatever you can send. I'm going to start getting stuff together here. I know I have a box of art supplies at home that my kids used when they were younger in school, and of course I have lots of needlework items I can share. Will you help, too?
Thanks so very very much. Love, Jo Edwards
You can make donations by sending them to:
Joanne Edwards -- Elementary Art Teacher
c/o Lakeland Elementary School
1569 Lakeland Drive
Scott Township, PA 18433
Or you may send directly to her home address:
528 Deerfield Drive
South Abington Township, PA 18411-1315.