Those of you who follow this blog know about our MakerCare program. We use our school library makerspace to create items for others. We model and encourage empathic behaviors inspiring students to make a difference in their community. This is the cornerstone of our program: compassionate making. Using our makerspace to nurture compassion and empathy; to bring help to those in need.
A member of our teaching staff approached me to ask how the MakerCare program worked. I explained, it’s really simple, if someone sees a need and there’s a way for us to help, we’ll do it. That’s when she shared with me her situation. Her nephew, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was in need of bibs; could we help make some? She brought in a sample and it was a simple straight stich, two pieces of fabric sandwiched between a washcloth. We could handle that.
While the library makerspace has two sewing machines available to all, I have to say many of our projects are successful due to our FACS sewing teacher, Mrs. Stevens. Her sewing class has already participated in Little Dresses for Africa and has made catnip toys for our local animal shelter. Some of her students are fast learners and find themselves with extra time, so how better to fill that time than in service to others. So, FACS students pitched in. In all, a dozen bibs were sewn and given to the family. MakerCare is flexible in that we open service opportunities to all, be it a class, club or individuals. All are invited to make a difference.
We are at the end of our school year ending with service to a staff member and donations to our elementary school.
Over the past year we have:
· helped African school girls (Little Dresses for Africa)
· shown random acts of kindness (I Found a Quilted Heart)
· written to support our troops and veterans
· offered comfort to hospitalized children (Sending Smiles)
· made numerous dog toys and catnip toys for our local animal shelter
· made a plarn sleep mat for the homeless
· made plarn jump ropes for one of our elementary schools
· sewed cerebral palsy bibs
· participated in Youth Uplift Challenge (Students Rebuild)
· provided handmade greeting cards to HS community
· hosted a #make the holidays gift event
· hosted a mental health break from mid-terms (and upcoming finals)
· hosted Art Therapy with graduate art therapy students
It feels good to make a difference in the lives of others. I am grateful to have had the privilege to work with youth who not only care, but also are determined to be the change.