At the moment my blog feels like a long lost friend! I’ve been working behind the scenes on quite a few handmade gifts that I’ll be blogging about once they’ve been gifted! As I’ve been working on gifts and thinking about what to give everyone for the holidays, I keep coming back to the idea of making a donation or giving to a good cause as a gift. This is something J and I have done in the past, and one of our favorite ways to do so was through Kiva, an organization that makes micro loans to individuals trying to support themselves by building their small businesses. I love this idea, and I think that linking individuals making small donations directly with people seeking out loans to build small businesses is genius!
I also love the idea of making small donations to people in the U.S. who are in need. So I was really excited when my friend Annelise asked if I’d be interested in making a donation (funded by Lands End) and blogging about it! Annelise introduced me to the website Donor’s Choose, an online charitable giving website that makes it easy for anyone to dontate funds to students in need. Thousands of teachers use DonorsChoose to request funding for projects, and I was able to find a sewing program to support with my donation! I was drawn to the request of a teacher in Washington who is teaching middle schoolers about sewing basics; she wants students to be able to repair their own clothing and to have basic sewing skills.
Mrs. Beier, the teacher requesting the funds, writes:
“Remember the days when everyone took home economics? Everyone learned to sew–or at least learned to sew on a button? Well, our kids don’t get that opportunity unless their mom or dad happens to know how (and if they are not working 2+ jobs). I take home many torn garments, or one with missing buttons, just so my students can use them–especially with our families becoming more and more impoverished. With No Child Left Behind, we concentrate on core subjects only and are not teaching our kids the basic skills needed for living. And, in that we are a “green” school, students are being taught and encouraged to think and act “green.” With these materials (and my own personal machine) I intend to start an afterschool program where kids will learn beginning sewing–yes, “the button” and how to sew up that seam they ripped out–but also, how to make book covers, backpacks, totes and other items that middle school students love. They’ll be using math, reading, and speaking along the way.”
You can read more about the classroom here. And, if you’d like a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to make your own gift donation, head over to Quarterlife Lifestyle to enter! Even if you don’t win the “free” money to donate, I definitely endorse supporting education (particularly crafty education!), and I think this could make such a great holiday gift. It would be very cool to find and donate to a project on behalf of a friend or family member based on their interests (for example, if you have an uncle who is a retired math teacher, search the site for math programs looking for funding! Or in my case, the gift of sewing supplies for classrooms that need them is awesome). There are a lot of good things about the holiday season– the decorations, the food, the gift making and buying… but there’s really nothing quite so good as the gift giving!