I have been on a “news diet” for the past few weeks because I find the repetitive images of everything that’s going wrong in the world to be overwhelming. More than that, though, it’s skewed. Certainly there is a lot that’s going right in the world, but you only see the occasional feel-good story on the news.
Of course, it’s impossible to be completely cut off from the media today, and I’m okay with being aware of what’s going on as long as I don’t have to watch the horrific scenes on repeat. When I heard about the Moore, OK tornado, I felt compelled to do something to help. After all, as Floridians, we have been and could again be victims of similar devastation resulting from hurricanes. I considered what I could do to help. I am trained in Disaster Mental Health as a volunteer for the American Red Cross, but the ARC did not need to deploy any Disaster Mental Health volunteers from Florida to Oklahoma. Thankfully there were enough trained volunteers near Moore, OK to respond to the immediate mental health needs there. And I’ve heard about all the resources that are generously pouring into Moore — cell phone charging stations, laundry washing stations, free hotel rooms for those displaced, food, clothing, water. Even the Moore Home Depot has been transformed into a pet shelter. Immediate needs are being met, and the generosity flowing into Oklahoma is one news story I’m glad to keep track of.
Of course, there will be long-term needs in Moore, OK. Sadly, something else terrible will catch the attention of the news cameras, Moore, OK will fade in our memories; and before we know it, the news will run a quick update on how Moore has rebuilt on the one year anniversary of the tornado. When I was considering what I could do to help, I knew I wanted to find a project that would provide long-term assistance. I started browsing what projects were out there on the internets, and I came across Art Feeds. This was it! This is what I can do to help!
Art Feeds is on the ground working to bring healing through art to young people recovering from disaster. They’re working now to bring their programs to Moore. Art Feeds is based out of Joplin, MO and conducts mobile programs with elementary students who have undergone trauma and overcome obstacles. The programs use therapeutic art and creative education that comes free of cost to the participating students and schools. Their programs and processes are created to facilitate healing as well as cognitive and developmental growth. How perfect! Two things that are very important to me — helping others and using creativity for healing!
So this is where you have the opportunity to come in, dear blog readers — Art Feeds is running an arts and crafts supply drive for the victims of the Moore tornado. During the month of June, I’d love it if you’d pick up one or more of the items on their wish list (here is the link again if you need it!) and drop them off at The Stitchery booth. I’ll package up all the donated supplies and mail them to Art Feeds. Please note that Art Feeds requests that all donated supplies be new. I LOVE that they are asking for Super Hero capes! If you are a Stitcherist like me, I’d love to get some cool capes to send! There are lots of easy cape patterns and ideas on Pinterest!
We have the opportunity to be a community of craftivists and do something good for a community that could have just as easily been ours. I hope you’ll join me in being one of the many great things that’s going right in the world!
Thanking you ahead of time,