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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Many hands make light(er) work

Labor Day has passed, school is back in session, and the smell of craft-fair season is in the air. There is a lot to do, a lot to organize.

Back in July, several friends of A Little Something stepped in to take over booth duty at a big event on a very, very hot day. They were a bit taken aback by how much work goes into hauling all of the booth supplies, setting up, breaking down, and loading out. It gave Katrina an idea.

Since our project started a year ago, many people have asked to join us at our group sessions with the refugee women. We've had to explain that we were forced to abandon the "sewing circle" concept very early on. The logistics of scheduling, transportation, and childcare made us rethink how and where we could work with all of the participants. Some people wanted only this group/gathering type of involvement, but there were still other people who continued to say, "Well, when you find something that you need help with, just ask."

And so we asked. Anna and I invited would-be helpers to spend an afternoon helping us fix jewelry, tag, price, sort beads, sort more beads, organize supplies, and more. We made it a potluck and got to work.

There were nine of us all together--ten if you count my husband--plus two dogs. It was a glorious Sunday to be outside with good people. Anna, Haiffaa, Lisa, Katie, Katrina, Christy, Slavica, Susan, Leo, and me. And Ginger and Phoenix (who, I might mention, didn't work very hard, especially considering they are both working breeds).

If anyone had thought they acquired insight into our process at the craft fair, today they realized that the sales are just a fraction of what it takes to keep us humming along. Our helpers worked more like machines than elves as they considered what happens after the donated materials come in and before jewelry is sold. More than this, Slavica summed up what everyone was thinking just after entering the front door: "Oh my gosh. This has totally taken over your house!" Yes, I am keenly aware of that.

In an attempt to bring some order to the chaos, we all worked like busy bees for hours. Haiffaa was unusually quiet, but she was surrounded by food and drink, and must have been feeling her Ramadan fast very strongly while sitting among us.

Looking around at all of the activity buzzing around us, I was struck by how lucky we, as a group, are to have such good friends. We have friends who spread the word about our project via blogs, Websites, emails, and newsletters. We have friends who tell us about grants, supplies, shopping, and upcoming sales. We have friends who send us beads and wire and findings and fiber and storage boxes and magazines and books. We have friends who bless us with cash. Without our friends, A Little Something wouldn't be anything at all.

Everyone agreed that it was a fun afternoon. Even Ginger and Phoenix enjoyed the day(although we're still not sure who licked a little icing off of the brownies). Katrina suggested that we make this a monthly event, but that if monthly is too much to coordinate, meeting every three months would certainly be a possibility. As I was thinking, "Oh, nobody is going to want to do this with us every month," everyone else was happily agreeing with Katrina.

So, here's to our friends, our support and supporters. I can't imagine how we would get along without you.

1 comment:

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