Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Enrichment Kit Lists

This is a continuation from my post on enrichment kits for refugees or the needy in general.
Staying stimulated is important mentally, emotionally, and physically. Hobbies and crafts are therapeutic and enriching and these are some ideas for some kits. The extensiveness of the kit is up to the one assembling it.

-knitting needles
-visual based instructions for beginners
-a container for all of the above.

Crochet Kit
-crochet hook
-visual based beginner instructions
-container for the above.

Cross-Stitch Kit
-assorting colors of string
-canvas or (pre-printed canvas with stitch-along artwork on it)
-container for the above.

Mending Kit
-pin cushion
-safety pins
-seam ripper
-container for the above.

Sketch Kit
-assorted pencils by hardness
-assorted pens
-pencil sharpener
-sketch book
-smudge stick
-container for the above

Paint Kit
-heavy weight paper pad
-reservoir for water if supplying acrylic or watercolor
-container for the above

Leather Kit
-prong chisel
-waxed string
-leather knife
-leather stamps
-piercing awl
-sewing awl
-assorted leather tooling, tools
-container for the above.

Wood Kit
-some chisels
-wood glue
-couple clamps
-pencil and sharpener
-small dowels
-hand drill
-spoke shaver
-container for the above

Garden Kit
-potting soil
-spray bottle or watering can
-container for the above.

Have any good kit ideas? Leave a comment.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Refugee Enrichment Kits

My company of employment hosted a coat drive for refugees during the Christmas season. Once the coats were collected I got to help participate in the delivery. We went to the subsidized housing complex and knocked on doors looking for any new arrivals who were brought to our wintry desert without coats. We were invited into one apartment by a couple with two children dressed in their native attire looking fit for summer though it was 40 degrees outside. The apartment had no furnishings and the only possessions were some toys and blankets that had been donated. They spoke no English so we exchanged smiles and gestures, sorted through the coats, and helped them find anything that would fit.

Since then the most pressing thing on my mind was that they had nothing to do. It would be some time before either parent would be able to find employment and that would be hampered until they could learn the language. Refugees are far from uneducated or unskilled. So if one thing was going to wear them down its having no way to even employ themselves.

So one idea I think that needs doing is skills based kits. Here are just a few I conjured up:

Refugee Enrichment Kits

·         Knitting
·         Tatting
·         Cross-stitch
·         Mending-

·         Sketch
·         Paint
·         Derby car kit
·         Model kit
·         Carving kit: chisels/hammer, wood (drop cloth)
·         general tool kit

Music (Some of these can be purchased at a dollar store)
·         Harmonica
·         Flute
·         Stick guitar (home made?)
      (Need more ideas for men's kits I feel like this list is deficient for them)
      For those of us with skills in any of these areas we would know exactly what they would need to get started, where to get them cheep, and we could create or find basic illustrated how-to instructions.

     No organization, I think, could cover a wide variety of kits like this with enough expertise and resources, but individuals taking on one or two and nurturing it as a personal project over time could assemble something rather impressive.

      On a side note, I noticed that women generally have a lot of purses collecting in their houses or go through them pretty regularly. I think used purses could make for good containers for some of these kits provided they were clean and in fair condition. Promotional totes and lunch boxes also seem to accumulate and those would serve for this function well too.

         Feeling inspired yet?
      If you have good kit ideas to add to this list please comment. If you can provide a comprehensive plan for any single kit please share or write a post as a guest blogger so others can use it for inspiration.

Private Endeavors that Built America Can Build the Needy

America was built by pilgrims, pioneers, and tinkerers. To this day this nation's strength still remains in the hands of the people who contribute to the whole from private endeavors. Some contributions are far reaching and some near, but en-mass act as vital organ to a living nation. Wouldn't such a valuable characteristic of our country also be effective in addressing the refugee crisis?

As Utah, the U.S., and nations around the globe respond to continued calamity, quite a few of us may feel helpless and overwhelmed by the staggering numbers in need. In little bursts of nobility we attend organized events that provide service opportunities but often motivation sputters and we retreat feeling hardly fulfilled by our contribution.

The question occurred to me: what impact might the America-building personal touch have when applied to a refugee crisis? Many of us don't have generous time and funds to donate but perhaps have skills, and ingenuity. A group of cute little elderly women knitting sleeping mats for the homeless, a child collecting toys for refugees, and a good-hearted judge carving wood toys for children. They may not be substantial but everyone throwing in their mites together can mend nations.

I too thought, perhaps, I might be more effective in serving if I were able to serve in my own capacity, and incrementalize my service according to my best available time and funds. I would pick a specific project in which I specialize, fund and create over a year or certain months, then donate after "it" had accrued. That would give me time to assemble resources as they are on sale or as coupons are available. I would be able to provide a well thought out, creative, and long lasting contribution.

This idea was much more encouraging to me since organized events seldom fit my schedule and sometimes limitations placed by organizations restrict what I am able to contribute. But such services when pursued on my own are considerably broader and more creative. When people are left to their own devices backed by their passions and experiences, new and innovative solutions emerge.

In this blog, I intend to post ideas for private service or anything I come across that can contribute to the inspiration and encouragement of those looking to give their personal healing touch to those coming to us for help.