I have mentioned before, our family moved in July, and we have enjoyed getting to know our new community. I had the opportunity to partner with Fiskars to make a donation to a school or children’s organization of my choice, and I thought getting to know where the need was in my own community was a great way to jump right in and start being a part of things! Fiskars encourages creativity with their products, and also wants creative people in the community to consider giving back and making sure that local kids have what they need to express their creative sides with kids’ scissors and art tools.
I used to teach Junior Achievement classes to first and second graders, and I really loved it. I taught 2-3 classes a year for a few years, and it was a fantastic experience! (I wish my new job allowed for continuing, but maybe someday I can pick it back up again!) Anyway – back when I used to volunteer, I had the chance to teach at several schools in the greater Grand Rapids area, and got a first-hand look at what a difference even a small donation (of your time, school supplies, or both) can make. The genuine enthusiasm of kids who aren’t used to having extra treats and extra attention is an awesome thing to experience. I made it a point to volunteer at the schools who didn’t normally have volunteers. I found myself in classes where English was a second language – and in one class, where it was barely the language at all. Yes, it was a challenge, but those were my favorite classes. How can you not leave happy after getting 30 hugs?
So I made a few phone calls to the area schools to gauge the need of the students there. I was thrilled to hear that some of the schools I had volunteered at in the past had already received lots of donations this year. In fact, I would have loved to keep calling around and hearing that all the schools in my area had enough school and craft supplies already, but it wasn’t long before I found an elementary school that was thrilled to accept a donation.
I headed out to Walmart to load up on supplies for East Elementary school, picking up lots of scissors, crayons, and glue! As you can easily guess – crafting and art is a passion of mine. It’s how I express myself and how I relax and recharge. It’s something I can take pride in.
For a child, creating something they can be proud of that is personal and one-of-a-kind is so important! Every child needs an education, but art and crafting is a way for them to exercise their own creativity. It’s hands-on education; and they are learning about themselves every bit as much as creative techniques. That’s my opinion on the importance of art-and-crafts time, anyway.
I was so happy to know that kids right in my own school district will get to benefit from my passion and my family’s donation. It’s a feeling I would encourage every single one of you readers to go out and experience for yourself! Find a group, school, or organization who helps kids who might not have what we have, and give them the chance to get creative!
Not only does Fiskars offer craft tools to aid in kids’ (and adults’!) creativity, they also have lots of craft ideas on their website! I found these cute “crazy-quilt” washi tape greeting cards in the inspiration gallery on their website, and had to make up a few! They are so simple and quick, and lots of fun. Even your kids can help!
(Okay, so “helping” isn’t really the best word in our house, but Raya LOVED getting her own Fiskars safety scissors! The hinge on the top of these is perfect to avoid pinched hands, and help her learn correct cutting technique!)
To make two cards, you will need:
- 4 pieces of scrapbook paper in coordinating/contrasting colors, cut to 6 inches square
- 1 piece white scrapbook paper, cut to 6 inches by 12 inches
- Washi Tape
First, add some washi tape to a few of your squares in a random pattern. Then, stack up your squares neatly, and make random cuts. Be sure to keep your paper aligned well, because they will be re-assembled in different colors.
Now, re-assemble them with different papers. Tape your squares back together with washi tape. Then, just fold your white paper in half to form your card, and glue the squares onto each side.
Now, you have a fun and crazy card you can tuck into a gift (like a donation to your school!) – or give to a friend to brighten their day. You can also vary the sizes of paper you use to make different sized cards.
If you like the idea of creating, crafting, and giving back to the kids in your community, I encourage you to get involved! You can see more projects and donation ideas on the Fiskars Champions For Kids Pinterest board! You can learn more about the mobilization project at the Champions for Kids website, or get updates on Facebook or Twitter! What kids do you know who could use a donation?