This Martin Luther King Day, I was most inspired by the following quote that was popping up on all of my social media platforms.
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. " - Martin Luther King Jr.
Because I do make it my business to be dedicated to my creative endeavors, I decided to see if I could put this quote to work in my creative world, my online crafty community... in essence to see if it "stuck"... and it did.
Just in my creative world alone there are so many who are giving of their time and resources for something other than just "looking out for #1". Some would say well, MLK was talking about making the world better as a whole, big picture type of stuff but in my mind, there are no small "good deeds" or "nice gestures". A kind word can travel light years if met with the right recipient. One can never know how they will affect someone's life on any particular day.
I am going to give some examples of what I think some of my peers have done to make the world better. Some may tell me that these are not the type of things that could/ would "change our world"... but to them I would say that the world I want to live in is a world where these are the values that would make a difference in my equations.
Ok, so why not get started... I'll start with the good that I don't feel can be physically measured for the most part. One of my favorite things to participate in are blog hops. These are usually orchestrated around a theme ( my most recent? A Crafty Holiday and 2011 Creative Goals) and multiple bloggers participate with their take on it. I think personally the blog hop is an absolutely amazing way for people to be encouraged by their peers and also instill a sense of community/ camaraderie amongst like minded people. My involvement with blog hops has, no lie, made me more excited about what I am doing, who I am sharing it with and makes me want to bring more into this happy circle of friends. Encouragement will lead to more encouragement. People need to feel loved and supported. Friends will need our support and we will eventually need theirs.
Speaking of my circle of friends, check out "The One Moment Weekly Meet Up" from Linda at Alamode Stuff. It is something I try to participate in weekly if I am able. Every week, I find a touching story from one blogger to the next and have honestly taken some life lessons from other people's daily experiences. It sounds silly to people that are not involved but I dare you to "meet up" a couple of weeks in a row and NOT find some encouragement as you follow along. I sincerely believe that sharing these moments in our every day lives can and does help others.
OM is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment. Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, actively looking for and sharing these moments will promote balance in our lives.
Besides the blogger to reader effect of the One Moment, there is also the content shared that is the actual "act". Angela Flicker of The Artist's House shared her "One Moment" this past week; I think it is the perfect example of how we can touch and be touched by someone's life and maybe not even know it. Her Moment, " A Custom Made Quilt", touched me but more importantly she shares how this stranger ended up reminding her of something very special. The good that came from this interaction cannot be measured but I know in my heart that it was something crazy off the scale.
Not just for the "sharing is caring" attitude, I believe that the creative community with which I am involved has also changed the world by literally working with meaningful causes... so much so that I am sure that I could fill multiple blog posts with just the ones I can name off the top of my head. Have I peaked your interest? Check out the massive creative uprising to raise much needed funds for the flooding in Australia. All proceeds from auctions from this MASTER list of products go to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal. I was TRULY astonished by how many participants that there were; truly astonished that so many would hop right to in order to help... but then thinking about it? I actually wasn't that surprised. Community is community and the creative community took action when they were needed. This type of act can be measured and in my opinion is making this world better for those who are suffering right now. (Thank You Above All Fabric for ensuring I knew all about this!)
Speaking of Above All Fabric, she is awesome. Melanie blogs under "Caring Communities" which is giving back with Above All Fabric. She sets out to help in her community with her craftiness. Great idea right? Why not give back and do something you love at the same time? Genius! Her ideas and projects have really inspired me, myself, to help out in ways I know I can as well. Take the Conkerr Cancer project with pillowcases. I know I can make a pillowcase. I am pretty sure you can make one too. Shouldn't we be making this as we go along? Simple as that, we have made a child happy, we have made our world a better place to live in. Check out Melanie's other great projects for different ways to craft/help out with good causes.
Ok, now I am starting to ramble here and this post is getting dangerously long ( so no one will read it) but I just wanted to show that I firmly believe that creative minds are changing the world all of the time, in even the smallest ways. I could list so many organizations that are out there, that need help (some below) but I guarantee you can find one in your own community or circle of friends, one that touches your heart and calls your name. Creative dedicated people are making a difference at every turn and that I can prove.
Quilts for Kids -Volunteer quilters transforming into patchwork quilts that comfort children in need.
Threads of Compassion- A Chicago based charity that works specifically with survivors of sexual assault. The charity supplies scarves to rape crisis workers who then pass them on to people who have undergone a sexual assault.
Warm Hears- Warm Babies- They sew, knit, crochet, and quilt for premature infants and babies in need.
Heartmade Blessings- A world-wide group of volunteers dedicated to providing hand-crafted items to those people suffering a loss, tragedy, or going through a rough time that need to be reminded of the simple fact that people care.
Red Scarf Project- Sending red scarves to orphans as a means of encouragement.
CraftHope- A great organization involved with many different causes.
Chemo Angels- A volunteer organization dedicated to adding a ray of sunshine to the lives of those undergoing IV chemo treatment.
Soldiers' Angels- May No Soldier Go Unloved