Thursday, March 4, 2010

power sew

let me tell you about my night, last night...
im backing up a bit, stay with me... 
in november, i attended a sort of craft retreat in salt lake city called spark. i was attending by myself, and on their website, there was a forum of all of the spark attendees to chat. i signed up, and wrote a quick note about how i was attending alone. this was my online pathetic attempt to find a fellow crafter who would be my friend. this sweet woman ingrid answered my call. she is from alpine, and would be attended by herself too. we would meet there and be crafting sisters for the weekend. (even us old people like to have friends). we met and spent the weekend together. ingrid, a fabulous photographer and such a nice person to hang with. during the weekend, she mentioned very briefly, she and her husband were in involved in a charity which helped the people of kenya, and in fact had brought some handicrafts from the women there for the silent auction. never brought up again.  

so when it was time to plan our annual relief society birthday celebration, the thought of a service project came to mind. i felt strongly we needed to tap the manpower we would have for that meeting. certainly a gathering of 50 women could do something to help someone in need. (after all isnt this what relief society is all about?) this was also all in the week of the haiti earthquake. i was convinced we needed to do something for haiti...and christina came up with the dress idea. my mind was going a million miles an hour thinking it all through. however, we needed to find a specific recipient for our darling dresses. 
we needed a contact.

i immediately thought of my conversation with ingrid, back in november. those few sentences she uttered came back to me, loud and clear.

i emailed her, spoke to her on the phone, then low and behold, they not only wanted them, but could hand deliver them, follow up with photos, and the icing on the cake, even be there for our special night. come to find out, bret (ingrids husband) had business (i think a higher source can take credit for this one) on the exact same week our night was to happen. simply amazing. we were thrilled with this wonderful turn of events. 

bret gave a moving presentation on the people of africa, and how his foundation, koins for kenya provides schools and clean water so these people can take care of themselves. he described the extreme poverty, the need for clean water, the absence of shoes and clothing and the lack of everything we take for granted. he talked about how our dresses will be a special prize for the little girls who are the stars. not just a handout, but a significant reward for a job well done. he will be hand delivering these little wrapped prizes in about three weeks...taking a suitcase filled to the brim. he will then take photographs of his little kenyan darlings in our dresses, so carefully sewn by the sisters of the ward.  such a wonderful electricity in the air, as these fine women got to work and turned out almost 50 dresses in about 2 hours. it was sheer magic. an experience i will never forget.

so thank you to the wonderful women of the tijeras canyon ward. we can do anything if we put our minds together...and that we did.

and a super big thank you to bret and ingrid. you were the icing on the cake.
and so appropriate for a special birthday party.


Claudine said...

It looks wonderful - great job shawna! i so wanted to be there, but spent the weekend and first part of week in utah with my 93 yr old mom - who is in amazing health - and 5 of my 6 sisters. We were travelling back on Wed, so missed the sewing! Next time! :)

Christina said...

I still can't stop thinking about it. THIS is what service, love and covenants are all about. Thank you for envisioning it and then making it all happen.

Ingrid said...

Shawna, thanks for the opportunity to meet with your ward. What a fun night! We met with the Kenyan Consulate today and showed them a dress and explained what took place last night. They were duly impressed with the service focus of the project and the idea that we are using these dresses as a reward for our "best girl students" in grades 1-8. The power of women in action... :)

Jack and Melissa said...

WOW!! That's all I can say ARE A DOER! And you have one of the biggest hearts in this big old world..congrats to you & all of the sisters in your ward that provided such a needed service! Love you! Melissa

Simply said...

Great job Shawna! You're always thinking of others! I don't think it was an accidently meeting at Spark that brought all of us together in one place. Thanks for blessing so many with all you do.