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Posts Tagged ‘helping the homeless’

December 19, 2014 Edition Holidays bring cherished memories, family traditions, favorite foods, festive decorations, and opportunities to gather together. This is true across the world. Hanging this wreath on my front door is a holiday tradition for my family. The wreath was made by my husband and is the only example of his woodworking skills. With angels gloriously sending out stars of hope and joy to all who see it, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas for my family without this lovely wreath adorning our door.

#1 – Delicious Pancakes!
21 Delicious Pancake Recipes If your holiday morning traditionally includes serving pancakes for breakfast, you might want to check out these 21 Crazy Delicious Pancake Recipes. You’ll be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

#2 – Gift In a Jar
96 Great Homemade Gift in a Jar Recipes If you are in need of last minute gifts, look no further than your kitchen cabinet. Just find an empty jar and make one of the 96 Great Homemade Gift In A Jar projects.

#3 – Knitting With Glass
Artist Carol Milne Knits With Glass Traditionally, knitting involves the use of some sort of fiber. Artist Carol Milne “knits” with glass. She developed a technique that uses glass to create knitted sculptures. Pieces of her artwork are as delicate and intricate as some of the finest fiber-knitted goods.

#4 – Helping the Homeless

Homeless People: Do You Just Walk on By? If you see me walkin’ down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by
Make believe that you don’t see the tears
Just let me grieve in private ’cause each time I see you
I break down and cry, I cry

– Dionne Warwick

Using the lyrics to a song as an introduction to her article “Homeless People: Do You Just ‘Walk on By‘”?, writer Pam Bailey reports on the changing numbers of homeless people, on the dilemma of whether to give them money or not, and on alternative ways to help them.

#5 – Make It Part of Our Daily Lives
“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness . . . the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” Dalai Lama

Now go and spread joy!

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Scarves for Homeless Rainbow lint covers every imaginable surface in my home. T-shirt scarves tagged and waiting to be bagged lie in yard-high heaps on my dining room table. 344 scarves to be exact, an amount that far exceeds my original goal of 100. These scarves and the two dozen t-shirt tote bags will go far to warm the bodies and hearts of the homeless. My right hand and wrist ache from all the repetitive cutting and pulling, but as I view the piled scarves, I am overwhelmed. Many thanks to all those who contributed t-shirts to my project and to my wonderful friends who shared part of their day to help me create some of the scarves. Start saving your clean and gently-worn t-shirts for me, because next year my project will be bigger and better!

#1 – Live Longer
Secrets to a Long Life Knowing the incredible feeling I get from helping others, I’m not surprised that number 13 of Secrets of a Long Life: 25 Simple and Surprising Tips to Help You Live to 100 is “Be helpful and lend a hand to others.” The article goes on to state that “A long-term US study found that people who volunteered regularly over a lifetime lived significantly longer than those who didn’t. Volunteers also experienced less depression, fewer pains and better general health.” Find a way to expand your heart and, perhaps, you’ll live longer.

#2 – One Second of Every Day
Time flies by. Hours become days, days become months, and months become years. How can we remember the many significant moments of our entire lives? Cesar Kuriyama talks in this TED video about his ongoing project of recording one second of his life everyday and why he does it.

#3 – Fall Fantasy
Japanese Garden at Royal Roads University in British Columbia Fall Fantasy is a photo collection that captures glorious fall images from around the world and pairs them with inspirational sayings. Autumn’s beauty is displayed at its height of splendor!

#4 – Christmas, Already?
25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas It’s only fall, so this entry may be jumping the gun. However, if you’re a DIY-type-of-person, the time to start holiday crafting is right now! There are so many cute and clever re-purposing ideas in 25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas, you’ll want to start a few projects today!

#5 – Relativity of Life

Strange is our situation here upon earth.
Each of us comes for a short visit,
not knowing why,
yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose.
From the standpoint of daily life, however,
there is one thing we do know:
That we are here for the sake of others,
for the countless unknown souls
to whose fate we are connected
by a bond of compassion. Many times a day, I realize
how much my outer and inner life
is built upon the labors of others,
both living and dead,
and how earnestly I must exert myself
in order to give in return as much as I have received.
– Albert Einstein

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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Entering the Creepy Room A white door at the top of the stairs rests slightly ajar and tempts a young woman to enter. The floor groans as she takes her first steps into the dusty room. As her eyes adjust to the dim light, she spies dark shapes lined up under the shuttered windows. Closer inspection reveals large bags leaning against one another for support. At the tops of the bags, scrawled in cursive handwriting, are the words: Torsos, Necks, Bottoms, and Arms. Red specks cover the carpet and a cutting blade lies nearby. It’s quite a messy scene. “Mom’s at it again,” the young woman sighs. Acknowledging her mother’s late night activities forces the woman to shiver and contemplate the approaching cold weather. As she slowly closes the door behind her, she says thoughtfully, “How nice. Mom’s making more t-shirt scarves for the homeless.”

#1 – Igniting a Strand of Firecrackers
T-shirts The power of one is like lighting the fuse on a strand of firecrackers. In September, I conceived an idea that would help both the homeless and planet Earth. In 100 Scarves: Making T-Shirt Scarves for the Homeless, I wrote about making scarves and tote bags from clean and gently used t-shirts. To help me reach my goal, I solicited t-shirt donations from friends and acquaintances. To date, I’ve made over 50 t-shirt scarves and 10 t-shirt tote bags and taken them to a local homeless shelter. When a dear friend of mine saw the scarves and bags she was inspired to help. Not only did she clean out her drawers and closets, she asked her friends to do the same. Very quickly word spread and soon friends of friends were donating t-shirts. Sitting in my dining room are close to 500 t-shirts and other pieces of clothing. Items such as jackets, vests, sweaters, and long-sleeved t-shirts will be donated to the shelter as is. People I don’t even know purchased brand new t-shirts to donate to my cause. Another friend gave me scarves she had knitted which reminded me of my own bag of knitted goods. All the scarves I’d knitted, but never given away as gifts were added to the pile. Once a strand of firecrackers ignites, each individual explosion affects the next one and the spark continues.

#2 – Monster Face Pizzas
Monster Face Pizzas Monsters are everywhere this time of the year. They can even be found hiding in our food! From Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Blog comes this monstrously easy idea. Think of how much fun kids would have creating their own Monster Face Pizzas at a Halloween party!

#3 – Art That Makes The Cut
Yulia-Brodskaya10-640x808 Using a technique called quilling, Moscow-born artist Yulia Brodskaya painstakingly cuts, curls, rolls, and glues paper to create her incredible three dimensional artwork, as seen on fubiz and on her website.

#4 – Creative Ideas
Chair and Bookshelf All In OneRecipes, design concepts, storage solutions, and re-purposing ideas can all be found in Simple Ideas That Are Borderline Genius. Some of them I’ve posted about in the past, but others are new to me. Who doesn’t appreciate a good idea?

#5 – The Power of One
“First with the head, then with the heart, you’ll be ahead from the start.”
Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

NOW GO AND SPREAD JOY!

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T-Shirt Scarves

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

This quote resonates in my heart and propels me to find ways to help others. A few weeks ago, I hit upon an idea that not only helps others, but helps planet Earth as well. I am but one person, but I am one person who can make scarves for the homeless out of clean and gently-worn t-shirts. To some people scarves are fashion accessories that lend a splash of color to stylish outfits, but for the homeless scarves are necessities to help them survive the bitter cold. My goal is to make 100 scarves from donated t-shirts that otherwise would be discarded and distribute them to the homeless via a local homeless shelter. I will continue to make scarves for the homeless as long as I keep receiving t-shirt donations.

You are but one person, but you, too, can help. Follow the easy directions below to make scarves and call your local homeless shelters to find out the best way to distribute your scarves.

HOW TO MAKE T-SHIRT SCARVES

YOU WILL NEED
T-shirts, the larger the shirt, the longer the scarf loops will be
Sharp scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat, if using a rotary cutter
Yardstick

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Lay the t-shirt down on a flat surface. Smooth fabric and make sure bottom and sleeve hems are even.

2. Cut the bottom hem off. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

3. Starting at the bottom of the shirt (on the right side of the photo), cut 3/4-inch strips from side to side on the shirt (bottom to top in this photo). Do not cut through the last inch. Stop cutting rows when you get to the sleeves. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

4. When you reach the sleeves, cut shirt completely from side to side. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

5. At this point you should have a series of loops attached by a “spine.”T-shirt Scarf Instructions

6. Thread the spine through your arm and pull each loop to make the fabric curl. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

7. With the remaining shirt, cut a strip out of it and pull it to make it curl. Tie a knot at each end. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

8. Gather the spine in one hand. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

9. Using the small knotted strip, tie a knot around the gathered spine.
T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

10. Et voilà, you have a t-shirt scarf! DIY T-Shirt Scarf

Now go and spread joy!

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