This is and will always be primarily a blog about crafting. And Fridays have been about knitting and crochet patterns for years. Today, this week, I need to do something different (there will still be discussion about knitting and crochet patterns, never fear).
This week has been really, really hard for many of us in the United States. We’ve been forced to really stare our country in the face and realize that we’re maybe not what we thought we were, or what we wanted to believe we were. For many of us, this has resulted in some anger, some despair, a lot of fear, and a feeling of helplessness.
It’s okay for us to have those feelings. It would have been okay for anyone to have those feelings following a ridiculously long, drawn out, and quite frankly absurd election cycle. It’s okay to be angry and sad and frustrated and feel powerless and alone—I know I’ve felt all of those things this week. I’m choosing to try to harness those feelings and turn them into positive actions. It’s all that I can think to do.
I’m writing this to invite others who want to try to bring about positive change to think of ways they can impact their communities. This is not a plea to unify or accept the outcome. It is a plea to consider how you can be best effective and most active. We waited for people, for elected officials, to do what we think is best for the country as a whole. I’m tired of waiting.
Find ways to be productive
This can be anything. Many organizations can use monetary donations to impact change and assist our fellow country men and women in a variety of ways.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Here’s a long list that just begins to scratch the surface of organizations that can use our assistance.
If your budget doesn’t allow for extra spending in this area, that’s okay. In many cases, a donation of your time and energy is even more appreciated than your money.
I’m privileged that my budget does allow me to set up a small monthly donation to the ACLU, and I will be looking into ways I can volunteer my time in my community.
Find ways to be involved
We change and grow from small to big—and many of our communities probably need some elements of change before we can effectively impact change on a larger scale. Seek out ways to get involved in your local government—maybe attend chamber of commerce meetings or community hearings. If you’re feeling really motivated, look into the requirements to being a member of your state’s representative government. Go broke or go home option: here are the requirements for the United States House of Representatives and for the United States Senate. So what if you have no experience in government? That clearly doesn’t stop some people.
Jess Silfa compiled a list of proactive measures we can take right now.
I am planning to write letters to the men and women of our elected government. Not just my own state representatives and senators. I want to write letters to the women who won incredible victories in this election to thank them for their fearlessness and let them know I’ve got their backs—and they’re just on the top of my list. My goal is to be a positive voice to encourage these elected officials to remember that they represent their constituents—large groups of people who have a diverse ideology, and I can’t imagine that it’s easy to represent that many people
Find ways to take care of yourself
Be good to you. If you aren’t well, you can’t help other people stay well. Pay attention to your mental and physical health. Take time to make things—I don’t believe there’s anything quite like making things to help us heal. Color in coloring books, knit, crochet, macramé, cross-stitch, hell, break out the Bedazzler and go to town. Creating with our hands makes our hearts feel lighter.
There are a lot of crafters in our community doing what they can to share joy and love. Check out the hashtag #knitterspayitforward on Instagram.
Amy Christoffers is donating the profits of all sales of Savory Knitting patterns to the ACLU through the end of the day today, November 11. As of this morning, Amy’s reporting that knitters have raised more than $1200 for the ACLU. Let’s push that to $1500, at least.
Awilda B is offering one free pattern with a coupon code.
I’d love to hear more ideas of what we can do. If you have productive ideas, please share them in the comments.
Categories: Friday Finds