Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stay Tuned...

Hats, scarves and blankets everywhere!  WOW!  As soon as we get them all counted and photographed, we'll update everyone.  Then the fun part...delivering the goods! 

So, stay tuned for pictures, posts and updates!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

We're Turning Three!

Three?  Already?  Yep...Craft 4 Change is having it's third birthday today.  It is hard to believe that it was three years ago, that I started this little blog and it's first project:  "Wrap Them in Love", by asking YOU to make scarves for the women and children of St. John's Shelter for Women and Children in Sacramento.  And, boy did you!  By providing 120 colorful and creative scarves, we were able to bless many families living at the shelter.  That was only the beginning!

Since our last birthday, YOU have lovingly created 28 walker bags for seniors, 127 scarves, 12 hats and 16 ear warmers for needy families, 32 drawstring backpacks, 140 bean bags and 41 journals for abused children, 15 nursing covers and four car seat canopies for mothers at risk (car seat canopies are still coming in!).

 It is indeed a happy, happy birthday for Craft 4 Change!  So, as a little "thank you" to all, we are doing another giveaway in honor of all our success.  Our friends at Break the Cycle Jewelry have provided us with this beautiful, handcrafted "Craft 4 Change" bracelet that will go to one lucky winner!

It is a custom made-to-order bracelet with an adjustable ball chain and heart charm...we just love it and think you will too! 

  Break the Cycle is run by one fabulous woman, Averen Bareggi, who makes this beautiful jewelry to raise not only awareness but also funds to create and distribute "comfort packs" that are given to children reporting abuse. She is the nicest person and has a heart of gold.  Head on over to her website or Facebook page to learn more or purchase items.

So, on with the giveaway!  Use this handy-dandy Rafflecopter and good luck!

 Contest ends in 3 days (since we're three and all!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Elizabeth B. for winning our beautiful bracelet!!! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scarf frenzy!!!

Wow!  What a fun night I had with the ladies of Bayside Church (Folsom Campus) on Monday!  They so graciously and generously created LOTS of scarves for Project 13:  "Stay Safe, Keep Warm".  There were between 60 - 70 women who attended and everyone was so nice. They used fleece fabric and did a "no sew" project...cut, fringe and tie!  It's that easy!  I haven't counted them yet, but it looks like a LOT!  Let's put it this way, there are two large bags full of beautiful scarves in my craft room.  I've included a "sneak peek" of a few of them in the photo collage. 

Pretty birthday cake, scarves and friends...what a great night! Thanks to Karla (bottom right pic)  for inviting me to this special event!

Oh, the cake? What a surprise they had for ME!  They heard that Craft 4 Change is about to turn three, and had a beautiful Birthday cake made just for the occasion.  I always remind myself of how blessed I am, and this goes to show you that God is good!  Thank you ladies of Bayside Church, it was a very special night.


 ~~ Robyne ~~

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time to craft!

As we move towards the cooler temperatures (really? it doesn't feel like it!), it's time to start our next projects...YES, projects!  As in two of them at the same time!  Call us crazy motivated, but we think that YOU can help us do it, as you have shown your compassion and dedication in the past.  Are you ready?  Let's get to it!

Project 12: "Thank You for Serving" ~~ Lap blankets for hospitalized and disabled veterans. 

As we approach  the Veterans Day (November 11th) holiday, we are reminded of just how much our veterans have given to insure our freedoms here in the United States.  They have served willingly and diligently, whether here or abroad, sacrificing more than we can even imagine.  Often times, they have been wounded and return home to heal. At other times, they are living civilian lives and need hospitalization for one reason or another.

We wanted to show our appreciation for all they have done, so we are partnering with the Northern California Veterans Medical Center in Sacramento (Mather Hospital) by providing lap blankets to those staying at the facility.  This facility provides, not only health services but also meets the many other needs of our veterans.  If you, or anyone you know needs information on all of their services, please visit their website.
Blankets are approximately 3' x 3' or 3' x 4' and can be crocheted, knitted, sewn, quilted or no-sew fleece.  HERE are a couple of ideas and links.  Be creative, have fun with it!  (It might be fun to make them Red, White and Blue!)   Don't forget to check out  Pinterest.  LOTS of ideas there!

Project 13: "Stay Safe, Keep Warm" ~~ Scarves and hats for homeless youth.

Again, with winter approaching, we are reminded of kids that live on the streets, with no place to call home.  Temperatures dip into the low 30's at night in our area and many of these kids need to keep warm. Thankfully, there is a place that can help them.  WIND Youth Services of Sacramento, is a homeless shelter for teens and kids living on the streets.  It is hard to believe but circumstances sometimes put them out of their homes and onto the streets to fend for themselves.  They are too young and aren't safe in the adult shelters or in camps along the rivers and WIND is there to help.

WIND's Mission is:  "Our mission is to engage youth experiencing homelessness who need safety from the streets and access to resources to help them move from crisis to healthy functioning and independence."

We want to help by making scarves and hats (yes, some of you asked and are already making them!) to keep them a little warmer during these colder times.

We know that you probably have your favorite way of creating them, but HERE, HERE and HERE are a few ideas and links, just in case.  They can be sewn, crocheted, knitted and of course...fleece NO-SEW! 

Remember:  these are for kids and teens, so make them fun, colorful and HIP! 

Don't forget!  We have yarn and fabric at Craft 4 Change Headquarters if you need us and we'll get it to you.

Choose one of the projects or choose BOTH! 

Ok, let's get to creating...deadline is December 1st.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Don't 'cover up' " Update

Can I just start with a WOW!! and a huge THANK YOU!!

The first project within San Joaquin County was a great success. We were able to donate 15 nursing covers and 1 car seat cover, with still more coming in!  We are truly one helpful organization, but only through the generosity and craftiness from YOU, our crafters, who make this all possible.

*Anna with Delta Health Care on the left and I, Erika on the right.

All of you donated your time and energy to create these lovely covers and they turned out amazing! These covers will become part of a monthly raffle to support new moms in the community.  What a great way to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their children and connect with other new moms through the mommy groups at Delta Health Care.  We will have some lucky new families out their showing off your skills!

Thank you to all of our crafters, we TRULY could not have done it without all of you!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sit tight!

Thanks to all of you who participated in our last project, "Don't Cover Up".  Nursing covers and car seat covers/canopies are arriving and being counted RIGHT NOW!  As soon as we get a final count, photos and the goods delivered, we will post...stay tuned!

We are taking a crafting break, but working out the details for our next project!  It's gonna' be BIG!  ~~Robyne~~

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One "Kindness" Day!

Wednesday, July 31st!

Good morning crafters!
I bet you all are so disappointed to have our latest project come to an end.  I am too, BUT, I have something to share that can keep the excitement of doing things for others going.  I was going through my news feed on Facebook yesterday and came across "Noah's Kindness Project".  I am always curious, so I read it and I immediately became attached to it.  My heart ached for this family.  This family lost their 4 month old son, Noah, way too early. I have never experienced such a loss, but I have family and friends who have.  I can honestly say, I do not know how they find the light in the darkness, but they do.  I find them inspiring and I can only hope that should something so devastating happen to me, I can look towards these strong families and do as they have done.  I can say that strength in numbers is a powerful thing and having family, friends and even strangers bond over something so delicate spreads a strong message.

It is this message, that I would like to share with you. Wondering what it is?  "Practice random acts of kindness". I LOVE this powerful message.  I participated in a "Pay it forward" activity a while back, and I am STILL enjoying it.  It is such a wonderful feeling to brighten someone else's day whether they know about this little act or not. Too many times, it is easy to keep going and to stress over our own every day problems; I know I am guilty of that.  But, for one day, Wednesday July 31st, we can all share something with others and set aside our own problems while helping someone else with theirs.  There are SO MANY WAYS to help too.  When you buy a coffee for yourself, buy coffee for the person behind you. Offer to help someone with their groceries from the store to their car. Take a friend out to lunch or take a friend's child to the park with yours. Craft something for fun, make two and donate one to a place of your choice. I promise it's as easy as you want it to be and  the possibilities are endless!

Would you like to know more about Noah, and the inspiration behind this "Kindness" Day?  Go Here:
                       Noah's Kindness Project
Not only are there more ideas and ways to share random acts of kindness, but there is a link to the MISS Foundation, an organization for grieving parents.  And remember, you don't have to limit yourself to just Wednesday July 31st, you can make any day a "Random Acts" day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Continuing to care...

While we are all working on our latest project, "Don't Cover Up", some of YOU are still making beautiful and creative journals for Break the Cycle to add to their comfort packs.  We were able to deliver 18 more journals today...THANK YOU for your continued kindness and support. ~~Robyne~~

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Project 11: Update

Hi everyone!!
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer weather! Well, maybe not the hot, HOT days, but all of the other ones!  I have to confess, I have been enjoying it sooo much that I decided to give everyone a little summer surprise.  As my son says "Mommy, I have a prize for you!"  My "prize" for all of you is to have more time to enjoy the summer days AND still have time to work on this project! Before I tell you the "prize" I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you for your dedication to all of these projects.  You are all true Crafty Changers!

The deadline is now July 31st!  COMPLETE!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Project 11: "Don't 'Cover up' "

Hi everyone! 
I am SO excited to join the group and help Robyne expand her generosity through Craft 4 Change.  To donate now not only in one county but TWO is just amazing! Would you like to hear about the first project for San Joaquin Valley? This is Project 11 or project 1"1" as I like to call it, because it is the first project for me in this county. I can't wait!

When I had my son over three years ago, I was a new mom.  I had worked with children for over 20 years but when you have your very own, 24/7, it is a whole new experience. It is exciting, scary, emotional, precious, I could go on and on. Of course, every new parent wants to do what is best for their child. I had always heard "breastfeeding is best" but I do know that not everyone feels that way. After having my son, while I had started out believing that this statement was true, I had started to have some doubts. "Breastfeeding is best" I would tell myself but it was not as easy as everyone made it sound.

Did you know, that according to the World Health Organization, that less than 40% of infants under six months of age are breastfed?  I didn't. 

Some facts:
      " * Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants.  It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. 
       * Breast milk is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the two causes of child mortality worldwide.
       * Breast milk is readily available and affordable.
       * It reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.
       * It helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers the rate of obesity.
       * Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type -2 diabetes. "

However, even knowing this information, for some new moms, it is not as easy as sitting down, getting started and having things turn out perfect.  Support for new mothers in the hospital AND after their hospital stay is what really helps a struggling mother either feel empowered or defeated. Health facilities that support breastfeeding through trained lactation consultants and peer counselors are wonderful places where a frustrated or discouraged mother can turn for help.
That being said, I wanted to help out the facility that I turned to when I needed help.  Located in Stockton, Delta Health Care ( is a wonderful facility that provides this support to breastfeeding mothers. There are many incentives and types of encouragement for mothers to continue to breastfeed for as long as possible. The low stress atmosphere creates a comforting place where new moms can talk about their concerns.The staff here is warm and friendly and provide helpful advice to establish and strengthen that wonderful bond between mother and infant. So, what are we doing then?

We are going to be making nursing covers and car seat covers for the different incentives and giveaway activities they provide for the nursing mothers.  This is just one of the many ways to support and encourage mothers to come in for advice and to share their experiences with others, so that all mothers can benefit from this facility for help.

Below are a few pattern or ideas to help you get started.

Car Seat Covers:

This tutorial shows how to make a cover with pre-existing supplies,check it out if you are short on time but want to help or not that comfortable with sewing.

Nursing Covers:

I would like to kick off this project ASAP so how about.... today! As for a completion date, I was thinking maybe the first weekend in July if that works for everyone.

Deadline is July 7th!  July 31st COMPLETED

Thanks in advance for participating in this project, I hope you guys are as excited as I am to get started!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Craft 4 Change is moving...forward!

First things, first.   I want to thank all of YOU who have been so loyal to our cause of making a difference..."one life at a time".  We couldn't do what we do without your support and participation.  Some of you craft, while others provide supplies or help spread the word to other crafty people.   Every little bit helps and I don't take anything for granted. 

So, when one of my good friends and loyal participants made a suggestion for Craft 4 Change, I jumped at it!  Ready?

As you know, Craft 4 Change currently provides handcrafted items for local charities in and around the Sacramento Region...until now!  We are expanding to include the San Joaquin Valley Region of California!  It will include the towns of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca and others in and around the Central Valley.  So, that means we will be able to help more people in other parts of the state.  But, I won't be able to do both areas by, I want to introduce you to my friend, Erika. 

She will be the coordinator for the San Joaquin Valley Region and I will continue as the coordinator for the Sacramento Region.  What this means, is that each of us will be in charge of selecting the charity and project, writing the blog post, collecting, counting, photographing and delivering (the best part!) the items for our respective projects. 

Here is a little something from Erika: 

 "Hi everyone! I cannot tell you how excited I am to begin working with Robyne on Craft 4 Change.  Robyne and I have known each other for many years. I have enjoyed crafting and making things so much that I practically begged her to let me start a group and have a Craft 4 Change in San Joaquin County.

My first project for Robyne was very dear to my heart, the baby blankets for "Welcome Little One".  I promise I will tell you guys all about it soon, it was and still is very emotional to me.

But I am getting ahead of myself, let me start by telling you about me.  My name is Erika and I am married with two beautiful children.  My son Ethan is 3.5 years and my daughter Samantha is 3 months.  I run a family day care out of my home so that I can stay at home with my children while they are still young. When I am not running the day care I am trying to get my crafting business off the ground.  My wonderful husband lets me craft in all my "free time" and he puts up with my addiction to anything crafty!  I have been making things for as long as I can remember, at least since I was in high school but probably even longer. I can honestly say that crafting is my addiction, but I am proud if it. I love to share what I have learned with others and enjoying hearing what others have done.

The best part of crafting is sharing with others and what better place to do that than with Craft 4 Change.  I look forward to meeting all of you and crafting together!  A big thanks to Robyne for starting her organization and letting me expand it!! Wooo-hooo!! Let's get crafting!"

  I am going to love working with her, as she is so talented and has so much energy!  We are still working out the details, but it looks like we will alternate our projects, working on one region and then the other.  I hope you will continue to participate and help out both regions and help us help others.

We are still on a little project break, but stay tuned to our Facebook page and we'll let you know as soon as we begin a new one!  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Delivering Happiness

Thanks to your dedication to Craft 4 Change, we were able to deliver a little happiness to Averen Bareggi, founder of Break the Cycle. 

Here, Robyne Cortes (Craft 4 Change's founder) and Averen hold up some of the beautiful and fun bags that were created just for them. These bags are sure to make an abused child's life a little brighter.

We are taking a "crafting break" for awhile, but you can keep up with us on our FACEBOOK page.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Breaking the Cycle

Bright and cheery beanbags
Our hearts are full...again!  You, our crafty friends never cease to amaze us at Craft 4 Change.  We put out the call and YOU always deliver. 

This time our cause was for child abuse awareness and asked for bean bags, journals and backpack style drawstrings bags to be given to Break the Cycle.  The owner, Averen hand makes and sells jewelry to raise money to provide Comfort Packs to law enforcement and service organizations for children reporting abuse.  We were delighted to help.  So, without further are your results!

YOU lovingly created 23 journals, 32 backpacks and 140 bean bags!  Woo-hoo!
Frogs, butterflies, little green men and flames...something for everybody
We appreciate all you do for life at a time.
Pretty papers, fun and bright
Now, it is time to take a little break from crafting, but stay tuned for our next project by LIKING our Facebook page.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Deadline is approaching!

Hey crafty-friends!  Just to remind you that our deadline for "A Little Comfort" is approaching.  Please email or post a comment on our Facebook page to let us know when you are finished and we will make arrangements to collect your items.

Deadline:  April 1st!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More Time!

Hey Craft 4 Change fans!  Just wanted to let you all know that the deadline for "A Little Comfort" has been extended until April 1st!  And, that is no joke! 
So, keep crafting away and send us an email or message on our Facebook page when you are finished and we will make arrangements to collect your items.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sew colorful!

Pssssst...take a look at some of the bean bags that are making their way to Craft 4 Change headquarters!  LOVE them!  These are sure to brighten a child's day! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Giving Tuesday" : Week 7

As we continue to move forward with our latest project for abused children, are hearts are heavy for those mothers who have lost their children before they were even born or shortly thereafter.  We can't even imagine what these families are going through.  But, there is one group of dedicated people who are trying to help the pain a little, by providing (at no cost) heart shaped pillows, filled with pellets the exact weight of the child.  This week we want to feature:

A Heart to Hold

What started with one family's loss has turned into an amazing group of people who are giving back in such a way that it melts our hearts.  They are located in the Sacramento area and are always looking for volunteers to sew, fill and ship these hearts.  But, their main need right now, is funds.  Funds to continue to ship these weighted hearts.  Each heart shipment costs the organization about $25 and they have very little fundraising right now.

So, please check out their page HERE.  Also, on our Facebook page you will see them listed under our them a visit! 

Oh, and this just might be a future project for us! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Giving Tuesday: Week 6

Did you know that there are 680 (2008 records) "homeless" children in the Folsom-Cordova School System? Actually, now there are 783. 

What does "homeless" mean?  It means "an individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate residence".  These students are living in unstable places like motels, in homes without a parent or legal guardian, in homes without power or water, in RV's in parking lots, in cars, tents, the streets and more.

There is a grassroots group of people who are helping:

Project 680

They are a group of concerned citizens, who in 2008 found out that there were 680 "homeless" students in this school district.  Hence, the name Project 680.

They have had several sock and hoodie drives to give these children a little warmth in the all about them on their web site:  Project 680. 

If you feel compelled to can contact them directly. 

Thanks to these wonderful folks at Project 680 for making the life of a homeless student, a little better. 

Hmmm...maybe a future project for Craft 4 Change!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Giving Tuesday: Week 5

It's Tuesday..."Giving Tuesday" to be exact!  So, what do:  smiling at 10 strangers, holding the door for someone, mentoring an at-risk child or teen, letting someone go ahead of you in line and paying for the person behind you in a fast-food line, have in common?  They are all "Random Acts of Kindness".  And, since February 11-17th is "National Random Acts of Kindness Week",

We give you:

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

as this week's honoree in our "Giving Tuesday" feature!  Did you know that they actually have a website and a Facebook page?  Yep...check them out HERE.  They have all sorts of ideas for you to make a difference in some one's life, no matter how small.  And, since we at Craft 4 Change are all about making a difference, we kinda' LIKE  LOVE THEM! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Project 10: UPDATE!

Hey all Craft 4 Changers...just wanted to remind you that if you are planning on sewing the bean bags or backpack-style drawstring bags to check with us first about fabric!  Remember, we just had a HUGE donation of fabric!  Send us an email or message on our Facebook page!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Giving Tuesday: Week 4

Last week on our Facebook page, we asked the question, "besides crafting for Craft 4 Change, in what ways do you give back?" reply.  Bummer. 

THIS week...we are featuring another young person that we think is doing an awesome job of giving back.  Let us introduce:

Justine Wood

of Modesto, California.  Oh, and she is only ten years old!  She was looking for ways to volunteer for a school project, when she contacted the Society for Handicapped Children and Adults.  She helped out with a bowling event but wanted to do more.  Then, she heard about the Special Needs Ball.  So, she set out to collect 30 or so prom-type dresses for this fancy event (and boys suits too)...collecting over 45 and counting!  Now, she is trying to raise money to help fund this very special event and we have no doubt that she will do just that. 

You can read all about it in the Modesto Bee's article on her service to others.  And, if you feel like helping her out, you can contact the SFHCAA's Facebook page.

Great job Justine! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"A Little Comfort" : Project 10

Did you know that 1 in 4* or, in some research ,1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 or, in some research, 1 in 6* boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday?

Nearly 3/4 of victims will not tell anyone for at least a year. Nearly half of victims will wait at least 5 years before telling. Some never tell. **

90% of cases are never reported. Ever. Which mean the majority of sexual offenders are walking the streets free and unknown to society.
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.*****

The Abusers:  30-40% are immediate or extended family members of the victim.***
As many as 50% of abusers know their victims and are in a position of trust with the victim and/or family.***
As many as 40% of abusers are larger or older children - siblings, cousin, friends, neighbors, community members ****

Only 10% are estimated to be strangers****

The VictimsThe average age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years.
50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are under age twelve
20% of children will receive a sexual solicitation via the Internet

The Cost Victims PayChildren that are sexually abused are at a higher risk to suffer from: low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, obesity. attempted suicide or suicide, and prostitution.

This is appalling!  What can we do? 

There are countless people and organizations that are helping these children.  One of them in our area is called, "Break the Cycle"., in Orangevale.  It is run by one woman, Averen Bareggi, who makes jewelry to raise not only awareness but also funds to create and distribute "comfort packs" that are given to law enforcement and other agencies for children reporting abuse. 
These bags are filled with all kinds of things to encourage creativity and comfort.  Things like:  art supplies, children's help books, a Curious George CD, bean bags, journals, gift cards to fun activities and a hand-stamped BRAVE bracelet (made by Averen).
We can help by filling the bags with a couple of the things that go in them. 
For all of you NON-SEWERS...purchase a plain, blank journal and embellish it.  Cover it with fabric, pretty papers or stickers.  Mod-Podge works great for this project! Use your imagination...get creative!
For those of you who DO SEW...Bean bags!  Please use fun, kid friendly fabrics and fill them with natural materials like rice, beans or peas (no plastic little balls, please).  No larger than about 5" x 5".
And, then if you really want to sew, make the drawstring-backpacks for the items to go in.  Please use a sturdy, plain canvas-like material.    HERE is a link to show the construction of the backpack style that is needed.  Please, make them 10" x 12" in size.
For more information on the actual items and to see the bags, please visit Break the Cycle website.  There is a great video of Averen, telling about the backpacks. 
SO...crafty people!  Let's get going and help give a little comfort to some kids. 
Deadline:  March 15th  April 1st
For those of you local and you want to sew...please contact us for fabric!

Let us know when you are finished with your project, via email or comment and we'll collect them!

*(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006)
**(Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007)
***Elliot, M., Browne, K., & Kilcoyne, J. (1995). Child sexual abuse prevention: What offenders tell us. Child Abuse & Neglect, 5, 579-594
****Kilpatrick, D., Saunders, B.W., & Smith, D. (2003). Youth victimization: Prevalence and implications. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice Report.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Giving Tuesday! Week 3

Wow!  It's hard to believe another week has gone by, as we have been very busy here at Craft 4 Change.  We are getting ready for our next project and also had a HUGE donation of fabric and yarn in the last couple of days.  More on that's this weeks featured organization that is giving life at a time:

Krochet Kids International

"Buy a hat. Change a life" ~~ That is their motto.

It all started when three high school boys, Kohl, Travis and Stewart were taught to crochet.  These guys made their own hats for snowboarding. Soon, kids in their school wanted them, so they begin taking orders and selling them to help pay for prom expenses.  Life moved on and they were off to college. 

While on a trip to Uganda, one of the guys was so moved that he wanted to do something to help the impoverished women earn a decent living.  So, back to crocheting they TEACH these women to crochet and make hats. 

 The women are paid a fair wage and the hats are sold online and in some retail stores.  They have also expanded into Peru.  Each hat has a tag with the signature of the lady who made it and you can read her story (and send her a thank you note) on their website.  Krochet Kids International.

"Through a unique model we are empowering the women of Northern Uganda and Peru with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The result is long lasting and sustainable change."  ~~From Krochet Kids website. 

Please take time to read their story on their website and if you a hat.  Change a life. 

These young people simply amaze us at Craft 4 Change!  What a example of what a small idea can do, to change a life. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Giving Tuesday!

It's Tuesday again and you know what that means?  Yep...time to recognize another organization that is giving back in a big way!  This week we are introducing:

Hands 4 Hope Youth

They are an organization located in El Dorado Hills, California.  They are group of kids, from kindergarten through 12th grade that help out local people in need.  They organize food drives (they call them "blitzes") for local food banks, make blankets and lunches for the homeless, provide "boutique style" shopping for low income people, collect and make soldier care packages, as well as other things. 

Here is their company overview (from their Facebook page):
Youth Making A Difference, dba Hands4Hope, is a non-profit, non-denominational, youth driven outreach organization based in El Dorado Hills, CA, and was founded in February 2008. The organization's mission is to make a difference in the lives of others with positive actions, kind words, and visions of hope. Hands4Hope is comprised of youth volunteers ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade, who mostly reside in El Dorado Hills; however, the organization plans to expand its volunteer base from both Sacramento and El Dorado Counties.

Hands4Hope is led by a Youth Advisory Council, which is mentored by a Parent Advisory Council. The organization currently has over 200 youth members and eight public school partners to assist with outreach efforts. The organization strives to continually encourage youth to understand areas of need in their communities where they can make a difference and have a positive impact, offer opportunities for leadership development, create awareness of others' circumstances, inspiring compassion and action, and support and/or fill voids in local outreach efforts.

These kids are amazing!  What a wonderful way to raise our children, to be good citizens and care for others.  Visit their web site to see more of what they are doing and past projects...and if you live in the area and have kids...get them involved! 

Hats off to Hands4Hope!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Giving Tuesday!

Yesterday, we introduced a new feature to our blog, called "Giving Tuesday".  So, without further ado, let's introduce:

Vivienne Harr, founder of Make-A-Stand-Lemonade!  This young girl was so moved by a picture that depicts two young boys (child slaves) with huge stones attached to their backs, hauling them down a hill from a quarry, that she said,  "We have to do something".  And do something she did!  In May of 2012, she started selling lemonade for $2 a glass, trying to raise $150,000 to free 500 child slaves.  All of her money goes to the Not For Sale Campaign, an organization that fights human trafficking and modern day slavery around the world. 

At $2 a glass, it would take an eternity, so she started giving away her lemonade, asking people to "Give what's in your heart"...and did they give!  She now gets an average of $20 a glass and YES, she achieved her goal (and beyond) on day #173 of "not selling" her lemonade.

But, she isn't stopping there. 

It has been so successful that her organic, fair-trade, 100% dee-licious (her words!) lemonade is being bottled...yep, to be given away and she only asks, "give what's in your hearts."

She has been featured on several news casts and television shows, all accessible from her site.

You can read her story on her Make-A-Stand-Lemonade website and "not buy" (because, we are not-for-sale) her lemonade.  Also, we have a link on our Facebook  page to hers. 

Oh...did we mention that she is only 8 years old! 

So, do you know of a person or organization that you would like us to feature?  Send us an email or message on Facebook (Please don't post a link directly on our page, just include it in a private message).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Giving Back

First there was  Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday.  Oh, and don't forget Cyber Monday!  But, in 2012 there was also, Giving Tuesday. 

What is Giving Tuesday?  According to the website, it's mission statement is:

 #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Now, THAT is a great idea.

We at Craft 4 Change, really like  love that. Why wait for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving?  We think it would be fun to celebrate every Tuesday!  So from now on, we will feature a person or an organization that is truly giving back...on Tuesdays

There are so many good ones out there and we have a few in mind, but would love to hear from you.  So, if you know of any organizations or persons that you would like us to consider featuring, please send us an email or a message on our Facebook page  (Please don't post a link directly on the page, just include it in the private message).  We will check out each and every one and select one a week to feature.  Sounds fun, yes!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting Back...Looking Forward

It's hard to believe that a little over two years ago Craft 4 Change was "born".  October 13, 2010 is the exact date that I launched our first project, "Wrap them in Love", by making scarves for the women and children of St. John's Shelter, in Sacramento.  YOUR generosity was amazing!  I had no idea where this "leap of faith" would take me.  And, it truly was a GIANT leap for me.  Here's a little back story on how Craft 4 Change came to be:

Like our "Humble Beginnings" page states, I had been surfing the web one day looking for some sort of charity or group that I could help with, by providing handcrafted items.  I don't even know how I came across it, but did find a group called, Craft Hope, that did just that.  They select a charity and a project and put it on their blog.  Just like that, people from all over the world would create beautiful items and send them to Craft Hope to deliver!  It was amazing!  They would receive hundreds and thousands of items. I participated in a few of the projects, loved it, but wanted more.  (They selected charities from all over the country and the world, but I really wanted to do something a bit more local.)

So, I came up with a similar format and customized it for the Sacramento, California area.  I worked on the name, logo, projects, blog, etc.  I started the blog (only I could see it)...and waited.  And, waited and waited.  I was all ready, but afraid to put myself out there.  Would anyone read it?  Would anyone actually participate?  Would the agencies that I contacted want our help? I was a nervous wreck!

What actually prompted me to "just do it"?  Well, the church I attend was doing the study, "One Month to Live", Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life, by Kerry & Chris Shook.  It was going along just fine and dandy, when on day 27, the title was:  Starfish - Making a World of Difference.  The story goes like this:  ~~ Power of One ~~
A businessman visiting a resort community left his hotel early one morning to take a walk. When he reached the shoreline, he came upon a stunning sight:  countless starfish had washed up on the beach during the night in a high tide. They were still moving, still alive, clambering all over one another, trying to get back into the ocean.  He knew it wouldn't be long until the tropical sun would bake the poor creatures trapped there on the sand.  He wished he could do something, but there were thousands of them, as far as his eye could see, and there was no way he could make a dent in saving them.
So he went on his way.  Walking farther down the beach, he came upon a little boy who leaned over, scooped up a starfish, and flung it like a Frisbee into the ocean.  He repeated the process over and over again, picking up speed, obviously trying to save as many as possible.
Once the man realized what the little boy was doing, he felt it was his responsibility to help the boy by informing him of a harsh life lesson.  He walked up to the child and said, "Son, let me tell you.  What you're doing here is noble, but you can't save all these starfish. There are thousands of them.  The sun's getting really hot, and they're all going to die.  You might as well just go on your way and play.  You really can't make a difference here."
The little boy didn't say anything at first; he just stared at the businessman.  Then he stooped down and picked up another starfish, flung it out into the ocean as far as he could, and said, "Well, I just made all the difference for that one."
 That was it!  I couldn't help everyone, but I could help at least one person.  So what if no one read my blog?  So what if I was the only one who made things?  So what?  I took that HUGE leap and launched the blog and project on October 13, 2010.  I printed out flyer's and hung them in our local craft stores, the library and anywhere else that people would let me.  I sent emails to all of my family, friends, bible study ladies and waited.  Wow!  Was I surprised at how generous everyone was!  The first project produced over 90 scarves!  It was amazing...ask, and they will help.  Tears of joy and I was humbled beyond words.
We are ending 2012 with a bang!  Blankets, bags, scarves, hats, and other items have been delivered to those in need, thanks to YOU.  People from all over California and even a few from other states have participated in our projects.  I am truly humbled by your kind hearts, encouraging words,  support and generosity.  I have "met"  the most wonderful people through this blog or on Facebook.  I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. 

As we move into 2013, look for some new things for Craft 4 Change.  You have encouraged and inspired me to push even further to make a difference, one life at a time. 
 ~~ Robyne~~