Kids changing the world? Not possible you say. I say they can. And by sewing softies too!
2019 began with a bang. Sew a Softie partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Arts NYC to create the world’s first ever Global Kids’ Sewing Party. The idea: to get kids to sew a softie and gift it to someone in their community. The result: Thousands of kids picked up a needle and thread and sewed to show they care. It was the perfect way not only to teach kids how to sew but to show them they can contribute meaningfully to their community, and to show adults that kids really can make a difference in someones life.
February has passed and March is already here but the last contributions are still coming in.
There was so much energy and momentum throughout February that the Global Party was never going to halt abruptly just because February ran out of days. With 139 groups officially registering and even more taking part in 24 countries around the world it was a truly global party.
In Ireland, Heather Makes Sewing’s daughter Katie, taught her class at Omagh Integrated Primary School to sew love bug softies and attracted the attention of three local papers.
In the UK, Laura at Colourful Minds Kids had kids sewing Love Monster to go to children’s centre staff who do home visits to vulnerable families in Bristol. Also from the UK, We Make it Sew had three generations sewing softies together at the Farlington Prep School.
In Ridgewood NY, Mollie at Felt Hearts Club organised her Global Kids’ Sewing Party at a public school and attracted over 50 parents and kids while students at Charleston Montessori School sewed softies and personally delivered them to the Ronald McDonald House in their city.
We also had lots of mother and daughter teams.
Agnes of Hello Wonderful partnered with her daughter Alia to create sock bunny softies. The family is relocating and Alia wanted to give the softies to friends as parting friendship gifts. Agnes had so much fun that she repeated the activity and sewed sock bunny softies with the adult guests at a dinner party she was hosting that weekend.
Emily at Making With Mommy partnered with her daughter to help a class of five year old pre-schoolers sew heart softies and give them to someone helpful in their community and Sew Help Me made “silly faced softies” with her daughter and donated them to her school’s reading centre.
The participants’ enthusiasm to gift their softies to someone in their community was palpable and the original ways they did this was really impressive and sometimes inspiring.
I loved the way Amber at Figment Creative widened the idea of community to include local animals: she got her students to make softies which they could then choose to give to their cat or to a cat shelter. Fish Museum and Circus is another cat lover: she made little mice softies with her daughter’s scout group and also gifted them to a cat shelter.
Amie of Sewing School also came up with a really lovely idea: she got her after-school sewing club to sew a magnetised softie for their school teachers. When the teachers arrived at school the next morning they found colourful softies sticking to their whiteboards with notes of thanks and appreciation from their students.
Katie at Art Teacher Life organised her Year 5 students to work with the Year K students to design a softie. The Year 5 students helped the little ones draw their softie, colour it in and then went off and made their drawing into a real-life softie.
Nelandnora’s daughter and friend sewed softie hearts which their girl scout group deposited all over their town for people to find. Kylie from Teaching Tots Things was one of the more humorous stories: in her last minute rush to participate in the Global Kids’ Sewing Party she improvised by taking stuffing from the couch pillow to use in her softie. When her husband looked on in disbelief she told him,”Not to worry, it isn’t much, you won’t really notice”.
We had libraries, museums, art galleries, schools, scout groups, sewing clubs and sewing studios as well as families joining in and they all came up with great ideas and interesting ways to share their softies with their communities. I can’t wait till next February and next year’s Global Kids’ Sewing Party. If you’re waiting too and are thinking of joining in you can register here for email updates.
To everyone who took part and made the first Global Kids’ Sewing Party such a success,
Many thanks, Trixi
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