(I am in Philadelphia this weekend. Yes, it's related to the yummy food box. I'll tell you all about it next week--with lots of pictures to make you hungry! In the meantime, a pre-scheduled moral conundrum....)
Do y'all know about Craft Hope? It's a group of ladies who choose a different craft project every few months, ask others to craft with them, and then send all their handmade goodies to a part of the world in need. For example, they sent dolls to an orphanage in Nicaragua, and scarves to college-bound foster kids.
I have not participated before, not because I don't think it's a well-intentioned endeavour, but because...well, I'll be blunt, it felt a little...patronizing. (That may not be the exact flavor of the word I'm looking for, but it's close.) Like, I could send you a scarf and feel really good about myself for making it, but if what you really need is textbooks for school wouldn't it be better for me to send you the money I'd spend on yarn? It seems it can turn into something that's more about making the giver feel good, less about actually helping the receiver.
But, as with many things, the more I think about it, the more I realize how much more complicated it is. Because "send handmade goodies OR send money" is really a false choice. First of all, there's nothing to stop a person from doing both in some circumstances. Second, there have been 13 Craft Hope projects to date, and before this week I hadn't done a thing for any of the people those projects reached.
A friend of mine has a lovely quote on her Facebook profile that sums it up exactly:
"The daily battle isn't choosing between good and evil. It's hardly so epic. Most days, the real battle is choosing to do good versus choosing to do nothing. (Deirdre Sullivan from her This I Believe essay called Always Go to the Funeral.)"
I wasn't choosing between sending an orphan a doll and sending a bag of flour. I was choosing between sending an orphan a doll and surfing the internet all evening. It wasn't "good OR better good", it was "good OR nothing".
And while, yes, a doll is a small thing....
"No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
This is all a very long and quote-y way of saying, I made another quilt-ish blanket last week, to send for project 13. (And that I am a crazy woman who over-thinks everything.)
It's a log-cabin front, all made from scraps. Then for the batting and backing I used a set of flannel sheets to make it cozy. It was small enough and the batting was solid enough that I didn't feel the need to technically quilt it, hence the "quilt-ish" designation.
I hope some little boy who lived through this past month's tornadoes will like the roosters as much as my small one does. (I also hope his mama won't say, "Oh look, how sweet! This must be some child's first quilting project!" LOL.)
But seriously, there's something about humans...we're hardwired to want to help in ways we can see and touch and feel. And particularly here...where I know perfectly that the choice is those fabric scraps sitting in my cabinets for another year OR sending them out into the world to maybe do some good....I pick the "good".