Give Back

Hello! I am just popping in with a second post today to give you a heads up about something that I think is awesome.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my friends at My Favorite Things are also hosting a challenge this month… called “MFT Gives Back.” Throughout the month, they are giving fellow crafters little nudges to get us thinking about ways that we can give back. If you missed their first two posts, you can go back and read about ways to Show Compassion to Others and Celebrate Those Who Serve.

Theirย focus today is ways that we can Share Our Passion With Others.

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As crafters, we likely have a lot of supplies in our craft room that we don’t truly need anymore. Why not share these with others so they can enjoy them? Schools. Scouts. Women’s shelters. Churches. Children’s hospitals. MFT is encouraging us to pack up our extras and share them!

I find purging my craft room frequently helps me creatively. It keeps me from being overwhelmed. So I am often giving supplies to local schools. Today? Today I was inspired to purge some of my old 12×12 cardstocks. It felt good! It was taking up too much room and I wasn’t using them enough.

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In addition to the Share Handmade Kindness Challenge we are doing here, I hope you will consider jumping on board with MFT Gives Back.

I would love to hear if and where you donate your extra craft goodies!

See you soon. Take care!


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88 thoughts on “Give Back”

  1. I have donated my “extras” to several places: friends, church girls’ group and to adult family homes. It’s always great to feel like you can give back when you feel so blessed, and sometimes “overwhelmed” with stuff!

  2. Yes, I have a favorite assisted living center that took great care of my Grandma. I think I will pack up the car and head that way. I already have a good pile to donate!

  3. I have found that my son new kindergarten teacher is always in need of supplies for the kindergarten hall, so I’ve been donating a ton of different supplies and I go up there and donate my time to help ALL 5 teachers as well as anything holiday that they have going on! I make diecuts from the LAWN FAWN dies and stamps to coordinate with whatever project they have going. and I make all of the five kindergarten teachers extra projects that they need and I use all of my supplies and I have donated my supplies to them as well! They love having a super crafty mom helping all the time, but I think I get the most back from helping them and seeing the happiness and ease of stress from being there right hand lady!
    #helpingFeelsAwesome!?

  4. I donate my extras to the thrift store that is run by our local food bank. One hundred percent of all the funds raised go directly to help those in need since all the staff are volunteers. I never have buyers remorse
    about buying and never using the items

    because it helps others.

  5. I would love to know how to donate extra stuff to military wives. I live in Austin, Tx – not that far from Ft. Hood but have no idea who to contact. Any ideas are appreciated. Thx.

  6. I purged my room and sent two box to the Pine Ridge Indian. Reservasent. They are always looking for all sorts of things. Felt good to share.

  7. It is a great feeling to share! I’ve done it with teacher friends, a nursing home, and this past spring I really got carried away when my church was hosting a tent city. I had SO much and they had so little.

  8. Last year I took my favorite pens, markers, stickers, papers, etc. – all new, and gave them to the children I picked from our giving tree at church. Some of it was tough cause I really liked it all but it was much funny to wrap it up and give things I cherished. Of course – new year I began collecting again.

  9. I share some supplies with two preschoolers via their grandmother. She covers their bedroom door and they create a scene on it each month, making use of cardstock, embellishments and things I die cut for them.

    I also share items with a neighbor I met one day 2 years ago (at the mail box!). She takes my things to her church for VBS and Sunday School and to a lady who supervises student (art) teachers at Case Western Reserve. In return, she gives me extra art things from her church plus she collects pine cones to give to me to share with a friend who co-ordinates craft projects for area Cub Scout troops plus to use in teaching Sunday School at her church! These items get around and somehow they all get used instead of just sitting there!

    I also pack up special item to send to a card making friend in AZ and she does the same for me! On the outside of our boxes we print C.A.R.E! Those letters stand for Create And Really Enjoy!

  10. Jennifer, I teach Art to grades 3- 8 at a parochial school. Every year, 200+ students make beautiful Mother’s Day cards. I bring my personal paper stash to school and let the children choose papers from them. They learned to mat and layer. I also bring my punches for the children to use. A lot of the punches are worn out now from being used hundreds and hundreds of times. I supply good quality adhesives. Last year we started using my Big Shot to emboss and die cut. Wore that one out. Poor thing. Anyway, I hop a lot and enter giveaways to restock my stash and win more supplies so the children can have more choices with their cards. I am so thankful for the giveaway contests. It really helps us.

  11. I usually donate my extras, leftovers, and “why did I buy this” to local public schools and/or Boys’ and Girls’ clubs. I know the supplies will be used creatively and to spark (I hope) a love of art. I know so many teachers that buy their own supplies. I want to help support them and the kids they teach.

  12. I give to a gal in our church who uses the cards and supplies to send to shut in’s and sick in our large church.
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

  13. I recently did a MASSIVE purge and ended up donating 4 laundry baskets to a local women and children’s shelter that helped my kids and I escape an unhealthy relationship. Most women don’t like to leave the shelter because they don’t want to be tempted into going back. I remember when I was there, finding something to do and keep my mind occupied was difficult. We didn’t have a TV and these were the days before smartphones. I wanted the ladies staying there now to have a hobby they could bond over. And form healthy friendships and support each other.

  14. Last summer I reorganized and purged my craft supplies. I gave a trunkful to a high school art club. There was an article in the local news how the art club had restored dollhouses for a local Women’s Center. It is a center dedicated to women and children who are victims of abuse. I called the art teacher and we met for breakfast to transfer goods from my car to hers.

    The other place that I donated materials was at a local refugee center. Many of the children and teens are coming from war torn countries where they never had art in school. I met with teenagers there and we made cards or other projects. There were teens who spoke a variety of languages . Some of the activites were exploratory. I learned that art is a universal language. I’d use baggies to make packets and brought stamp pads and stamps. Then I left the materials so they could use them at other times. Some of the cards they made were sent to benefactors of the center, written on in the participant’s native language. Some cards were given to family members, too. Some of the children were attending local schools and learning English so we used word stamps like thank you, love, easy vocabulary, letter stamps etc.

  15. I like to make gift baskets for fund raisers. I’ve also made them as gifts. It’s great way to share my unused things with someone who appreciates them. I put paper, stamps, stickers, ribbons and other embellishments into a nice basket wrap it up in cellophane and a bow.

  16. I want to say thank you because as a student teacher getting my credentials right now, it is amazing to see how much kindness you are spreading to everyone and helping teachers and the community to come together.

  17. A couple of time a year I have a look at my stash and have a bit of a clear out…papers, punches, pens and pencils etc and pass them onto my local children’s library. They were quite surprised when I first started but are now more than happy to accept any donations…especially at this time of the year.
    You are an inspiration…thanks x

  18. I bring my handmade cards to the teachers at the school near me twice a year, but for other crafting supplies, I bring them to the Saturday Chinese School I teach, they do have an hour of art and craft session every week.

  19. Over the past couple weeks I have given a bunch of paper, flowers, envelopes & bags to a teacher at a Christian school & beads to a nursing home. Im glad it went somewhere that it can be used instead of laying around.

  20. How timely this post is. I love sharing my love of crafting, especially with kids. Last year we had a buggy bookmark party, where all the kids used punches, paper, double-sided tape, ribbons etc to make bookmarks, might have to try one again before Christmas, think I will ask at the library. Anyway, getting back on track, a couple of days ago I was talking to the little girl next door and she told me about the grand ideas she had for a diorama she had to make for school and mentioned that she wanted to have lots of kangaroos. I had some pretty kangaroo papers and punch that came in quite handy for her. She brought the punch back last night with a big thank you and told me that the still had writing to do and would bring it to show us when she was finished ๐Ÿ™‚
    I will have a proper purge after I have my Caring Hearts Drive and Christmas cards done.
    Thank You for the reminder Jennifer ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. This is so wonderful! I am always going through my craft supplies and collecting things I don’t need or want anymore and I fill bags and bags full. Just last week I donated two big bags full of ribbon to a day care center for kids 1-5 years old. They do lots of crafting there, and can use lots of art supplies. They were so happy to get the supplies. I’ve also given them tons of paper I don’t use anymore and punches and even stamps. I love knowing they are getting put to good use!!!!!

    ~Lindsay~

  22. I use to donate my stuff to my 2 sisters when they were scrapbooking, but sadly 1 has totally quit and the other does it 2 or 3 times a year. So now when I purge which is about 2 times a year I give it to my friend next door for her Church children’s program. They love it because it is free and they can do so much with all the paper, stickers, glues, ink pads, punches etc… I enjoy knowing that it will be used and is for a good cause of course.

  23. I couldn’t agree more.My granddaughters school is always needing supplies.Every three months or so I gather card stock stickers pencils and crayons to give to the kindergarten an first graders.They use everything I bring.Thank you Jennifer

  24. I give a lot of crafting/sewing supplies to the local nursing home. They are always thrilled to receive anything. What surprises them is that I do not have any relatives in the home. My clogging group used to perform shows there.
    I have also donated supplies to the nearby Nature Center to use with their educational programs.

  25. As a teacher,there is never enough craft materials and I often use my own stamps and puches with the children, because there is no money to buy those kinds of meterials. They love using the punches!

  26. I have in the past taken a huge collection of assorted goodies and mailed them to a crafter in need. It does feel good when you can pass along that much needed item you no longer use. I am also in a chat with the Hubby to switch around my craft room and his office (both spare bedrooms) I would gladly take the smaller one (his office now) and combine both twin beds into the larger one (my craft room) and move to the smaller one. In this way I would free up some space (removing the twin bed) and I can clean and purge and donate when I do. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. I recently took a box of stamps, punches and embellishments to an organization that is near to my heart. They have a thrift store that raises money to help with needs of underprivileged and also host the Read & Feed program that tutors and gives a healthy supper to children. I hope these supplies bring as much joy to the people that end up with them as they did to me.

  28. I’ve filled the back of my car several times in the last year with craft supplies. Almost all of it has gone to an non-profit organization that resells your supplies and donates all the money to charity. I’ve probably reduced my 12X12 cardstock by 80% because, like you, I rarely used it. Once the holidays are over, I’m going to do another purge. There’s still too much stuff to sort through. I do believe the fewer things I have, the easier it is to create. (Stamps and dies might be the one exception to that!)

  29. I have been giving my “extra everythings” to the art teacher at our Middle School. This last time I let a friend who is starting to make cards go through my “stuff” and she loved it so much she couldn’t understand how I could give it up. Made me think for a few seconds and then I moved on to the new “stuff”. Haven’t missed it at all.

  30. I have donated paper, punches and other supplies to churches and schools, but most of them in my area do not want clear stamp sets because they don’t have acrylic blocks to use with them. Do you know of an organization that distributes clear stamps , dies, etc. to needy crafters or groups? I’m always at a loss as to what to do with stamos and dies I no longer want. Thank you.

  31. I donate to a senior day program and to the children’s hospital. Reading the comments here has given me lots of other ideas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. I’m a pretty newbie so I’m still getting the basic supplies. And my craft space is limited to a small corner of a room with a table and Sterlite cart. So I don’t usually have surplus. But whenever I feel that I have something that I will not use, I send it to some ladies as RAKs. We have a group in FB.

  33. Jennifer, you are the most generous person I know. You are truly inspiring to crafters and everyone. You are a bright spot in a world that has gone the wrong way for a long time now. We certainly need more people like you. I know you make me want to try harder and do better. Keep up the good work in the craft room and out!

  34. I love this idea! I’m new to crafting so I don’t have extra to give BUT I do have a few duplicates that I accidently bought. I plan to donate those. Thanks for the idea and helping all of us to think about giving back. ?

  35. Once my girlfriend told me that the local school had a scrapbook in club, I started purging and donating and even told my friends and they all purged and we donate everytime we have a pile collected.

  36. I make sympathy cards for Hospice and church. It keeps my creative juices flowing, my extra “stuff” used and gives me a good feeling.

  37. I love getting the word out donating your craft supplies to worthy people. I have been donating my extra supplies to our local senior center for years. Several years ago I taught a class at the senior center about card making. Since then I have been donating. Sometimes I buy things just for them. It feels really good to help and give back.

  38. Whenever I do a purge of my crafty supplies, I give them to a friend who teaches at school in a less afluent area.
    They use the supplies for classroom crafts and daycare crafts too. She says the supplies are really appreciated, because then the teachers can use their budget for other classroom needs. I have had a few super cute cards made by some of the students, to say thanks…It makes me feel really good that my extra supplies are being used instead of sitting in drawers forgotten and unloved.

  39. I have given donations to the local schools and an adult day care center. But my recent purges have gone to the humane society for their quarterly rummage sales. All proceeds go to the care of the animals. My donations have been extremely well received and, according to the director,”have flown out the door.” on the sale days.

  40. Funny that you posted this because I have in my car two boxes of craft items I purged from my craft room last week.
    I am giving a box to a friend to donate to Kiwanis and another for a woman’s shelter. It feels great to purge things I no longer feel that I will use, and double great knowing my things are going to make someone else happy. I think I will do this every few months!

  41. A couple of months ago, I donated two large boxes full of papercrafting supplies to an elementary school that is located in a less-than-affluent area of the county. It felt good on two levels – the supplies went to a place where they will be appreciated & used and there is “that much less” stuff in my art studio. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. I have donated to local women’s shelters, pediatric wards at the hospitals, nursing homes and schools. I was asked to teach a two day class on Nov 23 and 24th and am donating a Grand Calibur, some dies, cardstock, card bases, envelopes, coloring mediums and lots of other embellishments so that the kids have enough to create whatever they want to during the class. It gives me great joy to be passing the creative bug on to the next generation. NONE of the 20 kids have ever done stamping or cardmaking so it is going to be a very interesting adventure! I am looking forward to it!!

  43. Jennifer you are an amazing, caring woman. I love watching your videos and especially how you always say you can use anything in your stash to do what you are teaching. It makes me think I don’t have to buy the product to do the technique. My mother and I scrapbooked together for many years and both have a lot of stuff. She died last October and I still have boxes to go through. It is very hard but I am trying to purge and give. I taught a card class at church and it was rewarding to see how much it was enjoyed.

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