Monday, February 16, 2009

Vintage sewing pattern anyone?

In an effort to raise a bit more cash for the Handmade Help Bushfire Appeal, I have started raiding my considerable stash of vintage sewing patters (because hey, most of them are at least 2 - 4 sizes too big for me anyway, and I'm nowhere near a clever enough sewer to downsize them - so out they go!!!). They are currently for sale in the Beckybean Etsy Shop.

I have added a few in the last day or so, but will continue to add more over the next week. So far six have already walked out the door (three on their way to France - oooh la la!!), so I'm hoping there will be more following suit over the next couple of weeks. At $4.00 USD and free postage within Australia I'm only going to raise a lot of $$$ by selling a lot of patterns, so I've got my fingers crossed.

The proceeds of these sales will all be going to Wildlife Victoria. I figured I have so far made all my donations to Red Cross so it's time for me to think about the animals. Speaking of which, doesn't that story about the Koala and the Fireman just bring tears to you eyes? In a good way, for a change!

As does the story about the Ingham residents who received their flood grants from the government, only to hand them straight over to the Bushfire Appeal. After all the tragedy and sadness it is so heartening and humbling to see such humanity emerge from all around our country, and even around the world. In fact, here are just a few stories I think are worth sharing:

* This morning I was talking to Lee's Kindy teacher, who told me how the women at her gym did a 'creams and lotions' drive, with all the ladies buying face creams and hand creams and cleansers, to send to the Bushfire survivors.

* The Kindy also offered to put a Handmade Help flyer into every kids locker (that's 88 flyers!!).

*Our local IGA is donating 20% of all their sales to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal this Friday, and I heard the owner saying that the business next to him has already had a sausage sizzle fundraiser, with thousands of dollars being donated to the Red Cross .

*Our local primary school has just had a casual dress day and raised almost $2000 for the Red Cross.

*My mum's work have donated dollar for dollar any money their workers donate to Red Cross.

*My husband's work donated $25,000 to Red Cross.

*A lady in the next suburb is collecting handmade goods to distribute to affected families.

These are just the things happening in my little local area - it doesn't include everyone who has taken part in the Handmade Help community project, or those that have donated their handmade goods to the Oz Bushfire Appeal Etsy Shop - an online shop set up by DUST for the sole purpose of raising money for the bushfire survivors, or people running book drives, handmade toy collections, making comfort packs....the list goes on and on.

And although this list seems huge, I know that these are just the things I have happened to hear about. I know so many people are doing so much more that I don't even know about, and for the first time in a long time I feel like people in general are united. People are focusing on what they have and what they can do, rather than what they don't have, and what's being done for them. I feel a kindness and compassion in strangers that I hadn't noticed before. When I heard the IGA owner telling the op shop ladies about his fundraiser this Friday (he was asking if he could tape a flyer to their window) I felt like hugging him, because he sounded so passionate about what he was doing. And also, just because I understood. We all feel a connection to what has happened. We all feel like we can maybe make a difference. Don't worry, I didn't hug him. That would have been weird...

And of course all this isn't going to bring back lives that have been lost. And it can't erase pain and grief. But it is a small pheonix rising from the ashes. And it makes me feel hopeful :)

PS. Buy some patterns :D


Tinniegirl said...

What a beautiful post Bec. So perfectly stated. Great idea on the patterns too. I have some knitting patterns hanging around. I might think about doing the same thing when I have time to photograph and load them.

bubbachenille said...

I am hearing you loud and clear, I agree with tinniegirl, very nice sentiments from you bec and how generous are Aussies? I am so proud to be Australian !

Net said...

Such an eloquent and emotional post, Bec.
*hugs* (not in a weird way)

edward and lilly said...

Great post Bec, good on you xx

ingrid said...

Great post Bec.
And fabulous idea with the patterns. I know my stash could do with some culling and I cannot think of a better cause so I just might do the same thing.

Frogdancer said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have been running a book drive on my blog for the past week for my friend's son. They were totally burnt out in the fires on Black Saturday. (All they drove out with was their cat, dog and the clothes on their backs.)
The response from people all over the world has been incredible. I can tell you, it's an eerie feeling to crunch/walk on top of the wreckage that was once a friend's home. Everything that people are doing is wonderful. My friends are only a tiny part of a huge catastrophe.