Glitter, glue, yarn and paint!
In March the cold of winter slowly begins to loosen its grip, but for most Canadians the warmth and colors of spring are still weeks away. What so many of we winter-weary folk need right now is a bright burst of soul-soothing creativity. That’s why National Craft Month, celebrated annually in March, is so perfectly timed.
You might decide to make March the month you finish up all those crafty WIPs (works in progress), take up a new hobby, join a local group and craft socially with other like-minded enthusiasts, make some St. Patrick’s Day themed crafts, or even get a jump on the holiday season by starting your gifts extra early this year.
And why is enjoying this burst of creative energy such a great idea, other than the fact that it’s fun to get crafty? Because studies have shown that doing something creative is actually good for you. According to an article on CNN.com , crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, and it may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging. Pretty compelling reasons to pick up a paintbrush, crochet hook, chisel or chunk of clay!
If you want to reap the health benefits of crafting and volunteering, consider crafting for charity. Don’t forget that you can apply for a Foresters Community Grant to help you fund a charity-crafting event for Foresters Members. There are countless organizations that rely on the generosity of volunteers to create everything from blankets and hats for the homeless, afghans for military personnel serving overseas, infant loss items for babies lost during pregnancy, cards for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, dolls for children with life-threatening illnesses, and chemo caps for patients being treated for cancer. You might also consider donating a completed project to a charity organizing a raffle designed to raise funds.
Here’s a sample of charities that are happy to have help from crafty people:
- Girls Love Mail collects handwritten letters to hand out to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. This is perfect for card makers and scrapbookers.
- Love Letters: Random Acts of Kindness arranges for seriously ill children to receive handmade cards and letters of support.
- Snuggle Project accepts handmade blankets to keep rescued shelter dogs and cats feeling safe and comforted.
- Feel Better Friends sends customized knit or crocheted “lookalike” dolls to children battling serious illnesses.
- Blankets for Canada distributes handmade blankets to organizations that care for the homeless and those in need of warmth.
- Crochet for Cancer donates handmade chemo caps to hospitals.
- Quilts for Kids sends handmade quilts to children and infants with serious illnesses or to those suffering the effects of abuse or natural disaster.
- Woodworkers for children distributes beautiful handmade wooden toys to needy children.
You can also check with your local hospital, places of worship and women’s shelters to find out if they accept handmade donations for those who are ill or in crisis.
But you can also just craft for the fun of it! You might even want to get your children or grandchildren involved and create something together, or spend some time this month teaching them a craft you love.
Check out the following resources for some great crafty ideas:
- Crafts by Amanda
- Crochet Guild of America
- Canadian Guild of Knitters
- Instructables woodworking crafts
Whatever crafty activity you decide to pursue in March, make sure to be proud of your work and share your accomplishments with friends and family. You never know who you might inspire with your creativity this month!