Today was the third annual MLK Day of Service. Organizing for America volunteers around the country held events for people to honor the memory of Dr. King by giving back to their communities.
Our event in Brooklyn was extraordinary. Thanks to the efforts of one of NYC's best organizers, BrooklynWeaver, and the amazing Sue Rock of Sue Rock Originals, volunteers had the chance to do something to make a difference in the lives of others. They worked together to create warm quilts and afgans for victims of domestic violence living in New York City shelters.
Well over 100 volunteers showed up to work with us today. They came not only from the neighborhood, but from all parts of the city.
Before things got underway, kossack Debojg put her artistic skills to work designing the sign to hang out front.
When people arrived they were asked if they wanted to knit, crochet, sew or help out with general organizing tasks. The day's activities were set up so that everyone could take part, whether they had particular skills or not.
Those who didn't know sewing, knitting or crocheting could do a number of important tasks, like:
sorting and cutting fabric pieces for quilts,
untangling and sorting yarn,
Anyone who wanted to learn something new found that skilled volunteers were more than happy to show them how to knit or crochet.
The knitters and crocheters worked away in tightly packed groups, chatting, sharing tips and getting to know each other.
At one point I tried to set up chairs for more knitters in another part of the space and realized that they really didn't want to be separated.
And these are people who, for the most part, didn't even know each other before today :)
The squares they created were added to the basket and will be made into afgans.
Sewers quickly occupied all of the available machines, and busily assembled the fabric pieces other volunteers had sorted and cut to make into quilts.
Every time a machine opened up, someone was ready to sit down where the other person had left off.
A few of us embellished the quilt panels with a little embroidery. Here's some of my handiwork.
And here's the work of someone who really knows what she's doing.
Today was extraordinary. It was really moving to see strangers working in teams, teaching each other, making friends, and creating something together that they hope will make another's life just a little better. I think we all left feeling that this was the best way we could have spent our holiday.
Oh, and happy birthday, Michelle!! This poster was up in the front of Sue Rock's space: