Last year around this time I was gearing up to march in the Women’s March in Washington DC. I had ideas on what I wanted to paint on my sign, but I do not know how to knit and therefore didn’t plan on adorning my head with one of the iconic hats of the march. I didn’t plan on it, that is, until someone I had met only one time in my life asked if I would like her to knit one for me… I was blown away by the kindness, and you can bet I was proud as punch to pull that hat on the day of the march and join thousands of other people in the streets.*
Fast forward one year… I was reading through the online discussion about the Women’s March on Washington 2018: March to the Polls. Part of the discussion was about attire, and the idea of wearing SNOWFLAKES surfaced. The concept was to sew or pin snowflakes to coats, hats, mittens, whatever, and OWN THE SNOWFLAKE LABEL. Not only own it, but show the world that a blizzard is-a-comin’, and everyone had better get prepared! In the snowflake discussion thread I saw a woman asking if anyone would like her to crochet snowflakes for them.
Could it be? Could crafty women be willing to share their talents with complete (and/or nearly complete) strangers just for the sake of camaraderie and kindness??? First, I quickly wrote a “Me please!!” message to make sure I didn’t miss out on the generous offer, then I sent a private message to the kind woman behind the snowflakes, Julie. I had to know why she was willing to go out of her way and use her time and talents to adorn women she didn’t know!
|Beautiful, handmade snowflakes! Aren't they amazing?|
Once she was finished crocheting, Julie wrote me back. She is a kindness inspiration!
Julie explained that she got the idea to make the snowflakes on Facebook. “I saw that someone posted the idea of wearing snowflakes (to embrace the ‘liberal snowflake’ insult and make it our own) and I thought, ‘I'm going to do that!’,” she told me. “Then I saw that someone else posted about looking to buy some snowflakes, and it occurred to me that I could make them for more than just me and my friends, so I offered them up to anyone who wanted them.” Did you catch that? She was already going to make them for her group of friends, but she opened up the offer to complete strangers! Isn’t that awesome??
And it wasn’t only Julie. Her 11 year old son Zachary got involved, too! He made an illustration that she included with each envelope of snowflakes, and he also helped package and mail all of them out. Way to use your own creativity and kindness, Zachary!
|Artwork by Zachary, included with each and every snowflake! :)|
And before you get to thinking that this was a light snow fall, no, this was a BLIZZARD. Julie crocheted and mailed out around 90 snowflakes, and she is making 50 more to hand out in person at the march!!! Imagine the smiles on strangers faces when Julie walks up to them on march day with a handmade snowflake to wear! I asked her how this act of kindness makes her feel, and she said, “It makes me feel great! I love being able to contribute in some way and love the community of interdependence and teamwork that the marches help foster. I've heard from people who've received them and they're so happy.”
|The snowflake maker in action (with a little "help" from a furry friend...)|
Of course, like many kind people, Julie gives back in other ways, too. She volunteers at a local high school theater sewing costumes, an activity that she reports is “chaotic, but so much fun”. Julie, as a theater nerd who was involved in many high school productions, I say thank you on behalf of the kids that you (and all of the other amazing seamstresses) have costumed. 😊
Julie summed up this kind snowflake effort by saying, “I think everyone has talents and the ability to use those to make others feel better, so I just encourage everyone to look for what they can do to contribute to the common good.” You got that right, Julie! We all have talents we can share. Oh sure, maybe they are not as crafty and skilled as your ability to crochet, but we all have SOMETHING we can share with others. And if we all did, well, just imagine the kindness that would snow down on the world!
* Here is a link to the story of the kind woman who made me an amazing hat last year: Knit Hat Kindness