The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To Say Thank You

I mentioned last month that I had become involved in a Secret Pal exchange. It's been fun but I leave each month (you know, the whopping 2 that have passed thus far) feeling less than creative. So, in April I need to get my thinking cap on and get with the program. Don't get me wrong, I am sending good stuff, useful stuff but I want my gifts over the next four months to have that "wow" factor.

This month is "something for the child's room/nursery". So, if you have any fab ideas I am all ears people. All ears. I'll even let you know the age range/gender of my secret pal's referral request if you want...just not case she reads.

I was blown away - socks right off - Monday when I went to the post office. My package was there and it was a doozie. Big, bulky and one of those things you just knew didn't fit the slogan "good things come in small packages". (By the way, I am a fan of that one...have you seen all 5' of me?)

I digress.

I opened, gazed, and teared up.

It was a bag.

Not just any old bag.

My Secret Pal suggested I could use it when we head over to pick up our daughter. (Saying that never gets old...I just wish I could add a specific month on the end of it. Patience, Ashleigh patience.) Afterwards, she suggested I use it as a diaper bag. And, whaddya know I've been looking at my old one (blah) and coveting the cool one-of-a-kind, handmade one a good friend has...which, other than colours is actually quite similar to my new one. It's not something I would have picked off a shelf and said with absolute certainty, "yep, these are my colours and this is my style". But it just fits. You know? It's a step out of the fashion comfort zone that just works. I love it. (The pictures don't do it justice....there's a reason my models are usually small human children.)

The detail which seals the deal (other than the intricacy of all the different fabrics, prints, and textures which in themselves are noteworthy,) is that if you know anything about Bags4Darfur you will know this bag holds more than just fabric and thread. It carries with it stories. And it is creating them too. All materials used are either re-purposed thrift, vintage, or recycled materials. They've all lived a good life and will now go on to give a little more.

The story behind Bags4Darfur is this...

I've always been a scrounger. Raised by a frugal prairie farm woman who reduced, reused, and recycled long, looooong before it was trendy; I've come into the concept of re-purposing honestly. I am silly-in-love with anything vintage-ish, and am powerless against it when I discover it stacked on card tables in someone's garage, or stale and lonely in a thrift shop.

As a responsible consumer, here's what you can feel good about:
*the bags are primarily made from recycled fabrics purchased at thrift shops, garage sales, and fabrics donated by generous supporters.
* Most of the thrift shops are themselves humanitarian aid fund raisers.
*while keeping this stuff out of the landfills, you get to enjoy little pieces of history. Fabrics that used to function as tableclothes, aprons, bedspreads, sheet sets, coats.... Well, you get the idea.
*the proceeds of the project are intended for food aid to people in camps in Darfur, Sudan via the United Nations World Food Programme.
(italics mine)

I've watched them from time to time, come up for sale and go to the highest bidder. All the while I thought I would wait. Wait for our referral. Wait for ...???... well, I'm not sure. Just wait.

Now I don't have to.

Go check it out. You'll be surprised. You'll fall in love. Yes, with a bag. You'll help others. You'll help our planet. You'll stay local (she's Canadian). You'll have a little fun.


Chad, Laura and Sara said...

I'm having fun with secret pal too - I love searching for the perfect gift - I have my next two lined up, but after that I need to do some thinking. I am still waiting for my march gift to arrive - I can't (and getting.) is so much fun.


D Dae said...

LOL I have three of her bags now. Got two new ones yesterday in the mail! They are extra big and perfect as a Mommy bag. :)