At OLFA, we continually strive to lead with our core values and beliefs that enable our users to develop their full potential, to bring their full selves to their work as makers and professionals, and to engage in a world of diversity and inclusion. Congratulations to the 2019 recipients. We applaud you as you continue to make our community stronger.
The 2019 OLFA Builds Diversity recipients are:
For 16 years, Bright Hopes has worked to support marginalized communities. Our QuiltWORKS program began nine years ago and takes us weekly to Little Flower Children’s Residence in Wading River, NY. Here we work with youth, ages 8-18, from a wide variety of backgrounds and difficult histories. Our volunteers help them to choose fabrics, use rotary cutters, rulers, and mats, and sewing machines to complete their own quilt. Participants ultimately choose to either keep their finished quilt or give it away to someone in their life who has supported them.
We create Comfort Kits for local fire and sheriffs departments. These Comfort Kits provide “Hugs” for children in crisis situations through a stuffie swaddled with a quilt. They have a quilt to hug them and a stuffie for them to hug. We welcome anyone who wants to join us and teach them how to quilt even if they have never touched a sewing machine.
Oceans of Thread
I’m a new quilt shop who is partnering with a local high school. The kids in their International Baccalaureate program have to do a certain number of community service hours per year. This year will be the first time a community sewing group is offered. We will be sewing quilts to benefit a local 501c, House Next Door. They provide therapy to all the children in the two neighboring counties who have been sexually assaulted. We’re also going to be making bags to gift to the older children in the local foster system so they have something of their own since so many of them go from house to house with nothing more than a black trash bag.
All of our workshops are in marginalized communities with the majority of our participants being youth of color. From juvenile halls to homeless shelters – SJSA provides access of high-quality sewing instruction to those who typically couldn’t afford it.
Please stay tuned for how to apply in 2020.