Last weekend was my two holiday gift shows - selling my scarves and cotton towels on Sat/Sun and my glass, felt landscapes and felted polar bears on Sunday. The weather was balmy and the crowds were good sized, festive and generous. Though I'd struggled with the commitment to make this year, I was pleased with my final products and, ultimately, thrilled with the sales. Buyers still seem genuinely interested in local makers and I had more guests than ever asking about my polar bear project - the why of the felted bears and landscapes, the joy of my little felted 3D bears, and the nods of agreement as I said, "I just felt like I had to do something." If raising money is what I can do - beyond my reducing, reusing and recycling - then so be it. It's something I think I'm really bad at....but, I guess, in the long run this year, I can consider myself a success. I was able to send money off to Churchill's Northern Studies Centre to their unrestricted fund account. It is important to me that a research station be able to use the money as they see best and also important to me that individual researchers continue to have a resource, like the Centre, they can use as home base on so many of their critical arctic studies.
Because of my buyer's largesse, I was also able, this year to give to the Assiniboine Zoo's Conservation Fund. In some ways, this, too, is an unrestricted gift - the Park and Zoo use the money in a variety of ways. I'll also renew my membership to the Detroit Zoo - in recognition of the conservation work they do in so many parts of the world - including partnering with other international organizations for arctic, and polar bear, research. Finally, I'm holding back a little of the profit to ensure I can give again later this summer....when it's *not* the holiday giving season but new needs arise. A few thoughts are to give again to the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre , or perhaps to one of the First Nation's groups that are empowering their young adults to work in science and environmental research, or to Cochrane Canadian Polar Bear Habitat. There is so much good work being done in this world!
So whatever holiday you celebrate - the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas or a quiet week at home - I hope you have those you love near by and the things you love to hand. I'll be brainstorming new ways to make and save to give to these, and so many other needy causes in 2020. See you in the New Year!