This week as I have been thinking about "serving" - October's monthly reflection rug theme - I keep going back to the fact that we are rug hookers. How does hooking rugs lend itself to service? I haven't felt that there is (yet?) a strong sense in our rug community of social action hooking, although there are a few rug artists who have begun pointing us in this direction.
As I mentioned last week, Donna Hrkman was moved a few years ago to create a social awareness rug to draw attention to the plight of women victims of war in the Congo after watching Oprah's feature on the organization Women for Women International.
Phyllis drew our attention to the work of Rug Aid, a non-profit organization put together by Heather Ritchie. According to Heather's website,
The aim of Rug Aid is to provide opportunities for women and children in some of the poorest communities in Africa. They will make rugs, wall hangings and decorative items for sale locally, nationally and, maybe later, through fair trade organisations world wide. By providing opportunities for women and children, the aim of Rug Aid is to bring about change 'from the bottom up'.Saturday, November 21, Heather has put together Rug Aid Rug Rave. Heather is asking us to use that day to try to hook blindfolded for 30 minutes in order to know what it is like to hook blind like some of the women in Gambia. Heather has designed a special rug for the day. The pattern can be purchased in North America at Rug Art and Supply. The pattern costs $25 and all the proceeds will go to directly to support African citizens in the Gambia by teaching them rug hooking as a sustainable income-generating craft. She encourages our guilds to dedicate that Saturday to this event and make it an international awareness day for African women and children who are living in poverty.
Photo: from Rug Aid website, designed and hooked by Heather Ritchie, pattern available for Rug Rave day