Activities to make my Christmas craft party woke?
December 3, 2018 11:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a casual pre-Christmas crafting party for friends and I'd like to offer to some option ways people could give back to the community and/or resist oppressive systems at the party, like letter/card writing...

I'd like to suggest some simple ways people can either support people in need or resist hate, xenophobia, etc. in the U.S./the world. Obviously, it would most likely be a small gesture and I hope people will support social action in more direct ways, but I'm thinking something like writing letters to politicians or appreciation cards to folks who might need it but not sure where to start. I also welcome suggestions of other types of activities that might work. (Zinemaking and wheat paste flyers?) I'll be providing supplies like blank cards and envelopes, collage supplies, button maker, doodads, glue, rhinestones, etc. but open to gathering specific supplies.

Anyone ever done like this and have suggestions for non-profits or groups that accept cards (or other stuff) like this? Broad type of group welcome, and I can research related options in my local area (which happens to be Tucson, AZ)
posted by dahliachewswell to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I attended a party where we brought old jeans to make shoe kits for people who didn't have shoes .... ... requires some planning ahead.
posted by RoadScholar at 4:58 AM on December 4, 2018

Maybe writing some letters for Amnesty International? In the past they’ve had campaigns for Human Rights Day to write cards to political prisoners.
posted by diffuse at 6:02 AM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Collect socks and winter gear for your local homeless population, and encourage discussion about what else you might be able to do as a group.

Also consider writing your reps as part of the party.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:23 AM on December 4, 2018

SWOP is organizing Holiday Letters to Incarcerated Sex Workers:
Getting mail is one of the best things that can happen while you are in prison waiting for each day to pass. Getting mail from the outside can often protect vulnerable prisoners by signaling that they have people on the outside! Even if you can’t be a part of our regular pen pals…consider sending Holiday Greetings to 10, 25 or even 50 incarcerated sex workers!
posted by veery at 6:45 AM on December 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

You say it's a crafting about knitting/crocheting for charity? Regardless of your politics, there are babies who need hats and blankies everywhere (as well as bigger kids and adults). A teeny hat for a baby can be whipped up pretty quick, or if that seems too ambitious, have everyone do up a simple Granny Square (I'm hopeless at crochet except for making Granny Squares, they're easy), and then you sew all the Granny Squares together into a single blanket that gets donated somewhere.

If you all think the blanket turns out fugly you can also donate it to an animal shelter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

> there are babies who need hats and blankies everywhere

Absolutely. BUT check in with the NICU of your local hospitals, because some of them have fairly strict guidelines about what kind of baby hats/blankets they will accept, such as pastel colors only, acrylic yard only, etc. (This may seem fussy but they can't afford to just sift through everyone's well-meaning cast-offs.)

I have seen organizations in various cities that have organized drives for homemade holiday cards for immigrant families, folks in homeless shelters, incarcerated people (such as SWOP linked above), seniors, and other populations who could perhaps benefit from a little extra "hey, you are part of our society too" message. Check in with your local groups to see what they've already got in the works to which you could contribute.

Or, of course, if there is sort of an obvious candidate organization right in your neighborhood, you can just pick that.
posted by desuetude at 7:49 AM on December 4, 2018

There's a Unitarian Universalist project to write welcome cards to asylum-seekers at the southern border, but I can't find it on a quick google. I think I bookmarked it at home--I'll post the link then if no one else knows what I'm talking about.
posted by praemunire at 8:10 AM on December 4, 2018

If you can, swing by a bigger post office in your area and get some fun stamps ahead of time to offer! Giving people a choice among stamps featuring Sally Ride, Harvey Milk, bioluminescent life, etc. can make it feel like a fun sticker activity. :-)

If you want to support zine-making, consider printing out this guide to making an 8-page zine from a single 8.5-by-11 sheet of paper using a few folds and a single partial slit, and providing blank sheets of paper and scissors (and a ruler also helps to mark gutters on a draft sheet). I love how easy it is to photocopy a single sheet, store those sheets compactly, and then cut/fold them just before distributing. A tiny 8-page "children's book" for copying and distribution to a local shelter might be fun, if you have some people at the party who like to draw!
posted by brainwane at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Read Between the Bars is a Tucson based group. While they don't mention cards (paperback book donations and stamps etc), try contacting them to see if they would be able to use personal cards?
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2018

The Abortion Truth Project may be of interest. You could role-play discussions, or maybe make buttons of the graphics, or pick some clinics/patient escort groups to send nice cards to.
posted by teremala at 11:26 AM on December 4, 2018

You could send notes, letters and cards to incarcerated folks through
posted by Grandysaur at 2:22 PM on December 4, 2018

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