Monday, 15 October 2012


" Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"  
                                              - Helen Keller
Today is world-wide blog action day and participants have been asked to write a post on the  “ power of we”.  I am sure there will be several intellectual and very in depth blog posts written on this subject and I will give you a link where you can follow up and read many of these at the bottom of this post.   However, my post is a simple one written from the viewpoint of a lone artist who has learned first hand the power of WE.

Long before the inception of the internet, people and communities have always found a way to pull together.  The call to arms for barn raisings, search parties, charitable fund raisers along with disaster aid and community social gatherings were most often communicated by word of mouth or telephone committee. Today with technical advancements, computers and cell phones have become the vehicles
for news and communication.  Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo groups etc. have brought awareness to disasters as they've happened, saved lives and brought home lost children, brought fractured families together, helped to overthrow corrupt governments,  circulated petitions to liberate prisoners of conscience and united people from all over the world to come together and do good.

As I sit at my computer, a textile artist, whose work is created in the solitude of my studio, how
can I , as an individual, discuss the “ power of WE” ? 
Being connected via the internet, I have not only seen what a group of individuals can do when they band together but I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of being a part of those groups.

Fiberart for a Cause, created and led by artist Virginia Spiegel, with contributions from various fiber and quilt artists has raised over $ 220,000. for the American Cancer Society.  All of this orchestrated, managed and advertised predominantly via the internet by a small group of women. And their work is not done, as yet another Fiberart for a Cause event is scheduled for February 12 & 13, 2013.

The Art Bra movement spearheaded by Victoria Adams Brown brought together a small core group of fiber artists, who through their originality and ingenuity, created gorgeous calendars, held exhibitions, travelling shows and auctions, raising thousands of dollars for mammogram screening,  research, equipment,  transportation and educational programs that promoted breast cancer awareness. This small movement kicked off a number of women's stitching groups to follow suit in creating art bras in their local communities for fund raising and awareness. Everyone involved in the original Art Bra group was brought together by a love of stitching and a common thread of knowing someone in our lives who had fought breast cancer.  Regular internet postings and e-mails helped to bond us and was of the utmost importance in co-ordinating this massive undertaking.

Luana and Paul Rubin of e-Quilter, philanthropists & co-ordinators, draw on the kind hearts and generosity of their textile customers and world wide contacts to make and donate quilts to comfort people where world wide disasters have resulted in homelessness and despair.  

My Embroiderers’ Guild, again through our mutual love of stitching and textiles has raised funds for women’s community houses, funding and materials for women’s consortiums in other countries and other charitable commitments over the years.
Online stitching and quilt groups have clubbed together to help fellow stitchers world wide in times of trouble and natural disasters –  offering warmth and comfort in a variety of ways,  replacing their lost or destroyed stashes and sewing room items, making quilts for their families to keep warm and funds to help them get by while they rebuild their lives.

There are quilters, knitters and stitchers who have connected with the armed forces to send comfort packages, warm hats, gloves and quilts for our troops fighting and defending, overseas.  In turn, some of these soldiers have reciprocated the good will by co-ordinating and distributing drop boxes sent from North America to their bases, filled with fabrics and threads so that women in their surrounding areas can clothe their families and make work to earn an income to help support them.

Never underestimate the power of a small group of dedicated individuals united by a mutual love or passion for a genre or shared interests and a strong communication network.  Miracles have and will continue to happen as a result.  I believe the human spirit is strong and goodwill will prevail in the world as long as we all do our small part in continuing to communicate reasonably and rationally, putting our strengths together for the common good.

" Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has ."  -  Margaret Mead

1 comment:

  1. Leonie, Thank you for mentioning Fiberart For A Cause! Your support has helped us raised over $220,000 for the American Cancer Society so far. In honor of THE POWER OF WE, my blog has details about the 2013 fundraiser:

    Take care, V.