I’m looking through the nooks and crannies in my house for tiny items that would be “good luck charms. This is a handful of things I have found so far: an arrowhead I found when I was young, a coin I brought back from a trip to Mexico, a jeweled key, a shark’s tooth, a tiny golden star, a coyote figurine, an itty bitty harmonica that really plays, a coin with an Irish blessing on it, a miniature seashell, another funky key, a set of monkeys (who neither see nor speak nor hear any evil), and in the center is an “Apache tear” that I found in New Mexico forty years ago.
I could find 140 tiny trinkets in all of my flotsam and jetsam without breaking a sweat. If I won’t be stingy, I could find 420 “lucky charms.” That’s how many I need! I plan to put three lucky charms (“three” is a magic number) in 140 tiny “medicine bags” for children at Camp Sanguinity next summer.
I’ve told y’all a hundred times about Camp Sanguinity. It’s a summer camp for kids with cancer and their siblings. It’s a retreat for those children, so that for one week of their year they don’t have to think about The Big “C.”
This year, we gave the children crocheted afghans (with squares that came from all over the world). We can’t top that feat, and I can’t put together a project of that magnitude again. But, we can give them tiny bits of our love with little lucky charms. I’m willing to bet that those kids will be tickled to pieces.
Each charm will have a note, or poem, or story with it. I’ll explain to the kids what it is and why I think it could be “lucky.” I’ll wish them well. Since some of the kids don’t have cancer, but deal with the cancer of their brother or sister, the notes won’t say, “Get well soon.” I’ll have to get creative.
Sure, I could do it all by myself…I could gather lucky charms and I could stitch together 140 medicine bags, using leather I got down at the thrift store. But, why should I have all the fun? It is fun to give, you know.
How much more special would it be for those children if hundreds of people helped me?
What if one person made the medicine bag a child received (and maybe put a note with it), and inside it were charms and notes from three other people? How cool would that be?
Someone might want to make a beaded bag. Another person might spin yarn and knit a tiny pouch. Someone else might want to a piece of silk from an old kimono or sari to stitch a bag, or make a bag from a beautiful piece of velvet and decorate it with embroidery. There are tons of possibilities.
Here is what I have in mind, if you would like to participate:
- If you are “crafty” and want to make a medicine bag, remember that “three is the magic number.” Hopefully, so many people will want to participate, that I will only need three from each person. I only want from one to three medicine bags from you. If you only have time to make one, that’s cool! It means more people can participate.
- The medicine bags should be made to be worn as necklaces. The bag itself should measure no more than 4 inches X 4 inches, although any fringe or decoration doesn’t count in the measurement.
- The bag can be made by any method you choose, so get creative. But, please remember that this bag will be something that the children will likely cherish all their lives. Use your best craftmanship to make something of which they will be proud.
- Do you want to send lucky charms? Three is the magic number! You can send one, two, or three … but no more. The charms should be no bigger than a silver dollar (and remember that anything fragile might break in a bag around a little kid’s neck).
- What should you send? It can be as simple as a tiny origami crane or a shark’s tooth you found on the beach. You can be more elaborate if you choose, don’t send anything terribly expensive since, as much as they cherish it, they might lose it. If it’s something personal to you, it’s even better. Feel free to e-mail and ask if you wonder about your choices.
- Write a note (maybe use some pretty paper and your own handwriting) to the child. Maybe tell them why this charm is special. Include a name (you can use a pseudonym) and your location. You don’t have to give your address, but you can if you would be willing to have the child contact you. Remember that they are kids and they might or might not do so.
- Remember that the child who receives your charm might be a sibling of a child with cancer. It probably isn’t appropriate to say, “Get well soon.” You can certainly wish them health and happiness, though.
P.O. Box 2241
Denton, TX 76202
Although the camp will be next July, I don’t think we should drag this out that long. I’m betting that if we get the word out, we can do it by December, and I can take them to Cooks Children’s Medical Center.
- Ask three people to participate.
- Tell people about the project on your blog and link to this page.
- Help me figure out a NAME for this project! Do we just call it The Medicine Bag Project?[and does anybody have any ideas for a graphic to use as a link?]
- Thank you to Barbara, who created a graphic to use! I appreciate it, girlfriend!
- If you choose to participate, you can help me by taking pictures of your charms and/or bags and e-mailing it to me!
- I’ll put the pictures on a Flickr page.
- To see updates, you can add me to your feed by clicking on that adorable puppy dog on the sidebar. But, I won’t be talking about this all the time, so if you don’t want to read all my blabberings (do what?), just go to bookmark this page. Every time I update, I’ll link back to that page and it will show up as a comment.