It started at a morning tea session, when a friend of mine said “For Christmas, I want to make a nice gift bag for the ladies with dry food items like rice, milk powder, oil and some sweets”
The ladies here are the patients of a local maternity hospital. Every two weeks, my friend makes 100 sandwiches and goes to the maternity hospital to feed the ladies waiting for their labour and their families who all wait and live outside the hospital on the road for days.
I started thinking of how we can raise funds for this. The easier option was to just ask in our immediate circle but I wanted to do something more and reach out to more people so that they can all be a part of it. And I just didn’t want to ask money. What was it that I could offer?
Paper. I love paper. I love the way I can turn it into something beautiful. And I was at it. For almost a week, I made gift bags, cards, gift tags, quotation cards, fortune cookie stars, bookmarks… anything that I could think of. My whole room was full of craft material everywhere 🙂
Then I gave them to friends who I knew hosted many gatherings and offered them as wisdom crafts – no price tags; the price of the product is what the buyer is inspired to offer. I put up a paper explaining what they were for and asking people to give from their heart.
What was amazing was how more and more people joined in. One girl came up and said, I know you are making those bags.. I had these felt sheets at home, can you use them?
Another one came and said “I have these glitter tapes I haven’t used for months.. I am sure you can use them for your cards..”
Ribbons, more craft paper, sequins, paint everything started coming from unknown friends!
Naama, who runs a non-profit organisation, came to know of it and asked me if I could make 30 bags for their Christmas gifts for their supporters.
At first I thought I will make all of them the same. But as I started decorating the bags, something came over. Each bag spoke for itself and each was different. Before starting I didn’t have any set idea on decoration but slowly every bag’s decoration unfolded as if they were speaking for the person who is going to receive them.
Naama then insisted I create a tag for all of them and thus was born “Feito com Amor” [Portuguese for Made with Love].