I have never preached on my blog about anything. I keep this as a place to share crafty ideas, recipes, DIY tutorials... and my cats. But I want to talk today about the importance of giving back. As a DIY blogger I find myself working on projects I would never have ventured into if I wasn't blogging. I only share projects and tutorials for things I actually use (I just don't have the space for things I wont) even though there are bajillions of projects I would love to tackle otherwise.
But, this Fall, for the first time I went into a project with the sole intention of giving it away.
Many months ago I shared with you the great dresser I bought on Craigslist to serve as my TV stand. If you've been following since then, you know that I have yet to share an update on its progress. It's not that I don't still have the dresser - I do. I just sort of fell out of love with it. It's a little traditional for my style, so I put it on the back burner for awhile. (But... sneak preview - I'm putting the finishing touches on it this weekend and hope to share it with you soon!)
Why do I share that with you? Because I have spent many an night scouring my local Craigslist for a Mid-Century dresser to use in its place.
With no luck.
But in my scouring I found a free dresser I thought I could do something with.
Luckily when I went to pick it up, the guy giving it away helped me load it; and of course Morgan helped me unload it.
The dresser was in bad shape. Chipping thick turquoise-mint paint, stuck bottom drawer, water damage...
So I challenged myself to turn it into something useable.
And with quite a bit of trial and error (read: adding pin legs to the bottom of the dresser only to have the support board break off at the very end; applying tons of wood filler to level out the paint chips... and it not really working) I was able to finish the paint job in time to give it away during the season of giving to someone who needed it.
Even though the dresser ended up costing me a small amount (buying the pin legs and hardware, primer, etc). I never felt that I was "losing money" on this. I am blessed to have a great job that gives me the freedom to afford to craft and explore my interests... no matter how fleeting they might be.
But I realize that in this economy not everyone has that freedom.
It was a great feeling when I listed the finished dresser on my local Freecycle website.
I was hoping the dresser would end up in the room of a little boy; and the person who responded first did indeed have a son. When they arrived to pick it up, I was surprised that he was in high school (I had been thinking elementary school for some reason), but I reminded myself that his age bears no reflection on the financial stability of his family.
As he and his mom took trips down the stairs to load the dresser in their car, I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing I helped out someone who I didn't even know needed it.
Like they say, sometimes all it takes to brighten someone's day is a friendly wave or smile. Sometimes it takes passing along a dresser. :-)
I just want to encourage other DIY bloggers (or non-bloggers) to take a look at your project stash and see what you might be able to give away to make a difference in someone else's life. We are the fortunate ones to be able to find happiness in a project well
Plus, you might just get a sweet e-mail reply like I did, from someone saying the two words that mean so much: Thank You!
Please give back this season. Whether it's through money, time, or support - you will make a difference!
... and with that I'm off my soapbox.
Thanks for listening!