65 Bras

Marsha Cowan, a Las Cruces Bernina sewing machine dealer is sponsoring a bra decorating contest to raise money for breast cancer awareness this month. She got 65 entries which isn’t bad for a small city like Las Cruces. You’re supposed to vote on the bra you like best, each vote costing one dollar. Eric and I had a hard time deciding which ones we liked so we voted for 17 of them (which was all the cash we had on hand; they didn’t take checks or credit cards). I took some pictures to share with you. Hopefully there are similar events happening in your area that you’ll find worthy of supporting.

Speaking of supporting worthwhile causes, I’d really like it if we had our own designated charity that we supported as a group. We have the ability to make a difference. I’ve brought this up before but it never went anywhere. Feel free to include your ideas and suggestions…the national Make A Difference Day is coming up October 28th. We’re too late to do anything this year but maybe we could mark the day by starting something we can all support.

Fight Cancer the Natural Way by Mary Salopek (this is Mary herself)

Don’t know when to quit was lovely, appliqued and embroidered in silk ribbon by Esther Spears

Coffee Love by Kensi Karnes

The Show Must Go On! by Jane Dickerson

Banana Split by Marj Tiffany

Mardi Gras Head Dress by Geri Hostetter

Booby Trapped by Mary Clark

Candelabra by Christa Porras.

The New Mexico Question by Janice Reader. New Mexico has an official state question, “Red or Green?” which refers to the kind of chile you want on your enchiladas (I usually pick red).

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  1. I would like to suggest supporting African children, who have been severely effected by HIV/AIDS. I am a Child Ambassador for World Vision, so this cause is close to my heart. My family sponsors 3 children, one in Africa. Many children have become orphans from this epidemic. A whole generation of adults is being wiped out, and the kids are left alone, with no one to care or provide for them….

  2. Gigi says:

    Wow, those are so creative! I LOVE the coffee bean bra! Last year, I bought the Way to Women’s Wellness Foundation calendar which features 12 months of art bras made by artists all over the country. The featured bras (and others) are auctioned off to raise funds for breast cancer research. I’m amazed at people’s creativity and smile as I turn the page each month.

  3. Kathleen says:

    No one can negate the needs of orphaned children. If we looked hard, we could always find somebody, somewhere worse off and for that reason I thought we could do something more topical, related to entrepreneurship, women and the needle trades. Think of it as an anti-poverty campaign that benefits children (lending money to women to start businesses benefits children more than lending to men ever does). I mean, with the diversity of our resources, we can donate machines, equipment, fabrics, tools, know how…otherwise, it’d only be money. I just think we could have a greater effect with a topical project because many times, the least that people need is money. They need access to information, support, advice and resources and even work too.

  4. Karen C. says:

    I read a wonderful book called “in Her Hands” which details crafts from around the world women make to support their families, from dolls to purses to shawls, etc.

    One of the organizations that helps these women is The Crafts Center. From the website: It is an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income artisans by increasing their access to markets and resources. It encourages crafts production that respects fair trade and labor practices, cultural traditions and the environment

    Your contribution will enable the Crafts Center to continue to help the world’s poor break free from the bonds of poverty and build a brighter, more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

    Another organization is Aid to Artisans. From their website: Their goal is a world community of entrepreneur-craftspeople who have the ability to improve their own lives, the lives of their families, the communities in which they make their homes, and their livelihoods. In its thirty years Aid to Artisans (ATA) has changed the lives of thousands of artisans through its “Market Link” programs of product design, production and business skills.

  5. Big Irv says:

    I like your idea of using any donated resources for retraining and education, especially in the needle trades. You will see an immediate payoff.

    The “non profit” charitable world is rife with every type of organization that receives funding from all avenues, and in many cases, a very small percentage actually makes it down to the grassroots level where many intend their donation to be used.

  6. Megan says:

    What about donating to the CERF? http://www.craftemergency.org/ Craft Emergency Relief Fund…They do a lot of great things to help out indepdent artists in need. After Katrina they helped affected artists with more than $250,000 in aid (I know it was more, but I can’t remember the exact amount).

    Their Mission Statement: “The mission of CERF is to strengthen and sustain the careers of craft artists across the United States. CERF is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and is the only one of its kind in the United States.”

    What they do: “CERF accomplishes its mission through direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists, including emergency relief assistance, business development support, and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, and insurance. CERF also advocates, engages in research and backs policy that supports craft artists’ careers.”

    I have no affiliation with CERF, other than I am an independent artist who is glad that they are there in case I ever need them.

    And those bras are SO cool looking!!! Very creative.

  7. lornajay says:

    Those bras are wonderful. We see something similar here during the ‘walkathon’ which happens one night in Edinburgh to raise money for Breast Cancer.

    I’ve been supporting MSF (Doctors without Borders) for years now. They provide medical assistance where no-one else will go, and with no ties to government or religion which makes them acceptable where other agencies aren’t.

  8. Carissa says:

    The bras were a great segue, into the discussion about “supporting” women! (Segue is pronounced “seg-way” for all you guys that are worried about how to say griege! ;) Don’t feel bad, Julie. I don’t even know what griege means, yet!)
    Ayways, if you would like to have such a specific target, Kathleen, how about a private scholarshp fund? We could offer used materials and a small cash scholarship for single moms in school for some type of design work or needle trade. There are probably many gov’nt funds out there to help them pay for classes. In my experience, it the living expenses that makes school almost impossible- even less possible for a single mom. The cash scholarship could be in the form of a gift card to a grocery or department store in their area to help them make ends meet while their in school. Our used tools etc. could help offset their other expenses. We could also give small gift cards to amazon.com to help pay for texts that they may need.

  9. Carissa says:

    BTW, my fav. was “Don’t know when to quit” and I’m sorry for all the errors- skipped words and big homophone error there- My 22 mo old son is being distracting!

  10. Tracy H says:

    If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area the NIAD (National Institute of Art and Disabilities) is a great place to make a difference. I work there and it is an amazing place where disabled people of all kinds, but mostly developmentally affected make art. There is a large fiber art area, painting, printmaking and ceramics. You can come by the gallery and gift shop 5 days a week to see and purchase outsider art. We have a web site too. http://www.niadart.org/
    Located at 551 23rd st Richmond, the center could use any donation of money or quality art materials.

  11. Trish says:

    I love the idea of helping out someone so I will check to see who decides what.

    I also had a good laugh over Mary Tiffany’s Banana Split… how funny.

  12. jinjer says:
  13. La BellaDonna says:

    theanimalrescuesite.com I put it forward, not because I expect it to replace people-centric charities, but for those who go to the site, there’s a button they can click which will raise free food for rescued animals. It costs nothing to go there and click on the button; and it’s one click only, because additional clicks will not mean additional food; it’s just one click a day, not a lot of effort. Theanimalrescuesite.com is also linked to other worthy causes worth a look.

  14. Jennifer Cobb says:

    I have a certified non-profit sewing, craft, and fashion school for teens, displaced workers and seniors. We are teaching the classes for self gratification, and or to start their own business. I would like to know if anyone out there can donate sewing machines, fabric, notions, books and anything related to our school?

  15. Beth Coats says:

    WOW…what great creativity! The bra’s are outstanding! As an official 1 year survivor as o October 16, 2007 I must say I like the Banana Split as I practically lived on those while I was undergoing Chemo!!
    Thank you for the hard work and helping to find “The Cure”

    Beth Coats
    Marion, NC

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