Oh what a truly fun couple of days I had hanging out and sewing with the kids of Simply Smiles right outside of Oaxaca Mexico.
I had decided I would be spending a month in Oaxaca, Mexico this winter because, well... winter.
When I'm not teaching personally, I can take care of most of my studio responsibilities (mostly curriculum development, customer service & marketing) from just about anywhere.
But when I do spend an extended period of time in a new place, I try to figure out how I can give back and teach sewing to some kids who maybe might not have the opportunity of trying a sewing class ordinarily.
When I was pumping my friend Emily about what to do in Oaxaca (she had spent a month or so here last summer) she told me about this wonderful children's home just outside the city center. She did some volunteer work with them while she was there and in fact used some of our hand sewing projects to sew it the kids while volunteering. Simply Smiles hosts volunteers pretty regularly to help with building some new casita's being added to the property, as well as spending time with the 18 kids who live on the property.
I decided I would love to reach out and see if I could do some more sewing with the kids, since according to Emily, they loved sewing with her over the summer.
I decided to reach out and see if my trip timing would work for them and if so, what could I bring with me for the kids when I come to Oaxaca. The director Gaby got right back to me and gave m a list of things that they needed. I immediately set up a wishlist on Amazon and adding some sewing supplies that I could bring with me, as well.
When I sent the email to my sewing studio community, I was blown away at how fast the items were purchased.
Next thing you know, I'm struggling to find enough room in my luggage for all the felt, thread, needles, tooth brushes, construction paper, glue sticks, pencils, erasers, lunch bags and more that my M Avery Designs Sewing Studio Community purchased for these kids.
Sewing with these kids was an absolute blast! And seeing what a loving little family these kids belong to at Simply Smiles was beyond heartwarming.
To find out more about Simply Smiles in Oaxaca and how you can help, check out their website here.
Here are some snaps from our sewing activities together.