What can a small group of women accomplish in an hour and a half? Big Ocean’s Salt Lake Valley Cottage discovered the answer during their August cottage meeting.
Putting words into action, Big Ocean’s Salt Lake Valley Cottage took the opportunity to help solve world problems by doing a simple service project. Those who came for the monthly cottage meeting didn’t know what they were getting into.
Faced with the problem of a somewhat modified quilting frame that was missing a few pieces, these women used their ingenuity to make it work. After a quick lesson on how to stitch, they applied themselves as a combined group to creating a beautiful quilt in only an hour and a half. . As with life in general, it never begins perfectly but we learn how to make the imperfect work. The quilt will now go to a local humanitarian center that is experiencing a shortage of quilts and will be shared with a family in a developing country to provide comfort and warmth.
As we quilted, we discussed the value of service while we each participated in the project in ways that were comfortable for us.
We linked the power of service to our previous months topic of abundance vs. scarcity and recognized that we can be much more effective in our service if we come from a spirit of abundance. Remembering that even if what we have to give appears so little, we combine with other women and with God to multiply our efforts.
We discussed how the world’s problems are best addressed and overcome through service. Many examples were shared. One cottage member told of a clinic next to a Planned Parenthood office that offers free ultrasounds to teens with unplanned pregnancies. They do this with the belief that if a girl sees a picture of that baby she is carrying, she is much less likely to pursue an abortion. The service of those in this clinic saves lives.
Another example given was the Free Hugs campaign, which is inspiring change and raising awareness of social issues. Where hatred and racial tension seem to be building, something as simple as a hug can serve to ease the strain.
Some of the women in our group had recently taken part in a fundraiser to spread awareness about human trafficking and to raise funds to rescue children being sold as slaves. Over $9,000 was raised for Operation Underground Railroad when each woman created an item or two to be sold in a fundraising boutique. A small amount of time for a large, combined result!
Simple efforts to combat world issues.
While the focus on world problems is important, we also recognized that service can be just as powerful and just as important when it is the work within our own home. One member of the cottage shared the impact playing peaceful/religious music had on softening her son’s heart. Another shared how deciding to respond to a child with calmness instead of yelling is one of the most important services we can provide to our family.
Big or small. Unique or mundane. Service matters. And we can all do something.
What are some simple yet powerful ways you have served in your home and community? What solutions to world problems have you discovered through service? We’d love to hear your ideas!