" In this life we cannot do
Great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Mother Teresa

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer News and Updates

Traveling Postcards continues to inspire my heart in so many ways. Deanne LaRue, From the Meridian Health Foundation delivered 80 cards to Haiti last month and distributed them as gifts of celebration, connection and love. The girls reacted with much joy and appreciation, knowing that women and girls everywhere are thinking of them and empowering one another to find and share their own strong voices. We hope that all the girls who received a postcard will have the opportunity to make one over the summer. I will continue to post news from the Haiti Through our Eyes project and links to the United Nations Girls Up blog.

In other exciting news, Traveling Postcards will begin to work with the STAND! Against Domestic Violence community in Northern California. We will be teaching and sharing our workshop with the resilient women living in the transitional housing facility and collecting their voices to share with other women around the world who have experienced domestic violence. Each woman will make two cards; one to give to a woman in a local shelter, and one to send to a global sister who will know she is supported and valued from around the world.

And finally, another local project brings Traveling Postcards to the Marin County Libraries this summer! Fellow artist Victoria Gonzales will facilitate card making workshops under the theme" Novel Destinations". The Postcards will be sent to an orphanage in Mexico that the CorteMadera Library supports. Victoria and the libraries will provide all the art supplies and books you need to discover the power of your voice through art. We will keep you posted with her progress and will post more details about the orphanage over the summer. Please see the Marin County Free Library website for locations and times.

Have a wonderful summer and please continue to write or call with new ideas and "novel destinations" for Traveling Postcards!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Girls United: Haiti Through Our Eyes

Girls United- Haiti Through Our Eyes is a project Traveling Postcards is happy to have been invited to play a small role in!

I was contacted by Deanne LaRue and Susan Moniham from The Meridian Health Foundation. Together with the United Nations Foundation a
nd Full-Circle Learning, Traveling Postcards will be participating in a project that encourages adolescent girls to " not only address their own healing and individual goals for helping their community through the arts, but to feel empowered to inspire other girls to do the same." Girls United.

A group of 6 artists and educators will be traveling to Haiti on May 27th . They will be working
in the J/P HRO camp and at the YWCA in Petionville . The entire two weeks will be spent writing, photographing, using mixed media and other healing arts in hopes of helping girls find their voices and learn to become peer counselors for one another. At the end of the first session, the girls will be invited to participate in the Traveling Postcards workshop and to share their voices with our global community.

We have also collected 65 cards for Deanne to pack in her suitcase to give to the girls when she arrives. The cards come from a wonderful group of 16 year
old girls from Northern California, some of whom have already been raising money and participating with Girls United. Other cards were made in Kigali Rwanda and brought back to the States with Lisa Sonora Beam. Lisa, who is a talented artist and entrepreneur traveled to Africa in March and was eager to help facilitate card making workshops. All of the cards are available to see on the Traveling Postcards website.

I will keep you posted with any news and pictures from Haiti I receive. We are also working on bringing you a new website filled with stories, resources for action and lots and lots of Traveling Postcards!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Afghanistan is seeping into my heart!

Afghanistan is seeping into my heart. Ever since the Art for Afghanistan campaign launched, I have been welcomed into a community that is filled with genuine affection and open hearts. I have made new cards and new friends with the women from the Farsi-Adult Day Health Care at the Mt Diablo Center. These women once lived in Afghanistan and Iran and moved to the US with their families over the last 30 years. Almost everyone speaks Farsi except for the one word they all know in English...'love'. After card making, that at times was difficult for them to even hold a pair of scissors, each one took me in their arms, kissed me and told me in English that they loved me . Their cards are filled with blessings and wisdom and are bound for Afghanistan on April 13th.

Traveling Postcards has received over 280 new cards to send with Budd Mackenzie from Trust in Education to Afghanistan. Cards came from Marlene Robbins group at The Grace Center in San Jose, from Judy Raneri's artist group in Concord and from our own event at the Fotovision Studio in Emeryville. We have cards from the Soroptimist International 'She's All That' conference where middle school girls from all over Contra Costa County made cards and reached out to girls their own age in Afghanistan. We have cards from Canada , New Jersey and California.

I am so proud of all the women who have stepped into leadership positions and organized card making workshops in their own communities. It is not always easy to bring a new creative process that encourages new ways of thinking and relating in the world. Marlene wrote me of her group "Nearly all immigrated to the US to escape religious and political upheaval in their native countries. About 30% of them have a diagnosis of some form of dementia, from mild to advanced. Several of them are illiterate, but most have at least an elementary level of education. A few were married in their early teens and had started having children by age 15. Many had arranged marriages and many more suffered physical and emotional abuse. Many of them have lost family members and children in wars and political power struggles. Whatever their history, they have adapted to life in the US with the help of their families and loved ones. " Marlene worked beautifully with these women and saw how art truly has the power to inspire and heal when accessed from our heart's wisdom.

We are almost half way to our goal of raising $5000 for our after school art program! Trust in Education will begin making arrangements for art classes to start in May and I can’t wait to share with you photos and stories as our work progresses.

Please consider making a continued donation to support our work. Traveling Postcards is a unique grassroots organization that creates opportunities for everyone to be fully expressed and to take action towards ending isolation and invisibility for those whose voices have been silenced.