Scrapbookers have a tendency to gauge devotion to the craft by the size of the stash. So when the movers asked if I was opening a scrapbook store, part of me was flattered, part of me was annoyed (they didn't say boo about all those baseball scorecards and comic books), but mostly I was resigned.
It's time to purge.
I simply don't have the storage space I did in my house in Holladay. Nor do I have the patience to unpack supplies I know I'll never use.
I thought about giving my stuff to Tribune columnist and scrap buddy Rebecca Walsh. But she's moving to Florence, Italy, in three weeks and has her own dilemma. The government (her husband works for the foreign service) will only pay to ship 7,000 pounds of furniture and household goods, and we estimate her paper cache weighs as much as a large couch.
I suppose I could have a scrapbook yard sell, or unload my stuff in lots through classified ads or on eBay. But that would take more effort than I'm willing to give.
My preference would be to give my leftover supplies to a new scrapbooker or worthy cause. Luckily, there are plenty of charities, non profits, schools and civic groups looking for unwanted craft items.
Salt Lake CAP Head Start holds an annual fundraising event, and scrapbooking baskets are a hot item, says Nicole Droitsch, community partnerships manager.
The organization also welcomes donations for classrooms. "The kids and parents love to put scrapbooking pages together to put in their 'portfolio' which is their book of work we give to the families at the end of the students school year," Droitsch adds.
Stampin' Up!, the Riverton- and Kanab-based direct sales company that manufactures decorative rubber stamps and accessories, receives three to four requests every week from groups seeking discontinued stamp sets for auctions, prizes and other projects, says company spokeswoman Elizabeth Gray. Requests are fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and organizations that receive donations must wait six months before they are eligible again.
Gray says such giveaways are but a small part of the company's overall mission to "love what we do and share what we love."
Each year, Stampin' Up! designates one kit or stamp set and donates the proceeds to a chosen charity. Past recipients include the September 11th Disaster Relief Fund, the American Heart Association and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The company has an ongoing commitment to Ronald McDonald House, encouraging demonstrators to volunteer there and providing annual contributions of $100,000 on top of proceeds from stamp sets.
Scrapbooking just lends itself to being a socially responsible enterprise, Gray says. "Most are women, and many are mothers, so it's par for the course," she says of scrapbookers' willingness to give back.
E-mail Linda Fantin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no shortage of recipients for scrapbooking supplies. Elementary schools, hospice and nursing homes, senior centers, churches, children's hospitals shelters for battered women, runway teens and the homeless, and foster care programs are worth a call.
In addition, there are many national and international organizations that welcome such support. We've compiled a partial list, culled from the Internet, interviews and a March 2009 article in Simple Scrapbooks magazine.
» Operation Scrapbook strives to provide scrapbooking supplies to children in foster care and children with cancer. To donate your supplies, e-mail Julie Newport at email@example.com.
» Big Brothers Big Sisters of America operates community- and school-based mentoring programs, and is always looking for in-kind donations for their activities. To find your local chapter, visit their http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.diJKKYPLJvH/b.1539751/k.BDB6/Home.htm" Target="_BLANK">Web site.
» Girl Scouts are always in need of items for their projects and outings. The Girl Scouts of Utah's wish list, for example, includes glue sticks, construction paper, scissors, crayons, pencils and plastic containers. In Utah, contact Julie DeLong at 800-678-7809 or 801-716-5153, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
» 4-H Afterschool coordinates with university extension programs to provide structured activities through a "learn-by-doing" curricula, which includes expressive arts. To find a 4-H Afterschool program in your area, Contact Gregg Tabachow, National Coordinator, at 4HAfterschool@fourhcouncil.edu or 301-961-2869.
» The Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) uses scrapbook products during art therapy sessions, and to create albums for children when they leave the center. For more information, call 816-252-8388.
» Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteers will use your supplies to create scrapbooks for each wish recipient, documenting the entire experience. To find your local chapter, visit their http://www.wish.org/" Target="_BLANK">Web site or call 800-722-9474.
» Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) uses donated supplies during arts and crafts time at one of their 90 summer camps for children with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs because of a neuromuscular disease. For more information, visit their http://www.mda.org/" Target="_BLANK">Web site or call 800-572-1717.
» National Head Start Association operates the longest-running school readiness program in the country. Teachers use donated supplies to engage preschool children in projects that build motor and spatial skills.
- Linda Fantin