Last year before heading down to Mexico, we searched out charities in the area that we might get involved with. The one that interested both Alexis and I was the Chicxulub Food Bank run by Sharon Helgason.
We contacted Sharon before going down and asked what she needed us to bring. Wool and baby items were suggseted. We contacted our local wool shops to see if any of them would be willing to donate yarn to our cause.
The only one who responded was our local shop Wabi Sabi. When we went by our shop, Carole had a big bag full of yarn for us to bring down and I was impressed with her generosity. Upon our arrival in Chicxulub we went to see Sharon to bring her the yarn.
We quickly discovered that it wasn’t just yarn she needed but knitters. So I took it all back with me and then some to make dishcloths and baby sweaters.
I heard that four previous sponsors had dropped their donations and so I wanted to find a way to pick them up for her. I came up with the idea of crocheting coasters to fit on your glasses and beer cans/bottles to absorb the condensation. I then sold them in sets of four. In a very short time I was making money for the support of the families. In about a month I raised enough money to support three families and the fourth had already been taken care of.
I continued with my selling of the coasters upon my return home. I didn’t get as big a reception to them at home as I did in Mexico but that is due to not having as big a condensation problem.
When I returned to Wabi Sabi in Ottawa, Carole came up with the idea of a workshop on making the coasters and then having them donated back to me to sell for the Food Bank.
So in August we had a lovely day with a handful of people learning to make them using cotton donated by the shop.
We had fun making them and some took yarn home with to make more for us to sell.
One example is of a customer who came in with her daughter. She was so impressed with what we were doing and wanted to help but didn’t have the time to stay. She took some yarn home with her and returned the finish product to the shop.
I set up a display of the coasters in the shop with a description of the charity.
Over December, Wabi Sabi allow their customers to sell their finished projects in the store for a 50/50 share in the sale, but they allowed me to add more items to sell that I had made for the Food Bank; baby sweater sets and booties. Wabi Sabi was generous enough to allow me to take 100% of the sale price for all the items I had been selling for Mexico.
I was fortunate enough to sell enough to feed one of my families for a year.
This year I have returned to Chicxulub with two suitcases full of charity items; school supplies, baby clothes and more yarn donated from Wabi Sabi. Also along with me is Emma a lovely lady who participates in our Knit Along evening on Thursdays at Wabi Sabi.
This season there is a bazaar held at Bamboo Beach Restaurant, called Muelle Market, where I will sell my coasters and other items I have started making out of the cotton from Bernat. My kids had told me that making covers for their phones and their iPads would be a good seller. So far that isn’t the case but I did sell enough coasters to fund one of my families for another year. If this keeps up I might just add a fourth to my collection!
My favourite patterns for baby sweaters and booties are at this site:
Additional news for newcomers to Meroda and Progreso: I also continue to find new things to do here in the Yucatan. I had always wanted to ride the bikes along the BiciRuta on Sundays mornings and wondered where to rent bikes. I found an article in the Yucatan Living which we all trust and take it at its word. They told us to go to the Monumento al Patria or to Burger King along Paseo Montejo but that wasn’t the best place to find good bikes. They were barely working. After asking a lady who had a “city bike” where she got hers I went and found that there was one left. RDBikes that are beside the OXO across from the Anthropology Museum.
There you can actually book a bike for Sunday and you must pick it up by 9:00am. 999-926-31-19 Tell them you are in Progreso and will be by to pick it up. These bikes are really comfortable to ride. It brought me back to when I was a kid and had a bike with no gears and back pedaled to break! I would highly recommend this to anyone. We had a fun 2 hrs of biking for 20 pesos an hour!!! Stay tuned for more discoveries in the Yucatan…