Bookmark from Bolivia Boutique. Read on for details.
Believe it or not, we have a number of non-stitchers amongst us here on the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy blog. Some are family members, personal friends, reading enthusiasts, writers, educators, and library media specialists. A few are probably just lost. All kind folks are welcome here.
When non-stitchers learn about the Bookmark Challenge, their response is, generally, “I think it’s a great idea, but I don’t stitch.” Naturally, I come back with, “I’d be happy to teach you.”
But not everyone wants to stitch. Hard to believe, right? It’s true, and perfectly all right; there are zoodles of cool things to do with our hands and time.
Every now and then, a non-stitcher will say, “I’ll donate a bookmark…if you stitch it for me.” Hmm. Can you hear the wheels in my head humming? I’ve been thinking of ways we can make this happen. One way is to have non-stitchers buy hand-stitched bookmarks to donate. While I don’t currently have any to sell (this may change someday), here are some places that do:
Bolivia Boutique offers hand-embroidered bookmarks from Kunturi, a non-profit organization that works with physically- and mentally-impaired artisans in Bolivia to develop their skills and provide gainful employment.
Pacha World offers a set of three bookmarks hand-embroidered by a member of the Hmong tribe working with a Thai Fair Trade company.
Global Goods Partners offers hand-embroidered bookmarks made by women in some of Afghanistan’s most violent and oppressive regions. Our purchases provide income for artisans, their communities, and their efforts toward gender equality.
Note, I have not thoroughly researched these retailers. There are a number which provide similar products, so please do a search to find one you feel good supporting.
Part of what I love about embroidery is the cultural history and various cultural styles. With these bookmarks we can share not only the joy and beauty of embroidery and reading but also introduce a kids to different world cultures. We can simultaneously promote literacy and needlework while supporting kids and women / physically impaired artisans / people in need.
There are endless ways to participate in Stitching for Literacy and the Bookmark Challenge. We can find one for you.