Doing Good

New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any? Do you make the same ones every year? I’ve decided I’m really too old to make resolutions, or to wait for the turn of the year to start something new. I did decide to tackle the holiday pounds right after the start of the year, got waylaid by a cold, but am somewhat better and will head back to the gym – tomorrow!

I think we make resolutions because we enjoy the feeling of doing something good. Watching the pounds come off, quitting smoking, the endorphin rush of exercise (which I’ve never experienced, by the way), all give us a sense of accomplishment. Even working our way through those unfinished stitching projects – the joy of finishing leads to the happiness of pulling threads to start something new!

Several years ago I started a partnership with Arkansas CARES, a partnership that allows DebBee’s Designs and needleworkers to do good all year long. The partnership came about because their director, Dr. Rita Galloway, wanted to help me with my work and provide occupational therapy for her program. Dr. Galloway is herself an accomplished stitcher, always thinking of ways to make stitching easier and to benefit her program at the same time. She is also a caring friend, who saw a way to help me at a time when I really needed the help, by transferring the making of DebBee’s Designs needlework accessories to Arkansas CARES.

Arkansas CARES is a residential substance abuse treatment facility for women, where they live on campus with their children for 6 months. During their time there they receive treatment for substance abuse but also learn parenting techniques, life skills, and by partnering with DebBee’s Designs, occupational training. They were responsible for their time, quality control, meeting quotas, and other job training. In return, DebBee’s Designs distributed their own needlework accessories and returned the proceeds to them to pay for their dental co-pays not covered by Medicaid.

Drug abuse takes a terrible toll on teeth. Many of these women were in constant pain from their teeth. As a result of our partnership, several women have gotten crowns, bridges and dentures, and are no longer in pain. New smiles, new confidence, and a new start in life!

When you buy Needle Valets, Bar Buddies, Itty Bitties and Ginormous magnets, you are participating in the “doing good”. Of all the things I’ve done with DebBee’s Designs, I’m proudest of my association with Arkansas CARES and the women who have been helped as a result.

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