Crafting for a Cause Club turns hobbies into service for the community

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Sophie Gulino

Cutting out strips of fabric for a Day of Service project, junior Brooke Gangel makes dog toys to donate to the Humane Society. Crafting for a Cause Club meets every month to choose a project that will benefit their community. “I 100% support Crafting for a Cause,” Gangel said. “It's a fun way to get together with friends at West High but also give back to the community at the same time.”

While developing skills and enhancing their interest in arts and crafts, Crafting for a Cause Club aspires to craft various projects in hopes of benefitting their community.

“Crafting for a Cause is basically where we meet almost every month, and we focus on a specific project,” junior Fatima Shahab said. “Usually, the goal is to make something or have some sort of project so that we can donate it or help someone in some way. I think it’s a unique way to provide service to our community.”

The idea of Crafting for a Cause Club was brought by Shahab to Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher Renee Broemmelsick. Shahab hopes to further her interests in crafting while still having a positive impact on her community.

“I decided to start Crafting for a Cause because I really like crafting and sewing, so I wanted to combine my hobby with helping others,” Shahab said. “I thought this was a good way to do that.”

Shahab recruited close friends and students to grow the presence of the club. Initially, junior Brooke Gangel’s intention was to support her friend, but she later found that the message of the club resonated with her beliefs in helping her community.

“I liked the message she was trying to send with this club, and I thought it would be a fun way to give back,” Gangel said. “I love making crafts, so I got a few of my friends to join as well, and we all just sit around a table talking while helping our community at the same time.”

As a crafting club, Shahab, Gangel and other club members found simple craftable items to donate.

“For one of our projects, we made bracelets. We tied little notes on them and sent them to a retirement home,” Gangel said. “When you receive something handmade, I feel like it holds more value to it. It makes it feel more special.”

Another project that the club did was cutting out strips of fabric for freshmen to braid into dog toys on Day of Service to be donated to the Humane Society.

“[Our] purpose is to give back to the community with handmade gifts or crafts,” Gangel said. “Maybe it’s to help our school out with Day of Service or maybe it’s just a friendly note to those who live in the retirement home, but we are always giving back to those who need it.”

ASC teacher and Day of Service coordinator Kristen Witt was able to see a direct impact of the club’s assistance to the community. 

“This group was a huge help in preparing the dog toys beforehand so that the freshmen could make the toys [since] they had already been pre-assembled,” Witt said. “Their efforts helped to make for a smooth Day of Service.”

Despite being a newly founded club, the club members hope to expand and provide their services to other people in need in the community.“We were supposed to start a taggy blanket project this year, but that’s not going to happen, so we hope to continue it next year,” Shahab said. “We were planning on donating it to the Children’s Hospital, so that’s a potential project we had in mind. Also, [we wanted to] make coat bags to give to a retirement home or hospital.”