We've likely all seen the memes going around about how the COVID-19 outbreak and the resultant quarantines/sheltering in place are exactly what introverts and crafters have been preparing for. And while, yes, this feels true... we also know that we have a lot of community members who are in high-risk groups because of their age and/or health conditions and are self-quarantined or in quarantine at assisted living/senior living facilities. Crafting can play an important part in mental health care strategies and self-care in times of stress and anxiety.
Customers have asked what they can do to help community members who may not be able or willing to get out right now, or who may not be able to afford crafting supplies (either in full or in part). So... here's what I've got to offer on that front. This is subject to change as events develop.
1. I contacted two locations that have confirmed that they will accept donations of yarn crafting materials, and/or will send residents the shop's contact information if they would like supplies. I'll be contacting a couple of other places this coming week.
2. If you have yarn/hooks/needles languishing in your stash and you'd like to have them go to use with some of our community members in need, please bring them by the shop between 11 AM and 4 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday (3/24 and 3/25). PLEASE NOTE - this is a test run. DO NOT leave things on the shop porch outside those hours, as we have roaming neighborhood cats, springtime bugs, and rain in the forecast this week; I don't have space or energy for the shop to become a dumping ground, and I have no storage space for overflow items. The Shop Kids and I will organize the yarn and yarn tools for more effective distribution. Please make sure the yarn is in good condition - think about what you'd want to use if you were stuck in your home for three or four weeks!
3. We have a generous benefactor who has offered to donate seed money to start a Crafters' Assistance fund. I'm setting up a separate PayPal account so that we can easily track donations and our fund levels, and I'll post a link here when we have it. You may also donate your shop coupons to the cause - just let us know when we issue one to you, and we'll note that it can go to the Crafters' Assistance fund.
4. Finally, we have someone who has requested to be a Yarn Fairy for customers considering making purchases. Starting on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the first 10 orders of $50 or more (before shipping) will receive an additional $10 of shop credit. This is good for orders coming in any form, first come, first serve.
It is truly our pleasure to be your #fullserviceyarnshop - and in many cases, your #longdistancelocalyarnshop ! We are so grateful for your camaraderie, checking in, and support of all stripes while we weather this situation; having the shop community approach us with ideas to reach out and support others has been extraordinary, and we want to thank you all for being rockstars and excellent human beings.
Lindsey Spoor is the owner of Stilly River Yarns in Stanwood, WA.