When the COVID-19 pandemic started, everyone had to hunker down. Even as Massachusetts relaxed its coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. For a lot of seniors, the burden of isolation and uncertainty got harder to bear.
So, when we saw Blackstone resident Celeste Langlois post about Craft Kits for Seniors on Facebook, we were intrigued. Celeste has been posting in Blackstone Facebook groups about the kits for several weeks so we reached out to her to know more.
- What is the project (Craft Kit for Seniors) all about?
It’s a project to get Senior Citizens and/or people dealing with health issues craft kits to give them something to do to help them get through this pandemic.
Some of the crafters are seniors living alone and have been quite isolated. Others are seniors that live with others but are finding it difficult to get through the day to day without becoming bored or frustrated that they can’t really get out and do the normal activities they did before the virus. There are also a few that are dealing with significant health issues that further isolate them during this pandemic.
- When did the project start?
This project started at the middle to end of April (April 23rd or so)
- How or Why was the project thought of?
This project was formalized in April. I had reached out to a friend in town that lives alone. I just asked her if she needed anything because it was at this point that people were supposed to pretty much stay put in their homes. She stated that she didn’t really need anything but wished she could get out. We chatted for a bit and I asked her if she would like a crossword book or a puzzle. She said she would love a puzzle so she could keep her mind occupied. The next day I dropped off a puzzle and some other little treats and stuff for her.
When I got home, I realized that she was a very mobile senior always participating in events at the Senior Center and the Library. I knew not having these activities was a huge void for her not only for her creative side but also her social side. That was the AH HA moment. I thought I could put together some crafts kits and deliver them safely to anyone that would like one. I ran the idea by the friend that I brought the puzzle to and she thought it was a great idea.
Craft Kits for Seniors was born.
- Who is involved?
Me, but I do have some wonderful angels that help me find supplies that I’m looking for.
- Who puts together the craft kits? Me
- Who gives them out to Seniors? Me
- Do you receive funding? No, I pay for a lot of the items in the kits but I do get donations of supplies from some wonderful helpers. I have received a little money but mostly supplies are donated and that’s fine with me because this is not a for profit cause. Most of the money spent is mine and I do not charge the crafters for their kits. Many of them are on very limited budgets.
5. How is a Senior able to partake in the project?
Do they need to sign up every time there’s an announcement for it? Most of my crafters receive a kit every week. Some like to pick and choose the ones they would like. Either way is fine with me. I have 10 weekly and up to 5 or 6 extra each week. Each week it varies and I have over 25 people on my crafters list.
- What do participants receive and when do they receive it?
The crafters get a kit that has EVERYTHING needed to complete the craft from glue to toothpicks to paint, etc. They also get detailed instructions. I usually deliver craft kits on Saturday between 11 and 4 but sometimes they might be delivered on Sunday.
Is there a timeline to finish the projects? They can finish the projects whenever they like. I do ask for pictures (because I’m nosy) if they care to share and most of them have sent some.
More Sample Projects
- How can people help? I don’t ever ask for money. I have asked for supplies either on Facebook or through my Craft Kit wish list on Amazon. Having said that, I have had several amazing friends and strangers that have given me donations. I’ve received a little over $100 in money for supplies. More importantly, I have had people donate supplies from mod podge to silly things I asked for from the Dollar Tree. These items have been my lifesaver.
9. Are you looking for volunteers? Donations?
It’s tough to get volunteers because of the current pandemic situation. I know that when people see these types of projects, they also want to help. One way to help would be to get things from my wish list on Amazon or a gift certificate to anywhere craft supplies are sold. I get a lot of my stuff from Walmart, Dollar Tree, Amazon, and Home Depot. I even feel weird about asking for gift certificates; but as we embark on Week 27 with no end in sight, I think I need that kind of help.
The local community benefits when we give to others. We all make the community a better place to work and live. Just like Celeste Langlois, SmallTownPost.com encourages everybody to go out there to help make a difference.
If you want to donate to the cause, we’ve set up a donation program with funds going directly to Celeste Langlois so she can continue on the project in the months to come. Currently on Week 27, its looking like the project will run for the rest of the year so any help will be appreciated!
Three ways to help
- Donate via the Online Donation Form below. Pay through PayPal, your credit card, or your bank account.
Note: we are receiving your donations but our form doesn’t update as quickly. If you want to check if the form received your donation, contact us.
2. Support by buying things from the Craft Kits for Seniors Amazon Wish list!
3. Transfer funds for crafts via Venmo