When women who breathe hope, who have the courage to speak out about injustice in the world, who love ferociously, when you get together, you become a force to be reckoned with.
The first 'Shared Threads' gathering was round my kitchen table with pots of tea and a cake my daughter made. Women came, some I had never met in real life, which I think was very brave of them, but they came because they were drawn to the idea of helping other women. They came with their hearts open ready to serve and their hands open, ready to work. They came despite the voice in their head that whispers 'but what can you do to help?' 'sure someone else can help with that,' 'someone else would be better at that.' I know because that voice was in my head too. I took a step out of my comfort zone in inviting them, and they took a step out of their comfort zone in coming. Those first tentative and heart felt discussions sparked something in all of us. As we talked about poverty and injustice and how girls can't go to school because all they have to manage their period is leaves and some old newspaper, and when I showed them the cloth pads I had designed, I knew I had a tribe of women dedicated to my crazy sanitary pad plan.
I have always felt that there is something special about making and creating alongside others. There is a certain atmosphere about gathering and making and chatting that is so life giving and calming and inspiring all at once. When these women gather and make, suddenly a space is created for listening, for sharing stories, for sewing together and remembering.
A truly beautiful community of women is forming around Shared Threads. Women who love to make, women who love to sew and women who can't do either but who come and iron and cut out squares and work their socks off. There is a feeling of togetherness, of purpose, of women helping women. There are donation bags to sort through and busy hands and raucous laughter, the kind that only happens when women gather. Menstruation is something that connects us all, but we can only imagine in horror the challenges that other women face in managing theirs. We can only imagine the limitations such as our daughters not being able to go to school. But these women are not just tutting and shaking their heads, they are gathering together and doing something.
Shared Threads is in its infancy. We are just starting out and have so much to learn and figure out. I don't know where this project will take us, but every workshop or fundraiser we have, I watch women gather who are passionate about seeking justice and loving mercy and I am excited to be on this journey with them.
So don't be afraid to start group projects, dream big ideas, challenge each other, champion each other, open doors for each other because when women who breathe hope, who have the courage to speak out about injustice in the world, who love ferociously, when you get together, you become a force to be reckoned with. So start now. Just do it. And if you are afraid, do it anyway because you never know what can happen when women gather.