This month our workshops focused on building perseverance, a skill many of our children possess without even knowing it. Our goal was to strengthen their awareness of this trait and create projects that build upon the skill. These projects could then serve as an example for their own personal lives. One of our favorite projects from the past month, sewing, perfectly displayed both the importance and relevance of perseverance.
Whitney, a beloved HALO volunteer and creative fashion designer, combined her passion for sewing and our community to facilitate a three week long project for our children. At the end of the project, the children had created a personal pouch bag of their own to take home.
Each week Whitney came in to set up the sewing machines and prepare for the workshop ahead. Once she got going, she didn’t stop. Whitney was constantly moving around from kiddo to kiddo making sure they knew the next step, helping them with intricate details, or demonstrating a new skill.
Sewing created this incredible parallel to perseverance. While the kids faced challenges of cross stitching, needle threading, and anchor stitching, they also learned that pushing through the difficulties can result in an incredible end product.
Andrew, the only boy a part of this workshop, consistently described this project as “not his scene.” He felt pressure as the only guy and began to internalize his struggles with sewing at each workshop. “I can’t do it” became his regular anthem. Then, week three happened, and everything changed. He began to overcome and really started to put in significant effort. He not only realized that he COULD sew, but better yet that he could do it well.
He proudly said to himself “I made a pouch.” He then turned to the HALO volunteers and more assertively said, “I made a pouch!” And finally, he confidently strutted up to the Whitney and said, “Look. I did it. I made a pouch.” Completing this project meant a lot to Andrew as he recognized his potential and ability to persevere.
The series of workshops proved to be a huge success. Our children walked away with stylish new pouches, and an appreciation for working through doubts, struggles, and failures.