Participants at MLK event will make crafts for shelters

Sally Vissers holds a dress she made from a pillowcase. Participants at a MLK session will make similar crafts.
Sally Vissers holds a dress she made from a pillowcase. Participants at a MLK session will make similar crafts.
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One of the concurrent social justice activities planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 21, will have engage participants in upcycling.

“Crafting for Our Community” will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, rooms 2215/2216. Faculty and staff members from Women and Gender Studies have teamed with the Community Service Learning Center to host the event.

Julia Mason, assistant professor of women and gender studies, said upcycling means turning handy items into something useful. At the event, participants will turn pillowcases into dresses or weave plastic bags into sleeping mats. The idea was generated by Sally Vissers, department coordinator for WGS, who has transformed pillowcases into dresses for girls in Haiti and other countries for years. (Read the 2011 Grand Valley Magazine story here.)

Items made from Monday’s event will be donated to local shelters and health care organizations. RSVP for a session by clicking here.

Upcycling is open to children ages 5 and up, but all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Supplies will be available but donations will be accepted (see list below). Donations can be brought to Lake Ontario Hall, room 227, or Kirkhof Center, room 1240.

List: plastic grocery bags, new paper lunch bags, new or used lanyards, new/used pillowcases, new/used T-shirts, new/used flannel or fleece; fabric markers or fabric paint; yarn; soda can tops or tabs, thread, buttons, trim and ribbons.

For a complete schedule of MLK Commemoration Week activities, click here. Buses between the Pew Grand Rapids and Allendale campuses on Monday will run every 20 minutes.