Amidst the strangeness of the year that was 2020, a particularly bright spot for us was seeing what Repair Clark County is capable of when we all work together towards an incredible goal.
A Little About ReWrap
In 2018, we introduced a program where we could use up unwanted holiday fabric (picture an older tree skirt or tablecloth with a rip or a stain) and give it new life as a reusable wrapping bag. We call the program ReWrap, and in that first year, we sewed and gave away 150 bags during a few local holiday markets. I was impressed then! And little did I know that the program would explode from there.
ReWrap was special because we were introducing our community to the concept of replacing something that is typically disposable (wrapping paper) with something that is durable. To me, this was an invaluable lesson and opened the door for more conversations about “guilt free green” behaviors. Our positive feelings were reinforced in 2019 when we had even more success by sewing and handing out four times the amount of the first year (600 bags!).
This past year has been one of innovation, and ReWrap was no exception. Initially I reached out to the markets again, and while they were happy to partner with us, safety adaptions required on their part made things complicated. It just wasn’t the best fit. What to do? Community members working together would come to save the day again, and a solution was found when I casually mentioned it to our mask partners from earlier in the year. (RCC volunteers sewed over 1,800 masks for local groups, early on in the pandemic, when masks were virtually impossible to find!)
Teamwork and Innovation Save the Day
Meals on Wheels People have many donations for their clients around the holidays, and their operations manager immediately saw the connection. She happily said yes to our bags, which could be used to package all of these goods! Great, I thought, but how many could they actually use? I “cautioned” her that last year we made 600 bags, and she responded that they had around 1,000 clients! I had no idea if we could pull it off, but I was certainly willing to try!
We had tons of donated fabric from previous years, so we set about making sure anyone who wanted to sew with us could. In the end, we were able to donate 1,000 bags to the Meals on Wheels People program for their holiday donations. I’m so proud and humbled by the sewists in this program.