Thursday, August 15, 2019

P.S.P. - The First Five Years

The Pink Slipper Project was founded in August of 2009 by Joyce Lucas. She was inspired by Terry Grahl, an interior designer, who, with the help of volunteers across the country, performed makeovers at domestic abuse/homeless shelters.  Their goal was to help make these shelters feel more like a home with many homemade touches. Joyce made sure each of these shelters were gifted with slippers for their residents.  “I wanted to reach out to women and children that were torn from their homes and living in shelters. I wanted to let them know there were so many people that care.”

At the time of forming the P.S.P., Joyce had her own online web businesses. She was both a web designer, creating website designs for women’s online businesses, and running an online shopping site (“Make Mine Pink”) where women could list their shops (in a very “pink” environment) and have their businesses marketed to the public with special sales, etc. Joyce set up a website and inspired friends and clients to help launch P.S.P.  She published her pattern for her “Signature Rag Slipper” and she was off and running.  Within a week of launching the new project, a request came in from a shelter in Missouri and soon, 125 pairs of slippers were made and shipped off to the shelter.  Within a week of being on Facebook, we had 500 friends.  What a wonderful beginning!

In August of 2010, the P.S.P was featured in The Weekly Newsletter published by the Lion Brand Yarn Company.  It was quite a compliment to the then-year-old P.S.P. to be recognized by a national company and our numbers grew to 1,800.  By our second birthday in 2011, we had 2,300 friends and had delivered thousands of slippers and other items much needed by the shelters.  We want to thank a wonderful organization called AC4C (All Crafts for Charity) for publicizing P.S.P. on their annual calendar, inspiring their members to send hundreds of slippers and helping to contribute to our success.

In the early days, everything was sent to Joyce. She loved to put up pictures of all the slippers that arrived in her studio. She bagged and tagged each pair before they were shipped off to a shelter.  In 2011, she “visited” Iowa, held a local Stitch-A-Thon with a group in New Orleans, “visited” the Hope Coalition in Red Wing, MN, and, in conjunction with the Compassion Fashion Project, warmed the hearts and toes in seven shelters in Arkansas with our slippers!

We joined along with Comfort Scarves of Southwestern PA to send slippers and scarves to nine shelters in PA. After Super Storm Sandy hit the East Coast in late 2012, we sent slippers to Safe Haven in Bay Shore, NY, and to Providence House in Whiting, NJ.
Joyce posted her “Hospital Doll” pattern, as well as the “Knit Teddy Bear” pattern, the “Signature Knit Slipper” pattern, and the “Signature Crochet Slipper” pattern, which were designed by members for the PSP.  These items have warmed hearts and made many friends. They are all posted on our blog and under our “Learn More” button on Facebook.Unfortunately, in 2013, Joyce had to retire from the P.S.P. for health reasons.  She asked Rachel Terrill, who had been taking care of P.S.P. in her absence, to take over the reins. Rachel remains our hard-working P.S.P. Coordinator to this day.

We have now added two “special” challenges --- Happy Hands and Cozies for Pets --- which are proving to be popular with the shelters and our members alike. Our Happy Hands challenges provide yarn and supplies that encourage knitting and crocheting as therapy and as a hobby.  Many survivors will not leave their abusive relationships if it means leaving a cherished family pet behind to possibly be abused.  Realizing this, many DV shelters have now started to make accommodations available on site so clients can bring their pets with them. Our Cozies for Pets blankets/mats help to provide a little comfort for the pets, too, and are much appreciated.

Stay tuned to learn about the five most recent years of the Pink Slipper Project!

No comments: