Below is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from Sharon Cook, the mother of one of the Cinderella Project donors: Jennifer Cook, a student at West Ashley High School. Jennifer and her mom have made a bunch of jewelry that they’ve donated to give away at our event on March 24. It’s incredible seeing the Charleston community come together for such a great cause.
Two years ago, I was trying to think of something crafty that Jennifer and I could do together at home, that would lead to a lifelong hobby for both of us, and that would perhaps give her a leg up on future employment opportunities. I had been given a simple jewelry assembly kit several years ago and that is when the light bulb finally clicked to the on position. I thought, hey, this would be creative, calm, great fine motor therapy for Jennifer, and we could donate out work to lots of good causes for their use or for fund-raising purposes. My first plan of attack was to get Jennifer interested in doing it, but that turned out to be the easy part…Now that we are regularly able to make real jewelry-thanks to eBay bargain basement auction prices-we make sure that the high school has an on-going supply and we also keep going in order to donate to Carolina Children’s Charity, SC Autism Society, Camp Good Times, and the list is still growing.
About a month ago, Jennifer discovered the Cinderella Project on the Internet and brought it to my attention. She even placed my finger on the computer screen where it says “Donate” to make sure her intentions were clear. So I made sure we were setting some of our creations aside just for that purpose. Then, when the Cinderella Project was featured in the Sunday paper, Jennifer read the article, showed it to me, and said “Give jewelry, Mommy.” I assured her that we had already sent some jewelry to the project and that we would be sending more. This met with a big smile her usual acknowledgement of approval, “Okay, okay.” I am one proud Mommy-I found something that my teenage daughter and I can do together and, apparently, I have raised a teenager who is generous and understands the need to be of service to others-no small feat whether the teenage girl has autism or not.
Our hobby is paying off in so many ways-people are becoming more aware of the fact that people with disabilities can make very positive and real contributions to the world.
There really are so many ways to get involved. Our event is only 5 days away, so if you want to participate in this year’s event, please contact us at CinderellaProjectCharleston@gmail.com today!