DIY For CRi: Help Combat Loneliness Through Craft

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The non-profit organization CRi (Choice. Respect. Independence) has provided resources for people:

  • With developmental disabilities and mental health needs
  • At-risk youth who are homeless, precariously-housed, and/or aging out of foster care

Five hundred direct-support staff help 350 residents, many of whom are high-risk. Their daily social activities like going to the store, meeting with their families, and more have ceased. Loneliness has become a problem.

Below is a list of DIY crafts you can make at home to help CRi’s residents through the holiday season.

Contact volunteer specialist Shannon White, at swhite@volunteerfairfax.com, for a list of donations sites closest to you.

DIY Crafts:

  • Season’s Greeting Cards
    • The holiday season can be a lonely time of the year for some people even in a non-pandemic year. But this year, many CRi residents are unable to see their family members in person. There will be no warm hugs orcomforting squeezes on the shoulder. Help make sure all 350 residents have cards they can put on their mantels or hang on their fridges. A personalized greeting can remind them that they are loved and not forgotten.
    • Tips on creating greeting cards
      • CRi has 40+ homes. Making cards generic will help with distribution.
      • Be creative! Use color! As long as the card is made from the heart, everyone is grateful.
      • Add a holiday greeting and well wishes for the season.
      • In order to respect the individual beliefs of residents, PLEASE AVOID:
        • Religious themes
        • Santa Claus
        • Christmas
      • USE THESE INSTEAD:
        • Happy Holidays!
        • Season’s Greetings!
        • Have a wonderful New Year!
        • Wishing you a beautiful holiday season!
        • May this season bring you peace and happiness.
        • May your holiday season be merry and bright

Sensory Boards

  • Sensory Boards
    • These help individual with developmental disabilities and mental health need by directing their focus and practicing their motor skills. The multiple stimuli on these boards not only help residents but provide tools for staff to continue development while homebound.
  • Homemade Soap
    • As simple as melting and pouring soap, these homemade gifts are expressions of thoughtfulness appreciated by residents and staff alike. Many of the ingredients to make soap may already be in your cabinet.
    • A couple tips:
      • Please make sure your soaps are no smaller than 2’ x 2’.
      • Please refrain from religious-themed holiday soap out of respect to the diversity and beliefs of residents and staff.
      • Don’t use fresh flowers or herbs. These are more likely to brown and mold.
      • Avoid using chocking hazards like beads and small plastic toys. These can put some of the residents at risk.
      • A small sample batch will help determine what your soap will look and smell like when it dries.
      • Have fun!
  • Homemade masks:
    • While homemade masks are more plentiful than before, there is still a need for them. Check out CDC’s guidelines here for specifications on how to make quality masks.

If you have ideas of your own, let our volunteer specialist, Shannon White, at swhite@volunteerfairfax.org, know.

Now go and get your craft on. Show people, that even in times we cannot be face-to-face, they are still on our minds.


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