Background: Peace By Hand started out of a desire to engage civically and locally with a mood of connection over further separation and to nurture self- and community-experienced conviviality during the holiday season. After searching for a handmade gift drive in Chicago and not discovering one, the first gift drive was held last year to benefit an incredible organization, I Grow Chicago, and was a beautiful success — children and emerging adults were gifted handmade, one of a kind gifts including scarves, blankets, baby hats, soaps, jewelry and ceramics. All gifts were wrapped in re-used and upcycled wrapping materials sourced from The Wasteshed.

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Mission: Peace by Hand seeks to serve local community during the holiday season through 1) acknowledging individuals that are in need of support with dignity and compassion and 2) to uphold the power of objects in our lives, particularly using handmade objects to empower experiences of gratitude and meaning in everyday life, as well as interconnectedness to the larger community. When we create things, we create meaning; when we gift creations that were made with care and attention, we hope to equally attend to the recipient's individual creative spirit and worthiness.

The next drive is taking a bit of a turn and focusing not on individually handmade objects, but rather objects that encourage opportunities for creative expression. The intention is to empower moments for each individual to experience their innate wisdom, explore their creativity, and to deepen in self-interaction — the pathway to self-compassion.

Please stay tuned for details for this upcoming holiday drive and feel free to reach out to regardingdewshop@gmail.com if you have feedback or would like to get involved!

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