The earthquake in Japan seems to have shaken everyonone I know, but at the same time, I know that many people have felt inspired and moved by the discipline and grace shown under extreme conditions in Japan, and also by the outpouring of goodwill and care from all over the world. Personally, it’s had me examining my own reactions to small setbacks and made me realise I sorely need to practise until I’m able to be gracious under pressure, and also that my deep admiration for the acts of selflessness I’ve heard described means it’s time for me to find opportunities to grow that spirit in my own life too.
I’m very grateful, therefore, for the HEARTS + HANDS for Japan community effort that Lynn Russell of Satsuma Press has organised, in the belief that there are ways, both big and small, to help. Lynn knows first-hand the kind of powerful response that comes from the heart, after she organised a raffle last year in April for her son, Liam, who has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. The raffle kicked off on April 23rd, his 6th birthday, with over 50 independent artists and studios contributing prizes. Within two weeks, Lynn’s raffle raised over $14,000 which went toward renovating their home bathroom so that Liam – who uses a power wheelchair – could be more independent at home. That raffle made a world of difference for Lynn’s family. She says:
I was inspired and humbled by the huge amount of love and generosity that came our way – from so many, so quickly, so openly. Many times, in the face of what is daunting, I think the best we can do is ask for help. It can seem so hard, but it’s not – and so much good can come from just making the leap and asking.
In response to the disaster in Japan, Lynn made the leap again, sending out an email suggesting another raffle, this time in aid of Japan. Within 48 hours, fifty independent artists and studios had agreed to donate prizes for the HEARTS + HANDS raffle – and that list is still growing. My contribution to the raffle is one of my limited edition screenprinted posters called Waiting.
Visit the HEARTS + HANDS for Japan website to buy your raffle ticket for $10 each, knowing that 100% of the proceeds from the HEARTS + HANDS raffle will be donated to relief efforts in Japan. Join Lynn and the rest of the designers who are donating their work in our belief that there are ways, both big and small, to help, and this is what we are able to do – from the heart, made by our hands.