A friend of mine recently told me about a delightful collaboration. Two very different groups came together to create the beautiful piece shown below, which was then auctioned off to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
I’ll let them speak for themselves.
“This piece of art is the blossom of a relationship between two groups that utilize space within the walls of Lake Washington United Methodist Church. Over the course of this past school year, children from the Kirkland Co-operative Preschool and members of Old Friends Club have met on a weekly basis.
In mid-October, a small group of preschoolers came to visit for the first time. The children showed the Old Friends Club Members how to stretch rubber bands between push pins that had been placed into pumpkins! Old Friends Club is social daytime program for people living with dementia, and although some members have difficulty finding words, the smiles on their faces communicated everything there was to say.
From that point on, we’ve anticipated weekly visits. Shape BINGO, singing performances, dominoes, simple card games, parachute and drumming (which became one of the favorites with the preschoolers) are just a few of the activities shared between the groups.
Staff, volunteers and parents enjoy watching as the visits between the two groups grew into a comfortable time of laughter, giggling and sharing.
As the school year began to wind down, we had the idea of doing a cooperative art project. During our final visit for the year, 19 preschoolers and 4 Old Friends Club members sat at tables together sharing inspiration and creativity as they each filled a piece of watercolor paper with designs and color!
Those pieces were cut into strips and woven together to create this beautiful paper tapestry. It reflects well how the hearts of both the children and the members of Old Friends Club have been woven together and is truly the ‘blossom’ of our time spent together.”
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this concept! And it could be applied to so many different groups. Inner city youth and advisors from the Small Business Association. Any group attempting to team build or resolve conflicts. Members of Congress from opposite sides of the aisle. Children on opposite sides of the planet.
Any time two or more people come together to create something beautiful, they are certain to form a bond. At the very least, the end result makes a memorable keepsake of a new relationship. But if they auction off that beautiful thing for charity, they pay that wonderful energy forward. Win/win/win!