Patchwork has been around for 35 years now and we’ve touched the lives of thousands and thousands of people in many different ways. It’s fun when some whose lives we’ve touched stop by to say hello.
The other week, I was sitting in my office when I saw a woman walk by as if she was looking for something. I asked if there was anything she needed, and she said no–that she just wanted to look around a little bit because years ago she had lived across the alley from Patchwork and her children had come to our programming. We talked about the people she knows whose childhood portraits hang in the hallway. She said she thinks it’s wonderful that there are places like Patchwork and that it had meant a lot to her to know that her children were safe at Patchwork during the afternoons when they were growing up. She said, “I wish I could make a donation to you. I can’t though. But if I ever win the lottery, I’ll give some to you.”
Meanwhile, another friend from Patchwork’s past recently sent Jane Vickers a gift. Her name is Dorothy Word, and she was a school teacher in Evansville. In the 1990’s, she wrote a column for children called “Kuumba Korner” that appeared in Evansville’s Our Times newspaper and highlighted African Americans whose creativity led them to make important innovations.
Dorothy sent the complete set of her original columns to Jane to share with the children in Arts & Smarts to help them learn about African American history. Here’s one example:
You carry around something everyday that’s BETTER that any kid’s Nintendo! It works 24 hours a day! It never needs batteries!
What is it???? YOUR BRAIN!!!!!!
YOUR BRAIN is super fantastic!!! And you can use it for so many good things!! That’s what Benjamin Banneker did!!
Who was Benjamin Banneker???
Benjamin Banneker was an African American who lived a long time ago. He was the grandson of a slave. He used his BRAIN a lot! He used his MEMORY! He OBSERVED things around him. By using his BRAIN and his MEMORY he helped to plan the city that became Washington D.C. By closely OBSERVING a man’s pocket watch, Benjamin Banneker was able to build the first American-made clock out of wood.
You can be a BENJAMIN BANNEKER, too! Be proud of your BRAIN POWER! What will you invent???????