Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

  • The Neighbors Campaign was recently renamed the Neighborhood Opportunity Network to reflect our full collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services.

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Posted by katieschmahl on June 7, 2011

The women enjoying themselves while hard at work on their latest assignment: skirts!

I know it’s been a while since the last update on the sewing circle. Fortunately, it’s partially because there’s been so much going  on in the last few weeks. In less than a month, the circle has formally kicked off its 3 month program for 8 women, offered its first paid course (which earned them $450!), had their own table at the Fenton Street Market and…created a new name for the goup: Rosal! Meaning a rose bush, the name, according to Edelsa, represents the group itself as it has begun to blossom and realize its full, beautiful potential. As opposed to just one rose, the bush represents a subtle but vital diversity of shades that give it its full vibrancy. In the same way, the group has begun to understand the many skills and talents of its members and knows that it can thrive only if each member is able to fully contribute these gifts.

The group is making steady progress meeting twice a week for a total of 6 hours. As apprentices of Edelsa, they are following a curriculum that right now has them practicing make their very own skirts. In the most recent meeting they also agreed that they should have a single focus for production–potentially laying the groundwork for a future business–in the next few months. They chose the Christmas Holiday season as their target date for having enough products ready for network members to purchase at some sort of big kick-off celebration event.

Teacher Edelsa showing newest member to group how to cut fabric for skirt

Board member Myriam Torrico also joined us in yesterday’s session to facilitate a conversation around group goals and strategies. While not yet ready to have their own bank account, the group decided to safe guard a certain amount of cash withdrawn from their total funds–currently being managed by IMPACT–in a secure cash box. Alicia was chosen as treasurer with her main task being overseeing all transactions involving the $500 under their control.

The group plans to be at the Fenton Street Market offering short demonstrations on sewing June 25! Hope to see you there!

Also, please contact us if you’re interested in donating any fabric, thread, old machines…etc. Thanks.

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