Today, we had the opportunity to teach a jewelry class to a group of girls at Daybreak Youth Services, in Spokane, WA. For those unfamiliar with Daybreak, it is a non-profit organization that provides treatment and support for girls suffering from mental illnesses and/or addictions. At the moment, there are 18 girls being treated, who range in age from 12 to 18. A fantastic team, led by Marti D'Agostino, Sarah Spier and Catherine Reynolds are these girls' advocates and mentors. There are a lot of issues that face the organization, not least of which is that there is no interim place for these youths to go until they turn 18 – many are forced to return to the same poor environments that exacerbated (or was possibly a cause of) their conditions to begin with. Some have no place to go. Sarah Spier, a really inspiring advocate for these girls, is trying to solve that problem, which of course is a big one!
We connected with Catherine Reynolds, the Life Enrichment Director, who seeks to organize events that act as both therapeutic activities, and which bring a little bit of childhood fun back to these young women. So, today, the whole MILLIANNA team headed over to Daybreak and organized a jewelry making class, led by Sharmilla. Each girl made either a pair of earrings or a necklace, which they were able to keep. After teaching the basics of crimping, we let the girls loose! Some followed the designs that we brought, while others followed their own intuition and created entirely new designs. It was so gratifying for us to see the girls involved in their projects and having fun! Their delight in choosing colors and creating a piece was inspiring for us to see as well! Below are some photos of the day!
For more information on Daybreak, check out their website here: https://daybreakyouthservices.org