THE CARD KIT PROJECT - L’Arche Toronto Sol Express Reaching Out!

Over the winter, L’Arche Toronto Sol Express had the opportunity to create the Card Kit Project. Sol Express sent out 50 kits to present and lapsed Sol Express participants, as well as, Sol Express volunteers and supporters. The 50 kits, which included 10 cards, postage and other supplies in each, had the possibility to reach 500 people in the broader community. Through this outreach project, a number of previous in-person participants started to take part in the project and on-line programs. Participants remained connected, but also, had a positive effect on others in the community, with and without intellectual disabilities, who were also being negatively affected by the pandemic. Lovely work everyone!!

SolExpress Card Kit Project

Quotes from Sol Express admirers…..

 

“My daughter has been deeply affected by her new work at Sol Express. When staff spoke of the creative process I realized no one had ever engaged that part of her before and she has flourished, before theatre was her interest. Somehow in this marvellous process my daughter has discovered a sense of joy and agency. With the Card Kit Project, she started sending Christmas cards this year and sent one to her pharmacist. I thought that was weird but the pharmacist loved it and gave her a Christmas gift and then he started delivering her prescriptions on his drive home! The combination of sending out cards and doing art was met with enthusiasm and she made amazing cards for her friends. I got one about my cat Biggie and Biggie and I loved it!”

One of Irene’s card recipients said, " I was thrilled to receive a homemade card from Irene.  During COVID my life has become zoom meetings to zoom sessions to email communication.  What a delight to receive personal mail. It felt so human.  This inspired me to send care packages and cards to people I know across the country.  My mail went to Winnipeg MB, Vancouver BC, Saskatoon SK, Mahone Bay NS, Montreal QC and Toronto."  

 

“This project has been good for Rachel. She needed some encouragement to get started but seemed very pleased with the reception her work got. I hope she has time and desire to continue decorating cards to send to people. Perhaps she will consider changing from watercolours to some form of collage, something involving gluing of thin light objects to the card. 

 

She has already sent out seven cards with her own art work. She has received several emails and phone calls thanking her for the cards. They have gone to people in the family and to various friends. She selected the recipients herself.”

“Sophie has been drawing/coloring up a storm with the card kit project.  She suddenly got inspired and has been going at it for hours every day.  Just thought I would share some pics.

It’s pretty easy to see the inspiration for the first one, Yayoi Kusama!  Georgia O’Keeffe inspired #2. Number 4 is my favorite and she calls it Stress Free Coloring.  The 6th one is the water of Lake Superior, inspired by our camping trips to Pancake Bay, and I think she has captured it brilliantly! 

And there are more on the go as I type. Thanks to everyone at Sol Express for keeping her stimulated during this past year.”

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Projects like this have allowed  program participants to be engaged daily in different activities that could increase their skills, their sense of connectedness and sense of worth, thereby alleviating the sense of loss and loneliness they were feeling early in the pandemic and helping to maintain good mental health. Thereby, others in our community and beyond also felt connected and healthy even though they could not be with their family or friends.

 

Please enjoy more samples of the art!

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Thanks go out to the Emergency Community Support Fund of the Government of Canada via the Toronto Foundation and to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding for COVID-19 relief funding that supported the Day Program in the homes, Sol Express and Trying It on For Size (TIFS)