Accepting Contributions Now!

Contributions for the Diversity Project are being accepted now, so if you haven’t done so already (I know, I’m all about the pressure here at DPHQ!) get those needles and hooks out and start creating! I’ve already got the first two squares ready to go and just as soon as I find a second to run downstairs and snap a decent photograph I’ll upload them for you to see.

Seriously, though, the Project has a strict (and intimidating) timeline which goes something like this:

September – December 2011: Contributions of knitted and crocheted squares, yarn, needles, and hooks being accepted. I’m also working frantically to create several squares of my own (just in case I don’t get enough contributions, please prove me wrong on that score!) as well as trying to wrap my head around publicity and other logistics. I know I’ve said this in several places, but please, please, please do what you can to get your contributions to me as soon as possible.

December 2011 – March 2012: Construction time. I’ll be working (probably round the clock) with a dedicated team of volunteers (so far that means me and two other people!) to embroider your squares with your quotes and dedications. Once that’s done, I’ll start to decide upon the layout of the blanket (although my dear friend and colleague Ashley had a smashing idea today) and will add “frames” to the squares and join them together. Once the blanket is structurally complete and I’m sure we won’t get any more contributions (so basically the night before it goes on display) I’ll back it with a variety of quilting fabric which will help support the weight of the blanket and make sure it doesn’t stretch when it’s on display.

March 2012: The finished blanket will go on display. Hopefully by this time I’ll also have put together some kind of publication to accompany the blanket–maybe even one that will be available for people to buy with the proceeds, of course, going back into the fund for an LGBT scholarship.

June 2012: Auction time! My plan is to arrange a charity auction in conjunction with Lexington’s Pride Festival. I’ve yet to approach the Pride planning committee but I’m really hoping that they’ll be amenable to the idea. By the way, if you’re involved with the Pride planning committee and you’re reading this, firstly, hello! Secondly, I’ll be in touch very soon to talk about this, I promise!

June 2012 – September 2012: Even though the blanket should be sold by then, there’ll still be plenty to do. I’m hoping that the project will have raised enough money for a scholarship to be awarded to an LGBT student here in Lexington. So this time will be used to get the finances straight, work out how much of a scholarship we can offer, and start attracting applications. After that, who knows?

As you can tell, time is absolutely of the essence and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d urge you to please start creating now.

There’s plenty of things on my agenda for this week as far as the project goes. My friend and colleague, Ashley (yes, the same one who had a great idea about the blanket layout) has offered to design a flyer to be posted around campus and the downtown area. As soon as the flyer is ready, I’m going to need some volunteers to help me get them pinned up so if you’re around and able to put up some flyers for me, please get in touch!

I’m also trying to get some collection boxes organized–I’d really like to have collection boxes located at various spots around campus and a couple in local coffee shops and other points of interest. These boxes will make it much easier for local people to get their contributions to me. Again, though, I’m going to need some volunteers–firstly to make some collection boxes (all I’m imaging is a large cardboard box, decorated with bright, bright paper, a slot cut into the top and a poster with Diversity Project details pasted on the front). If anyone can help me make some boxes over the next couple of weeks (date to be finalized but possibly on Saturday 24th in the afternoon?), then again I’d really appreciate it.

As well as the volunteer opportunities I’ve already talked about, I’m working on a list of local businesses to approach for support and/or sponsorship. This is the part that really intimidates me–I’m not great at asking people for things (not that you could guess that from the way I’ve been hounding you to get knitting!) so this part of the process really takes me out of my comfort zone. I’m still pondering the best way to go about it–do I send emails and hope people will respond, or do I try to see people in person and hope that I can stop stuttering enough to get my request across? Either way, this is terribly nerve-wracking for me.

And then there’s publicity. One local newspaper has already expressed an interest in running a feature on the project, now all I need to do is get the other newspapers on board. Then there’s the radio stations, tv stations, the list keeps going on.

On that note, I’ve been “going on” for long enough–I’m off to take some photographs and get my knitting needles out…


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