August 27, 2014

Project iAm at Toledo Pride

Sometimes I get a great idea for a blog, but then when I sit down to actually write it, I realize I have no beginning, middle, or end…just a project.

How about I start from the beginning…

T-shirt I found on Pinterest
My nephew, Matt, is autistic and awhile ago I came across this really cute shirt on Pinterest. I thought it would be great to have one, but at $25 plus S&H, I figured I could just make my own. You can buy one here. I pinned it on Pinterest and quite frankly forgot about it.

Skip ahead awhile, my friend, Heather, asked me if I was free and wanted to volunteer with her at "HoHoHo on Monroe."  You volunteer for a few hours and then get into the event for free. I'm down for free entrance.  It wasn't until the day of the event that Heather told me about the charity, Project iAm,  we were volunteering for.  Project iAm is a charity that gives scholarships to children living on the autism spectrum in the Toledo area.  Suddenly, I was more excited about the volunteering than I was about the free entrance to HoHoHo on Monroe.

I spent most of the night, even after my volunteering shift was over collecting donations in exchange for one of these Project iAm bracelets.

My next opportunity to volunteer for Project iAm was this past weekend at Toledo Pride.  Heather and I started coordinating outfits which included rainbow…basically everything but my favorite part were the tutus and suspenders.  However, as Pride got closer and closer I still hadn't decided on a shirt to pair with my tutu and suspenders.  The rainbow clothing was obviously to support Pride but I had nothing showing that I was also there to support Project iAm. That's when the memory of the autism shirt that I had pinned so long ago came back.

I went out and bought a white v-neck shirt, a large pieced children's puzzle (the kind where they place the puzzle into the board) and this set of fabric spray paint.  You can buy fabric spray paint at any craft store, but I got mine at JoAnn Fabric's for around $20.  I did this project out in the garage and I started with an old white tank top to practice on.  I wanted my puzzle pieces up the side of the shirt similar to the one I saw on Pinterest so I laid the shirt on it's side and put a towel INSIDE the shirt.  The towel is very important, it keeps the color from bleeding from one side of the shirt to the other.  Then I flattened out the towel and the shirt and laid out my puzzle pieces where I wanted them.  Like I said, I practiced on an older shirt first, there isn't a special secret way to spraying around the pieces, just pick your colors and do it.

Luckily, for my friend Whitney, I did the practice shirt first because she didn't have a shirt to wear either. I wore the tank top and she wore the v-neck.

I'm very happy with the way they turned out, and now I have two autism awareness shirts for the next time I volunteer for Project iAm.

Oh, and Pride was pretty amazing too :)

My amazing (and autistic) nephew Matt

Maggie believes in equality too
Volunteering at Pride

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