Shineworks: The After-Story

It's not the craft that makes Shineworks so great. Sure, it's fun repurposing an everyday household item and it's especially cool when the creation comes out as well as our tissue-boxes-turned-pinatas did.

What is really cool is the after-story; the story that comes after our project is made and we are using it to spread shine in someone's corner of the world.

It took Blake 4 or 6 minutes of sitting in his mother's car before he finally got curious enough to unsuspectingly wander over to the tree where I was hanging all 13 pinatas.

“Hi, what's your name?” I asked, trying to warm things up.

“Blake,” he replied, nervously. Then, as if unable to control his curiosity another second, “Whatcha doing?”

“You see this tree, Blake? All year long when dropping my boys off at school, I've seen this tree and admired it. I've thought about how lucky the kindergartners are whose classroom window it sits outside of.

“So,” I continue. “…all year long I've been dreaming up something I could with this tree. I suddenly had the idea that I could sneak up here when the kids were out of their classroom and hang these pinatas from the branches. I imagine the moment as being magical when the first child, and then all the rest, suddenly realize that these treats are for them.”

“You mean like a random act of kindness?” asked, Blake.

“EXACTLY, Blake,” I said excitedly. “That's exactly what it is. Have you ever done a random act of kindness?”, I asked.

Swinging his legs from the bench beneath the tree, Blake stops and thinks for a minute. “Yes, I think I have. I played with a boy in my class when other kids were leaving him out.”

And that was the start of this month's after-story.

Me and Blake having our own moment under this expansive tree, talking about how easy and fun random acts of kindness can be and feeling uplifted by the unplanned exchange. Both of us teaching and both of us learning.

You see, it isn't so much about the craft we make monthly. It's about the impact our acts of kindness have on small corners of the world when and where we decide to share them.

In this instance it was a fleeting, but affirming, conversation with a third grader who was leaving school early because he didn't feel well.

In June it will be something and someone different. It has to be. That's because this month the item is a sponge and the recipient(s) are yet to be determined.

Tune in in July to hear our after-story. And in the meantime, how about creating your own? Use a sponge to create a Shineworks project and then share it in your corner of the world.

We'd love to hear your after-story.

Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 6/4/14 9:44 am by Claudia Beeny in: Community,Shineworks

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