Thursday, July 30, 2009

Teaching Hands Letter of Intent

Teaching Hands
607 Beeson St
Boise, Idaho 83706

Our Mission Statement: Teaching Hands is a developing community through the arts.

Dear Reader,

The one-thousand square foot building that resides in the breeze-way of the Hillcrest Shopping Center is an need for us. Our goal is to rent 5326 Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83705. A three year lease with the option to move into a larger building when the need arises. As Teaching Hands grow, we'll continue to keep headquarters in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.

This area of town is full of different cultures that doesn't have an area for the children to develop a trade. A large majority of them are fearful because of the horrific conditions that were once called home. A large latch-key group has formed in this area. The severe issue of hungry children wasn't in our thought process until now. Teaching Hands will find ways to fix these problems in our community through your help.

My name is Cindy Williams, I'm the historian, creator, visionary, and Director of Teaching Hands (a nonprofit). This all started with my passion of knitting and crocheting. You can read more about this through the Idaho Statesman article. Please click on below link: Please read more information about us at the blog;

After the article my life has not been the same. We out grew the library capacity for us within the first three weeks. The head librarian and myself came to a compromise of no more press or advertising. We decided that this summer I can stay at the library since the children are on summer vacation. There are about 8-15 die-hard women who have not missed a Thursday. By the end of August we must be moved into a new location.

Our partners at this time are: Library! @ Hillcrest, Discount Duds, Crossroads Angel, Peak Alarms and Security and ORRiginal Promotions. The tentative ones I've not listed until a formal commitment has been made. 

We have two Boise State University students in social work that will volunteer their time for the children. One of our programs is for everyone to learn about the holidays by the different cultures.

Music is considered a universal language which will bridge the cultural gap we are faced with today. Crossroads Angel is working with us in all aspects of music. They have ideas that we are working on as programs. One is for old instruments be refurbished and given to a child. The library will participate in the other program that the children put on their own performances. They get to be a "rock star" for an evening. A group of musicians will teach the children musical instruments. Perhaps performances for the families to learn the different types of music, from other cultures?

Discount Duds is working with us in regards to giving the community used clothing they can not or doesn't sell in their store. We've come up with a system that you sign a piece of paper when you take one item out of the studio -- Teaching Hands.

In the State of California we have an affiliate group working with us to aide the needy. We have a husband and wife team that travel to from Boise to Reno Nevada. Their goal is to work with Teaching Hands to aide more cities around the Pacific Northwest.

Teaching Hands has already started with the needle arts by hand crafted items for the needy and terminally ill. I was told that last year was the "easy year" compared to today and the future. We still haven't caught up with the supply and demand from September of 2008 requests.

Through a security (Peak Alarms and Security) meeting a lot of my observations were confirmed. The library has become a latch-key dumping ground for the parents. No one is able to supervise the children as they run amuck throughout the Hillcrest Shopping Center. Because of their fear they harass other people. One woman was knocked down by a bicyclist. This behavior from the young man caused her to terminate her pregnancy. One female security office was assaulted by a group of angry young men.

These children have little direction during the summer and after school hours.

In this paragraph I'll discuss my observations. During our class time there were many children's finger nails that were full of dirt. Several evenings we made them wash their hands since the insides had a brown tinge to them. Dirty clothes were worn on a regular basis. Let alone the clothing fitting the child. Greasy hair and body odor is a norm for these children.

I used to arrive at the library early to plan for our community. The children had a radar beam on me. I'll admit its a great feeling to be swarmed by hugs and eager faces to share their school day with me. However, my work wasn't getting completed because I was busy playing parent. Now, I don't work out of the library to get my own work accomplished.

The other normal situation they face is no food. How this is "normal" is beyond me and others. We have a severe problem on our hands. I lost count how many times I had to tell the children you must be in the class to receive a treat. We're talking about simple treats like a bag of popcorn from the dollar store. These children saw this as dinner. . . .

No longer can Teaching Hands be run out of the garage. This manner of operations doesn't help a community that needs immediate help. We must fix this hunger issue and no coping skills with our society. I've witnessed (been told) tempers flair because they are starving! These children don't have any form of arts to keep them occupied. They scare patrons near the breeze way because they are scared. Everyone is to be fearful to be in the Hillcrest Shopping Center. Other business have told me "not" to even consider placing Teaching Hands in this cesspool of a community.

Children that are not nourished become sick. Fall is around the corner with the flue. The swine flue is knocking on our back door. Colder temperatures are on the way; "They are freezing out there."

Please aide Teaching Hands to help the needy and terminally at the Hillcrest Shopping Center.

Thank you for your time.

Cindy Williams

PS - Through the arts you may learn about yourself, learn about others and the world around you.