The next time a visitor or employee looks upon a handcrafted card or craft, he or she may reconsider that item’s origins. That craft may not come from a factory. An assemblage of highly talented individuals may have crafted it with extra heart, soul and care.
Stirring Hearts is a social enterprise offering handmade cards and gifts, wedding stationery and DIY crafts workshops for corporate initiatives. They aim to train and employ disadvantaged groups including persons-with-disability and disadvantaged women.
Through the “Cards with a Heart” workshops, persons with special needs and corporate volunteers pair up together to co-produce greeting cards under the facilitation of Stirring Hearts.
We were afforded the privilege of joining their workshop program called the “Cards with A Heart” in Bishan Home run in collaboration with AGORA, IBN and Stirring Hearts. Check out our firsthand experience in the making of these marvelous handcrafted cards below.
Our heartfelt experience at the workshop
During the workshop, we didn’t know what to expect working with the beneficiary, as this was a first for most of us there. Consequently, we were greeted with warm smiles and heartfelt greetings upon entering the workshop making us feel right at home. Consequently we were merely viewers here, as we became involved in the card-making process and guided by the experts on the steps to co-produce cards together with beneficiaries under the facilitation of Stirring Hearts.
The meaningful exchanges that take place during the workshops, more often than not, go a long way for everyone involved. It is a time where volunteers interact directly with persons with special needs, better understand the challenges that they face, and find out more about how we can support their social enterprise with our initiatives.
In every workshop, two new designs are produced according to the requested theme. In this instance we opted for a Christmas themed crafternoon!
In addition to aesthetically pleasing designs, workshops are tailor made to suit the abilities of the participants with varying difficulty levels.
The volunteers from AGORA, a registered charitable organization, quickly got busy and paired us up with a beneficiary from the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled to assist them in crafting the cards. Initially, we were guided step by step on how to make our first card and then after the short briefing we took off! We were left in the lurch as our partners; familiar with the assembly line concept quickly get to work dissecting the material and arranging it accordingly while we assisted them along the way.
We were taken aback by their determination to complete the task; as they took great pride in making the cards and their enthusiasm rubbed off on us as well; brimming with joy as they create artistic masterpieces from scratch
Each and every card made had a personalized touch to it with the signed name of the crafter on the back of the envelope easily distinguishing it from the rest.
How we felt after the workshop?
Alexis Tan, Managing Director of Simply Hamper, explains how he was moved during his visit to the Stirring Heart workshop “It was my first time attending a “Cards with the Heart” workshop which is a platform for organizations to involve their employees as volunteers to co-produce cards together with beneficiaries. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and appreciated the time spent making the cards from scratch as it made me appreciate the importance of moral support, how it helped me and my team discover our own innermost capabilities and capacity to work with people of different needs.
Steven Teo, Marketing Manager
“I was truly moved by the activities and about how easily the important events in life are ignored because we become so engrossed with work and our busy schedules. Sometimes you have to take a moment to smell the roses and indulge in the simpler things that life has to offer. The workshop made me realize that even the simplest things in life can put a smile on people who have less than what I have but more happiness than what anyone could ever have.”
Ann Low, Gift Basket Designer
Now I know that once you decide to look at life outside of the narrow limits of your own 4 walls and start to understand that you can make a difference in very simple ways.
Felice, Accounting Manager
I realized that when we take the time to help other people without expecting a reward or gratitude the more I feel like I’ve succeeded.
In short, the workshop was a lot of fun and seeing the warm smiles of appreciation made us touched by the cause and happy to hear all benefits go to those in need who create the artwork for this foundation.
How can we make a difference?
Simply Hamper will be including Stirring Heart’s cards to complement our range of Flower & Hamper products and all proceeds from the sales of the cards will be channeled back to AGORA to fund their outreach to the intellectually disabled.
“It’s important to create opportunities for shared experiences so that people can have their own stories and engage more strongly with what they are giving to.”
These hand-made greeting cards from Stirring Hearts will offer customers an alternative to the standard greeting card template at the checkout delivery page