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Girls find crafty way to help Faithful Friends shelter

I met Shannon Moore at Carolina Lily’s Antique and Craft Show this past September. Located at 1375 Kern Carlton Road in Salisbury, Carolina Lily is known for its cottage shops and special events such as the craft show.
Walking past my vendor table that day, Shannon noticed a dog on the cover of one of my children’s books. Stopping to browse, she said she was a volunteer for Faithful Friends, a no-kill cat and dog rescue shelter in Rowan County. We talked for a few minutes and then she asked if I would like to be a vendor for a Faithful Friends’ fundraiser at the F&M Trolley Barn event center in Salisbury. Excited about the opportunity, I told her I would.
For those not familiar with Faithful Friends, it is a no-kill rescue shelter for homeless cats and dogs in Rowan County. Located at 220 Grace Church Road, it relies on donations and fundraisers to provide money for expenses.
Arriving at the fundraiser on a cool, beautiful Saturday morning in November, I was pleasantly surprised to see two of my past students, Julia Stockwell and Brooke Sechler, setting up their table next to mine. We exchanged cheery “Hellos,” and then the girls graciously helped me with my table. Now in seventh grade, four years ago they were in my music class when I taught at Knollwood Elementary School.
While setting up that morning, the girls introduced me to another friend, Mary Beth Morgan. Having a few minutes to talk, before customers arrived, the girls shared how they became involved with Faithful Friends.
Living only a few miles from the rescue shelter, they decided last year they wanted to volunteer. Unfortunately, they discovered because of insurance and liability, the age requirement for volunteering is 13. Seeing their disappointment, Julia’s mom, LeDhu Stockwell, suggested they think of a different way to help.
It was during that time Katie Casey, another friend, was making cool things like wallets and hair bows out of duct tape. With Katie’s help, before long, Julia, Brooke and Mary Beth were making “cool things,” as well. From this new found “hobby” developed the idea of selling things made out of duct tape to raise money for the shelter.
Customers at the Trolley Barn were so intrigued by what the girls were doing, they often stopped to watch the process and ask questions. With a cutting board in their laps, the girls first would choose a color or pattern, then carefully measuring and cutting, twist and turn the tape to slowly reveal a new creation. When asked what the hardest thing was to make, Julia said, “The hardest thing involves weaving, like a woven handle for a hand bag.”
Knowing the girls are busy with school and homework, I wondered when they had time to make things. That’s when Brooke said, “Sometimes we get together for sleepovers on weekends. If it’s during the week, we might make something while watching television.” Then she added, “That is, if there’s no homework.”
With lots of enthusiasm, Mary Beth chimed in, “We love making things from duct tape and don’t want to stop!”
Overall a great day was had by all at the Trolley Barn. The girls made a little money from selling their creations and I sold a few books as well. Everyone had fun meeting and greeting people who came to support Faithful Friends and to shop. Even 2-month-old lab puppies, looking for their forever home, enjoyed the day.
If interested in learning more about Faithful Friends and how you can help, check out their website at www.faithfulfriendsnc.org.
If interested in purchasing items from Brooke, Julia or Mary Beth, take a detour down the duct tape aisle the next time you go shopping. They will be the ones with a buggy full of duct tape in all colors and patterns one can imagine. Not only will the girls be happy to get your support, but so will all the homeless cats and dogs looking for their forever home at Faithful Friends.

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