In the Details
Laura and Sofia set out to create crafts for an AVSI fundraiser--and discover something more.
In December we did a fundraiser for AVSI in Boston. This idea was born from two desires that met, mine and Cinzia’s. I used to fundraise for AVSI in college during the Advent season, and it was always a beautiful and concrete experience of charity. Since moving to Boston seven years ago, I have often felt the desire to do a fundraiser here, but, for one reason or another, nothing has ever come of it. Then, this year: surprise! I was chatting with Cinzia over dinner in November, and she mentioned how her daughter Sofia and her friend Francesca like to participate in Christmas craft fairs (Sofia and Francesca are amazing at arts and crafts!). Cinzia wanted Sofia to experience something greater than simply making money for herself.
As Cinzia spoke, her whole face lighted up with expectation, and it became obvious to me that this was His answer to my desire and my waiting. The Mystery doesn’t give us things when we want them, but when the time is right. It was a beautiful reminder to trust that He takes care of us, always.
I immediately told Cinzia about AVSI, and in five days a group of eight women (Cinzia, Sofia, Francesca, Sabrina, Maria, Christianne, Rachel, and myself) got together to understand the AVSI campaigns, decide what to make, and when and how to do it. We decided to make bar soaps and origami Nativity sets since they make good Christmas gifts. We met a few times to work together on making everything.
We sold the items after Masses at Saint Clement in Medford with the help of other friends. We didn’t do anything particularly grand, but we did care about making the stand beautiful, because beauty is what each one of us desires for our life. If He came to visit my stand, I would want Him to find it beautiful. We managed to sell everything and made a lot of money!
Apart from the great monetary outcome, all of us who participated were filled with joy. We decided to get together to do this work, not individually but together. I am not good with art and crafts (especially with origami!), but being with these friends, looking at their attentive faces while doing a beautiful and detailed work, helped me to realize that charity is not just “doing the fundraiser” to get money, but in doing what we do beautifully. It is in caring for the details, because every fold you make in your origami can be a prayer to Another for those people for whom you are fundraising and a reminder of the One for whom you are giving your free time, as Father Giussani said.
Joy can be experienced in that precise moment, with your small group through the people you are working with and those for whom you are doing the fundraiser—because it is through all these people that He meets us: The Mystery of Christmas, the coming of our Lord in the Flesh.
Laura and Sofia, Boston, Massachusetts