Alison, crafts, Girlfriends, handmade pins, Haverhill MA, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Uncategorized

Girlfriends = People with their Hearts in the Right Place

Lots of talk shows lately seem to focus on how unkind and judgmental women are toward one another, and I have to say, they obviously aren’t picking the right friends. I’ve got awesome and supportive friends, even  female acquaintances that have my back and I can only hope to be as strong a friend to them as they are to me.
Case in point – I write a blog and Facebook page called The Heartbeat of Haverhill. It provides only good news about my great city – Haverhill, Massachusetts
IMG_8918 Haverhill THOH Pin
One of two I created
In my role developing THOH, I came up with the idea to hand out homemade “I AM The Heartbeat of Haverhill” pins to people caught in the act of being awesome in and for the City of Haverhill. The pin would act as a reminder that THE READERS are really The Heartbeat of Haverhill and that I merely report on their thoughtful actions, kindnesses and efforts to build a better City.  I estimated that maybe I’d give out one pin a month and hit the Pinterest boards for some easy inspiration. Seemed simple enough. I could certainly handle making a couple of pins a month despite my lack of official crafting skills. So, I plodded along and made two pins my own way because those Pinterest folks do stuff way beyond my ability.
IMG_8906 Haverhill THOH Pin Deb Visco
Would anyone ever love my cow pin as much as I do
Then I received a request to speak at the Breakfast Exchange Club of Greater Haverhill that is a group that helps struggling seniors in our area. Anyone who dedicates themselves to helping seniors deserves more than a pin, but a pin was what I had, just not enough. I needed a lot of pins fast and there was no way I could create them myself in time for the presentation. I did, however, have time to crowdsource on Facebook
I put a notice on my personal Facebook page that asked that if anyone thought it might be fun, would he or she please create a pin from stuff hanging around the house and send it to me. I asked that the pins be smaller than three inches and they had to say “I AM The Heartbeat of Haverhill”. My commitment was that none would be sold; each would be given to an inspiring human who represented a pure and determined heart when it comes to Haverhill. Bribes of wine and chocolate were extended, though refused.
Haverhill THOH pin collage
The response was humbling, exciting, and inspiring.  Gal Pals made getting the mail daily my new favorite activity. Professional artists and people who may have only discovered how artistic they are through the creation of the pins, stepped up. Some held parties and got together over wine to make a few pins, others were shipped from people who’ve never spent any time in Haverhill, some came from New Hampshire and Maine, one of my sisters provided a unique felt interpretation that looked so good on her jacket when she came by that I assumed it was part of her accessories and had nothing to do with THOH. Friends and neighbors in the City sent little packages to me. It was so impressive to see a few people who were intimidated by the talent of others persevere and have their pins picked out immediately upon displaying the selection to the group. A few caught the pin bug and produced far more than one. Others used such unique combinations of materials and designs that I want to examine more closely how their brains work so I could learn to free up my rule loving mind.
And so today I packed up a wide array of pins that were each so special to me that I had to fight hard against the urge to keep them.  While cataloging the pins, I finally understood that I could never have created such vastly different and genius ideas. These little awards were made exponentially better because they are so unique.
IMG_8961 Haverhill THOH Breakfast Exchange Club speech PINS
The Breakfast Exchange Club of Greater Haverhill (w/ me far left)
But the deserving people awaited. After my talk, I recognized that each member of the Breakfast Exchange Club earned a pin for themselves but that it would also be fine to give the pin away if they encountered someone in their travels with his or her heart in the right place. It was awesome hearing the discussion about which pins to choose and how hard it was to make that decision. There was definitely a lid for every pot, as they say, in fact, somebody even picked my cow pin!
So how do I thank these crazy talented and supportive women?  Maybe I can get them some business. So if any readers want friends as awesome as mine, follow the links to their Facebook or LinkedIn pages and give them a follow or like, and tell them you read about them through The Heartbeat of Haverhill .
Lisa Arnold
Patricia Bruno of Positive Images Gallery
Kim Corton of Corton Design
Debbie DeCristoforo
Ann (Trainor) Domingue of Ann Trainor Domingue Art
Cindy Lee Hutchinson of Perfectly Imperfect Stones
Robin O’Hare
Gail Ollila
Debbie Visco laid to rest too soon after this gathering
Jennifer Winn Freelance Writer
If you’d like to support the Breakfast Exchange Club of Greater Haverhill, they will be having a Trivia Fundraiser on MAY 4 at 5:30 PM at the AMVETS 576 Primrose St Breakfast Exchange Club Trivia. Put your thinking caps on and come down and win some excellent prizes.
(c)Alison Colby-Campbell

2 thoughts on “Girlfriends = People with their Hearts in the Right Place”

  1. What a wonderful and uplifting project to do for your town. And the ‘pass it forward’ idea is a really positive thing to do to have the wearer feel so good about someone else that they pass the pin along. Love everything about this. And the Breakfast Exchange Club is smart as well–wish I lived closer to my parents in Laconia to get one started for their town. Great job Alison. Let me know when I get to craft again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann thank you so much for you comment and your gorgeous pins. Very popular i might add, they all were. I will be meeting with them again. What you can do is just look for the Exchange Club in that area this is an offshoot of that group and since most towns have an Exchange Club, this might be easier than you think. Thanks again…Pins welcome any time!!!


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