Nov 15, 2022

Cooper Craft Fair GOES GREEN!

On September 19th, Bonnie approached me at the coloring night at Frankie’s, asking if there is something that could be done about all the waste created at the Cooper Craft Fair each year. I was so grateful to her, for bringing this to my attention. 

It was a big opportunity to make a big difference. Luckily, Theresa and Rita were also at coloring night, that night and we were able to put our heads together right away. 

The first concern mentioned was about all the single-use plastic bags that were given out by crafters, so Bonnie and I set a date to make signs for the parking lots. We figured most people probably have reusable bags in their cars, and they probably just need prompting to bring them in. All together, 234 people brought reusable bags this year to the Cooper craft fair. THAT’S something to be proud of! 

The second concern was about waste being created by the coffee bar. Theresa put in a request at her work for funding, for compostable serving ware, and we waited and waited anxiously day after day, for their answer. As soon as they approved the request, Theresa ordered them from Amazon, but then they weren’t going to get here until the day of the fair! Theresa ended up actually purchasing new compostable options the day of. What a trooper! 

Bonnie and I weighed the compost after the fair, and it came to 17 lbs. 

Rita was the one who sent out the email offering crafters the opportunity to contribute to our GO GREEN efforts. In all, 17 vendors chose to contribute a total of $262.95 for the prize basket. The winner-takes-all winner was Linda Lubansky. Congratulations to her! 

Rita was also the one who contacted WCC to promote the Cooper Craft Fair and our GO GREEN initiative. Theresa and I teamed up to do the interview. We were both SO nervous! Theresa spoke about the Cooper Craft Fair and New Hope Women of Today in general, and I spoke about our GO GREEN initiative for people to bring reusable bags.

- Rachel Braaten 

Nov 1, 2022

Message from the President, November

Mid-Year Reflections 

When sitting down to write this message, I realized that we are halfway through the Women of Today year. It’s a good time to reflect on what I think has worked, where I think I/we can do better, and what I want to see happen in the next six months. 

What I think has worked: • Lunch Bunch-Generally held the 2nd Wednesday of each month, Delores plans a fun social time to connect. • Book Club-I love reading books and love talking about books. It’s great getting different perspectives and opinions. Held the odd numbered months on the 2nd Thursday, this is a great way, if you cannot make our monthly Monday business, to spend some time with each other and start or continue a connection. • Backpack project with One Good Deed-We all rocked it with all the school supplies, persona supplies, and the notes of encouragement for at-risk teenage girls • Birthday Bags dropped off at North-Suburban Emergency Assistance Response (NEAR). They were so excited when I dropped off the 25 bags that we put together in July. • Cooper Arts & Craft Fair-I appreciate all the hours of work that went into the planning and execution. This is our largest fundraiser and I appreciate that a large portion of the income goes to supporting the school district. • Go Green at Cooper Craft Fair-Thank you to Rachel and Bonnie for collaborating on making the craft fair a little more environmentally friendly. We had over 230 shoppers bring their reusable shopping bags, and we used compostable plates and cups as much as possible. • Supporting community organizations with monetary gifts. Sponsorships of New Hope Parks & Recreation Safety Camp, Concerts in the Park, and Movies in the Park.

The next 6 months: • More members contributing ideas for how we can help our community with either monetary donations or service projects. Unfortunately, most of our projects are suggested by only about 6 to 8 people of our 40 members. My challenge to each of you is to contact me with an organization or project you would like to see New Hope Women of Today support in the next 6 months. Suggesting an idea does not mean you have to be the one to plan the whole thing. Email me, call or text 612-998-1381 • For the Holiday Shopping Spree on December 10th, that most of the Shopping Helpers be New Hope Women of Today and not have to rely on non-members to make this event a success. Mark your calendars NOW to be at the Crystal Target that morning. If you don’t want to shop with a child, there will be other help needed. • Hold a Domestic Violence Awareness community event at the YMCA. In addition to the speaker event, do a hands-on project with Home Free or other shelter or with the residents. This would be subject to any COVID or other health restrictions. I am grateful for all you, your friendship and passion to do good for our community. 

Keep “Living, Giving & Sharing” Mary