We held our first interfaith blood drive in 2009, and it was a great success. The slogan for the weekend was “Together We Give so that Others May Live.” “We all came together from many different traditions to save lives,” says Danya Wellman, WTB co-founder. More than 30 people signed in and the Red Cross collected 29 pints of blood. Much blood has been spilled between religious groups but this event offered blood to save lives.
We’ve joined with neighbors, refugees and community groups in developing the Tapestry Community Garden on Syracuse’s northside. Refugee families and neighbors readily claimed plots and planted the garden on Isabella. The site includes about 15 raised beds. Vegetables, herbs and blossoms flourish! This garden is a partnership with Syracuse Grows, the Northside Collaboratory, the Center for New Americans and others.
December meetings have featured a potluck dinner at the Islamic Society of Central New York, with Muslim families joining people of other faiths around dinner tables for conversation.
Seeds of Peace
WTB members accompanied local youth participating in the Seeds of Peace program on a trip to the United Nations in 2014 and invited them to share about their experiences at one of our monthly meetings.
Sewing Classes for Refugee Women
WTB’s sewing program for refugees is so popular that 54 people are on the waiting list for fall! This sewing program, led by a small group of WTB volunteers, is one of our most successful programs and makes a big difference for the persons who attend. Graduates are sewing at home, having learned the basics in the class and received a donated sewing machine of their own. They also get some basic materials (thread, pins, needles and bobbins) to start them off.
Sycamore Hill Gardens
Sycamore Hill Gardens in Marcellus graciously opens their 40 acres of gardens for a fundraiser the Sunday after Mother’s Day. In addition to exploring the magnificent showcase of nature’s beauty and sharing conversation and food on the lawns, we have opportunities to participate in activities such as a Zen Buddhist meditation, Tai Chi Chih practice or Wiccan ritual.