Volunteer Linda Hoops pictured above brought the D'Yario project to SWIRCA. She first saw the program developed by childhood friends in her native home in the Philippines. The project made it possible for women in poverty to make a living. After seeing its success, Hoops wanted to bring the project to Evansville - and use it to make a difference in the lives of others. She likes that the project not only gives people and organizations a chance to make money, but also recycles newspapers.
Hoops, along with trainers, meet at SWIRCA to train and assist individuals who have shown interest in the project, check the Activity Center Calendar for times. They roll sheets of newspaper into a long cylinder around a narrow dowel. Then the paper rolls are flattened and woven together around box forms in the shape of purses and shopping bags. Ultimately the bags are painted, decorated and handles are added.
The method of folding, cutting, rolling, flattening, and braiding over and over again is tedious - but participants are strengthening their hands, minds, and friendships in the process, according to Kim Morehead, SWIRCA activity center coordinator.
Hoops pulled together a committee of representatives who could weave, market and sell the bags. She hasn't given up the idea of helping women in poverty in Evansville and would like to see the program expand. Since Rotary International operates the program in the Philippines, representatives of Evansville Rotary are represented.
Hoops and SWIRCA need additional volunteers to help with the D'Yario project.
For more information on how to participate or purchase, contact Kim Morehead at 812-464-7804.
Prices vary from $15- $40 depending on size.