I wholeheartedly agree with her.
Day after day, I see people come to Patchwork for a place to rest, for food to fill their stomachs, for repairs to the bicycle that they rely on to get around town, for someone to look at a wound and tell them if they should be concerned, for answers to questions: “Where do I go for…,” “How do I sign up for…,” or “Who does…” They come to find someone who will treat them with respect and care. Someone who will greet them by name.
They bring their children to our Arts & Smarts program to get help in school, to find encouragement for creativity, to expand their experiences, to give them a safe place to go after school, to meet new friends, and to surround their children with a community of caring adults.
Last week, I was taking photos of the Arts & Smarts kids sculpting with clay in Patchwork’s studio. One girl asked what I was taking a picture of. She couldn’t see anything happening that was noteworthy.
I told her I was taking a photo of the group of kids and adults seated around the table and working together so nicely–having a good time making art and talking to one another. It was a mix of children and adults from different schools (including UE and USI) and different backgrounds. Some have come to Patchwork’s programming for many years while others have only recently begun attending.
She observed, “It’s like a family.”
She counted all the children in the studio–8.
“It’s a family of 8!” she told me.