Mothers Without Borders, a Utah-based group seeking to help children and their families in Zambia, have gathered together the yarn, fabric, and craft skills of residents from all over Davis County for their third annual fund-raising boutique. The event, which will be held all day Nov. 7-8 at the Chantilly Mansion in Layton, came about as a way of combining local residents’ talent and need to do what they could for the people of Zambia.
“As I heard from people who had such an open heart and desire to help, I wanted to create a chance for everyone to participate regardless of their age or economic status,” said B.J. Warnick, who helps organize the event. “It’s not about being able to do it all yourself. It’s about having the ability to do one thing, and then collectively we can make a difference.”
That result now fills a good portion of Chantilly Mansion with donated merchandise, ranging from greeting cards made by first-graders to jewelry made by local artisans. A lunch menu will also be offered for the first time, and an entire area of the boutique will be devoted to items created by the Zambian villagers themselves. Many were made by a widow’s sewing circle, though woodcarvers and children also contributed.
“When it’s all collected into one room, it’s hard not to feel the spirit of the people who made them,” said Warnick. “People come in and don’t want to leave.”
The money goes to fund a wide variety of projects in Zambia, most notably the construction of a home for 25 orphans and their caregivers in Lusaka called the Family and Children Resource Center. In addition to storing emergency supplies, the building will also allow villagers to continue making bricks during the rainy season and serve as a home for job and life skills classes taught by volunteers. The boutique’s book corner, which will feature books ranging from 25 cents to $2 as well as book bags and cozies, will go toward raising enough money to send a Zambian child to boarding school.
Despite the tough economic times that have hit, Warnick feels that the Zambian people will still get plenty of help this year.
“Someone asked me whether the economy would make a difference in how much we raised this year, and I said that it would — a very good one,” said Warnick. “Now, even comfortable people know what it’s like to go without.”
When she thinks about her basement stuffed full of donated merchandise, she smiles. “My faith in people has been validated,” she said happily. “Now all we need are some shoppers.”