"Tending Women, Rebuilding Communities"
Mission Statement – Improve the lives of women, benefiting their families and communities through mentoring opportunities, financial empowerment and the social bonding that is the natural result of creating marketable crafts together in an atmosphere of trust and encouragement.
Objective - This grassroots initiative provides a safe space for women to come together to create marketable art while gaining insight into themselves & their relationships through instruction, mentoring and friendship.
Stage 1: Pilot Project – Red Tent classes are provided 2 days per week at the Pinellas County Jail for 15 nonviolent female offenders at a time. Trained staff & volunteers teach and supervise the women in the creation of marketable handmade items using donated sewing supplies & recycled fabric/clothing. Sewing machines & classroom space has been provided by the jail. Participants also complete a series of Red Tent Support Groups led by group facilitators on the resolution of trauma, financial literacy, anger management and mindfulness training. Class composition changes daily as women arrive and leave the facility. Participants create crafts that represent lessons learned and personal goals for the future. Volunteer speakers share their stories and expertise with the women on a variety of subjects including the practice of yoga, the cycle of addiction, healthy parenting and steps for successful reintegration.
Stage 2: Red Tent Community Site - In 2013, Red Tent services will expand into a community based outreach program where women of all walks of life gather to learn new skills & create marketable items; benefiting from financial empowerment, mentoring and life skills training. Participants who have been released from jail can continue their involvement with Red Tent as a means of breaking the cycle of isolation, alienation & recidivism. We will eventually market their completed handcrafted items at local neighborhood markets, shops and online through Red Tent’s web site. Red Tent members will be encouraged to play a part in all aspects of the business; learning important marketable skills while improving financial literacy. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Red Tent cause.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
For more information, contact Barbara Rhode (727)418-7882