My first Turning Around America trip was a humbling experience in many ways, it was really about faith. I left not knowing if I would have enough money to go to the next venue, but thanks to the wonderful arts/craft community surrounding me I made it 30,000 miles around the country and safely home. This is a time that we need that community more than ever. We have 24 days left to raise 20,000 dollars. We have faith that we will achieve our goal. Even if we did not reach our goal I will keep teaching at craft schools around the country. The difference is who we reach with our teaching. Turning Around America allowed me to teach at a Boys and Girls Club in Tennessee, a home for boys at risk in Jacksonville Florida, a school for dyslexic kids in Atlanta, thirty schools, 4 colleges, campgrounds and many other places. I taught individuals while parked next to an ocean in Florida, in the middle of the desert in New Mexico and Arizona, in a garage in New York and in a driveway in Georgia. I had heart felt experiences, like teaching the man who had lost his arms in an electrical accident, while a group of kids cheered him on at a campground in Georgia, and teaching a high school kid with cerebral palsy who helped his mom complete a simple cylinder on the lathe. I often cry when I tell people about these experiences on my trip. I cannot explain the feeling of leaving my little basement workshop where I stood alone for 30 years and all of a sudden realizing I was a part of this giant community of people.
Turning Around America is about community, and it has never shown more than in the last two weeks of fundraising. We have heard from many people who I worked with on my first trip around the country and they all have invited us back to do another project. We know that the moment Sanctuary is completed we already have many places to go with the new mobile art studio. That shows to me the need and the demand for what we are doing.