Bella with Skarleth April 2019
Hello this is Courtney here. As my sister has said, I spent a year going into the slums before coming up with the idea of One Common Thread. I knew all I was doing was giving hand outs and I wanted to help these sweet women help themselves. However, though I'm married to an entrepreneur, I have never considered myself one. I really spent a lot of time thinking about something we could do but no ideas came to me.
Then one day my husband was talking with Juli's daughter Skarleth. Skarleth is 13 years old and was trying to earn 125Lempira's (about $5.00) for a bus trip for a church function to the capital city, Tegucigalpa, three hours away. She explained to him that her father only brings in about $15 a week so asking him for $5.00 would be next to impossible. As my husband, Trent, reminded her she needed to earn the money and not just ask for it. That stumped her because she had never made any money in her life. All of the babysitting she had ever done for her aunts or friends of her aunts had always been for free. She knew she couldn't ask them to pay because they simply didn't have money to pay her. So Trent told her to give me a call and I'd figure out a way she could make some money.
When Skarleth called I stumbled through my phone Spanish and told her to meet me at the bridge by the bordo, I had an idea. I had been working on making hexagon quilts for each of my kids for their future weddings one day. I figured with 8 living children I need to get started now! So, though I wanted to be the one to make the quilts, so they would be meaningful to my children, I knew I could use Skarleth's help making the hexagons.
After a little tutorial at the bridge I handed her a bag of material, some thread, and needle and set her on her way. In a week's time she had make 500 hexagons. I was so delighted that I paid her 2500Lempira's (twice what she'd asked for) She was so delighted to have earned her bus fare but now she even had spending money for the first time in her life. I was also very grateful to have my quilt making process speeded up. Everyone knows it's the sewing the hexagons together that is the gratifying, artistic side of quilt making. We both were happy.
The very next day I received another phone call from Skarleth's number (a kind of community phone used by many) and it was Skarleth's mother Juli. She wanted to know if she could make some hexagons too for payment. From there I received phone call after phone call from that community cell phone with other women asking for the same opportunity. How could I say no? However, I personally didn't need hundreds and thousands of hexagons. So that is where I turned to Kym for her expertise and advice and the rest is history.
I have to say I am very grateful to Skarleth for helping me birth this idea and her role in future she had created for her neighborhood. She is an amazing 13 year old girl!