Making an Impact in the Community

From the very beginning, It Just Flows was birthed from community connections. Each new season of growth opens from roots reaching deeper into the community. 

Everything we do is motivated by giving back to the community. Even empowering people with creativity as a tool for self-care is about replenishing and inspiring people to use that fullness for the good of the world. The world needs our light too much for us to keep the goodness to ourselves. 

And when inspired compassionate souls collaborate together, our impact is multiplied. 

The SOCIAL CALLIGRAPHY COLLECTIVE gathers for pen practice meetups to make space for creativity, connection, and generosity. Inspired by my friends who love lettering and justice, I started this meetup to practice our calligraphy skills by writing notes of encouragement to women in recovery and other marginalized neighbours. We also host a #letteringforchange challenge to write and share world-changing quotes. Stay tuned for plans as we received a grant to take this to the streets of Vancouver! Regular meetups will resume in the Fall.

 

Justine's meet up is a rare gem that connects people, offering such a freestyle and positive environment to make great conversations. Calligrapher or not, don't feel intimidated! She lets us use all her pens to write notes of affirmation that are delivered to women in recovery. I love how her heart is not just in her craft but our community!

~Danielle, brand graphic designer

SERVANTS ANONYMOUS FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization fighting to end sexual exploitation, which is the fastest growing business of organized crime. Their long-term recovery program helps women to rewrite their story of slavery into one of freedomWith 30 years of experience, they have an 85% track record in helping the women to start a new life… for good. It’s truly an honour to do calligraphy with the women and hear their stories of courage. 10% of all It Just Flows workshops and Etsy sales are donated to support their good work.

Find out more about sexual exploitation and the work of SAF>>

The women in recovery I work with don’t all have mothers and grandmothers to tell them who they are, to remind them that they are made for purpose. Many keep the notes of encouragement they receive on their walls, incorporating them into their recovery. The notes sow the seeds for who they really are, not where they come from. It helps them remember who they are as women, as mothers, as daughters.

~Alexandria, Program Facilitator, Servants Anonymous

THE RISING TIDE SOCIETY is a global movement of creatives cultivating community over competition. With 400+ local Tuesdays Together gatherings worldwide, they believe in getting out from behind your computer and building true relationships with other creative entrepreneurs to share knowledge and support in entrepreneurship. I’m grateful this community has been instrumental in the growth of It Just Flows. It was a no brainer for me to help lead the Vancouver chapter, because I love their commitment to fostering face to face gatherings and giving back to the community. 

Connect with this community of amazing online resources, or find your local chapter here>>

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In addition to my ongoing involvements, I love partnerships with community organizations. Some sample collaborations:

  • MORE THAN A ROOF HOUSING: Community building calligraphy gatherings with income assisted seniors and single adults struggling with mental illness

  • BC WOMEN’S & CHILDREN HOSPITAL: Lettering workshop with teens recovering from eating disorders.

  • CAPILANO UNIVERSITY: Team building workshop with community outreach workers in supporting their work promoting literacy in  work in multiple communities.

  • PANDORA’S COLLECTIVE: Calligraphy workshop to raise funds to support Pandora’s outreach workshops teaching writing in schools, rehab centers, hospitals, youth shelters, and literary festivals. 

  • BASEL HAKKA LUTHERAN & GRACE VANCOUVER CHURCH: Expressive lettering workshops to build community bonds and spiritual development.

Justine’s workshop was right up our alley as we work in upgrading literacy in many community settings and we are always looking for ways to engage with our learners in ways that invite them into the process, provide discussion about deeper issues, and gently practise literacy skills. It was a very good activity for us all and helpful to think how we could use this approach with our learners and volunteers.

~Lucy, Community Development and Outreach Department, Capilano University

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