SACIS creates empowerment wreaths

Allison Little, Reporter

The Sexual Assault Counseling & Information Services puts on a monthly get-together to make crafts and empower each other. This month’s craft was making paper wreaths. 

Taylor Diskin, the social justice and empowerment coordinator at SACIS, said the monthly crafts were meant to bring the community together. “In my role as social justice and empowerment coordinator it’s my job to come up with empowerment groups,” Diskin said. “I’m really creative and crafty and I thought that would be a great way to engage our community with our services and empowering our community in many different ways, specifically tonight we’re doing the empowerment wreaths.”

Heather Ames from Mattoon said that the monthly crafts are important to her because of the creative opportunity. 

“I have been coming to them for about a year now and it has been such a great thing to come to,” Ames said. “It’s been nice to be able to get out of the house and create a little bit, and just to be around new people. Being able to create one makes me feel like I do have control over the pretty things in my house and it’s really nice to fill my life with the positiveness.”

Jessica Richey of Marshall, Illinois said that the monthly meetings were a great way to meet new people and try something new. 

“Yep, I’m a regular, I come every month. They’re pretty calm, pretty relaxing and I’ve made a bunch of new friends that I wouldn’t have made otherwise.” Richey said, “Yeah, I really like coming to them, it’s something I wouldn’t normally do and I get the chance to do that and I get the chance to put something together that I wouldn’t usually.”

Ames said it wasn’t very easy to come to her first meeting, but after she started coming regularly, she felt more comfortable. 

“At first I was really nervous because I would rather go with people to new experiences, but I still did it anyway and it was just what I needed,” Ames said. “Taylor has been so wonderful and so kind and her wonderful energy has just kept me coming back and I always look forward to it.”

Diskin said she does her best to make the meetings comfortable spaces for everyone. 

“It’s really just to get people to come together who enjoy doing arts and crafts to get to know each other and also to feel empowered through the creativity they have and also just getting to know people who like to do the same things they do,” Diskin said. 

Richey said the monthly meetings usually have a good number of people and the projects always have a deeper purpose. 

“We always have a pretty good turn out and pretty good projects, they always have a deeper meaning, something like healing, self-empowerment, something positive,” Richey said.

Diskin said the events are open to the public. 

“It’s open to anyone who is 18 or older. We really do see a diverse population here; we see college students, we see people from our older community here, just a wide variety of people here.” Diskin said, “We’ll see people who may have worked with us in the past that will come in. Each month I see new people come in, we do have some regulars, and they’ll come every month, but each month I do see new people who come in and they could be survivors or they could not be with this group being open to the community that really isn’t a requirement here this is just a space for anybody to feel welcome.”

Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]