Friday, December 16, 2011

Puppets for Harbor House

The Michelee Puppets Studio hosted volunteers from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to create sock puppets for the children of Harbor House which is a safe haven for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Jodie Hardman who organized this volunteer effort arrived with a stack of red volunteer T-Shirts. Tracy Conner the executive director of Michelee Puppets welcomed me warmly. I had met her once before at a United Arts award ceremony where she won an award for her work in the community.

Michelee puppets teach children to respect themselves and others, basically encouraging them to be good human beings. A recent production called "Little Heros" teaches violence prevention and ways to be safe. It teaches where children can go for help. Bullying is taught to be unacceptable. Cyber bullying is apparently rampant now among children. Children are taught that words do hurt.

Volunteers provided the new colorful socks and Michelee provided sequins, googly eyes, yarn fabrics and hot glue guns. Everyone worked with focused concentration like busy holiday elves. Jody was proud of the long Pippy Long Stocking braids she had on her puppet. There was a fun playful spirit to the event. When Jodi placed the puppet on her hand she became the character. She whipped the puppets head side to side enjoying the flowing braids. The kids laughed, their guards down. Each person made about two puppets. Everyone posed for a group photo.

On Friday all the sock puppets created, and about a dozen mini Christmas trees, will be donated to moms and children at Harbor House.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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