Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund

Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund 2017-09-20T15:54:34+00:00

Donate to Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund

The Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund provides funding for low income residents to learn how to sew. To provide tax-deductible donations specifically to this scholarship (as opposed to our general donation fund), please click on the “donate” button below. Thank you for your support!

 

About the Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund

Jeni Cottrell and Lee Cole holding a quilt made by Elsie Richards capturing stories from over 400 visitors in one summer.

Lee Cole and Jeni Cottrell holding a quilt made by Elsie Richards capturing stories from over 400 visitors in one summer.

Bellingham artist Jeni Cottrell and her mother Lee Cole partnered with Ragfinery to create this scholarship to provide opportunities for low income residents to learn how to sew. The Elsie Richards Scholarship Fund, named in honor of Cottrell’s grandmother and Lee’s mother, allows selected applicants to participate in Ragfinery’s “Sewing Bootcamp” workshops at no cost.

Elsie Richards was a life-long fiber artist who ran a tailoring and alterations business in Vancouver, BC.

“She was ahead of her time,” says Cottrell of her grandmother. “She learned to drive car at 14, did her own upholstery, took woodworking classes, built furniture, and traveled the world. She loved to make something out of nothing and was a huge proponent of ‘reuse.’”

Jeni felt the scholarship would be a great way to honor her grandmother and promote sewing, and because of the combination of Ragfinery’s mission providing job training to low income populations and their role as a community hub for textile arts, workshops, and craft materials, she thought they would be an ideal business to partner with for the scholarship.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate on this scholarship,” says Shan Sparling, manager at Ragfinery. “There’s a real potential for self-empowerment through learning how to sew, and from what I understand that’s what Elsie (Richards) really stood for.”

The scholarships will be awarded to qualified low income trainees who are referred to Ragfinery by partner social service agencies and schools. Tax deductible donations in support of the scholarship can be made at Ragfinery.com under “Get Involved.”