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These pretty crochet mandalas for Marinke come from the fabulous Sandie Petit of Crochet Cabana. She writes,

“To Wink’s family – My deepest sympathies on your loss. I’m sure you know by now how many lives Marinke touched and how she will be missed. May the love and prayers going up be of some comfort to you in the days ahead.”

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I love the above message on Sandie’s card: “together, we can make a difference”. I so agree.

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Sandie shares the information about the yarn and patterns used in her own blog posts. She blocked her mandalas to get them to lay flat. As you can see, they got a bit creased in the shipping, as did many, many of the contributions. No problem; they’re still perfect and will look great all together in the art show, which I’m excited to get close to planning as I wrap up the last of the contribution posts throughout this month!

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Sandie crochets many, many items for charity, and has always inspired me with this work. She writes on her website,

“We can’t fix everything but each one of us can help someone somewhere. Together, we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”

Yes, I so agree. (And this reminds me of the starfish story.)

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Helping others is also good for ourselves. It helps ease depression when we feel that we can offer something to someone else. It may feel too impossible in the depths of depression to get up and out of the house to volunteer at a soup kitchen or to build a home through Habitat for Humanity, but you can probably stay in bed and crochet beautiful items for charity. You can do something and this something helps. Each stitch helps mend your mind as you craft items that will help others.

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And as we help others, we get more connected to the world around us, which helps alleviate the loneliness of depression. Helping connects us. In fact, I know that Sandie has been a great help to Fran, and Fran has in turn been a great help to others by sharing her own story in Crochet Saved My Life and making many inspiring mini mandalas for this project.

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Some research:

“according to a growing body of research that has found that “positive activity interventions” — like helping someone with groceries, writing a thank you note or even counting your blessings — can serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for depression.

“They seem really trivial. They seem like, what’s the big deal, you feel good for 10 minutes,” said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, who co-authored a recent paper on the topic. “But for a depressed person, they aren’t trivial at all. Depressed individuals need to increase positive emotions in their life, even a minute here and there.””

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HelpGuide adds,

Volunteering combats depression. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety”

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And the Corporation for National and Community Service says,

“Over the past two decades we have seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”

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See all Mandalas for Marinke


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Pingback: Mandalas for Marinke - June Roundup + Project Update |

  2. I missed this post when published and have just found it. Thanks so much for all your work in honor of Marinke and for depression awareness. You’ve done a great job sharing all the beautiful mandalas. I love the way the mandala pictures alternate with important facts to help those who may need them. I look forward to hearing about the book and display when that happens. Thanks again!

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