Dear Claire,

Well, that’s something I never knew – that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress by 68%. We must have been so relaxed at Pembroke! And probably didn’t appreciate it 🙂

In answer to your question about Oxfam, while we do have Oxfam America, they don’t operate charity shops (aka thrift stores) in the same way here. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and volunteer though. And plenty of thrift stores run by other organizations such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army and ReStore, a part of Habitat for Humanity. I’ve been traveling since Easter, but this weekend we’ll be taking the results of our de-cluttering off to one of them.

Now to something else we’re doing this weekend. As you know, J is a violin player, and  on Sunday the studio he belongs to, Suzuki Violinists of Western New York, is performing a concert in support of Buffalo String Works. We have quite a diverse refugee population here in Buffalo, and the mission of Buffalo String Works is to help displaced children build community through music – a common language that they can all share, despite the different countries they have come from. Teachers volunteer their time and the children and parents in our studio have been collecting and donating used music and instruments. This is the second year of the benefit concert, and some of the children from Buffalo String Works are coming to perform as well. The concert is called From Children to Children. I’m inspired by the idea of teaching children how they might use their talents to give to and learn from each other, so that hopefully they will continue to do so as they become adults.

I hope you have an inspiring weekend ahead, too!

With love,