Cindy Koster knows the importance of self-care and is proud to promote the value of “me time”. Koster gathers a community of scrapbookers each January for a day of socialising, relaxing, and raising awareness about taking care of their mental health – with a dash of glitter. These events, referred to as “crops” in the scrapbooking community, are growing every year, starting with 15 people in 2017, and hosting 35 for the 2020 Crop, all while raising funds for Oxford County Walk-In Counselling. This year’s Crop raised $2,036.55 – the largest amount to date.
Koster originally began this event as a chance to provide cheer and joy in the winter months. Her chosen date, the last Saturday of January, also coincides with the upcoming Bell Let’s Talk Day, which typically follows her Crop. She knew she wanted to do something to glue together the community after a difficult time in 2016. As a secretary working in the schools, Koster was impacted when her community experienced tragic losses. She then suffered from a series of mini-strokes caused by stress, and rediscovered the value of self-care during her recovery. Koster’s journey involved returning to her beloved crafting, including journaling, card making, and scrapbooking.
Participants may not get a lot of scrapbooking done at the Crop – but Koster is fine with that. “They’re socialising, which is so important for their mental health,” Koster says. “Self-care – you can’t get much better than taking care of yourself, relaxing, resting, and enjoying yourself!” Between socializing and dining – Koster works with local businesses to provide comfort food all day long – participants feel refreshed and reconnected with their community, regardless of how much further along they are on their book.