make a donation

In the beginning of the month, I made the confession that I was struggling with my storage space filled with the aftermath of 36 years of a creative existence.  I have been digging through the piles of created objects and materials to create objects for the past 20 some days and finally feel as though I have made a dent in lightening my load.

If you are like me and spend any time making or collecting created objects, you may understand the sense of sentimentality I hold in relation to these objects.  The images, cards, sculptures, letters, and artworks hold not only memories but all the intentions that were born when the object was created.  The object itself is merely just a reminder of the meaning it holds and I am slowly finding new ways of holding onto the memories while letting  go of the objects themselves.  Finding new homes for these things and good ways to part with them has been a helpful process.  Emily’s suggestion of sending the objects I have been making each day off to those that have made an impact in my life has been a great practice in letting go in a way that feels good.  While I am on a roll of letting things go – I decided to head back to the storage unit.

This weekend, I focused on letting go of the easy things – the non-personal objects, clothes household items, decorative things, books etc.

A friend of mine reminded me that The International Rescue Committee in Baltimore City is currently doing a winter clothes drive.  They are also collecting household supplies for newly arriving refugees to use in their new homes.  The thought of my stuff (that is now collecting dust in storage) being used in a new home was the perfect motivation to let go of an entire car load of things!

Then I moved on to the boxes of books – books even heavier than the boxes of rocks I had been carrying for years.  Books, although beautiful objects that I adore and love to see lined up on bookshelves, are really made to be shared and passed on – The Book Thing in Baltimore was created just for that purpose alone.  In the spirit of lightening the load and letting go, I donated 80% of my book collection to The Book Thing (in which many of them originally came from)

If you are like me and have unread books, unused goods, or clothes that you don’t wear in your basement – please consider letting them go.  These things can have a second life, bring someone else joy and empty your storage unit that you may be paying rent on! All win-win scenarios.  Visit both the IRC and the Baltimore Book thing with your donations or if you are not in Maryland or in the Baltimore area, find a local place that does great work in your community and make a donation.

My work is not over yet though – I am heading back to shed some more stuff this next weekend. I am still left with stacks of photographs and boxes of random artwork. Again, like clothes not being worn or books not being read. What is the purpose of an image if it’s wrapped up in paper and stored in a dark place.  This past weekend I started the process of finding homes for my more than 60 framed photographs.

I am donating one series to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and donating other individual pictures to friends who would like to have them on their walls.

I am currently searching for a non-profit organization to donate a few other series of photographs to. Below are some examples from the “Speaking of Silence” series, the “From Where we Are” series and the travel documentary Asia series.

Please help by making suggestions on where I may be able to a find new homes for these series of images.


Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.

2 thoughts on “make a donation

  1. Elena Kostakis

    Dear Ms. Barbush, I run a small nonprofit theater company in Station North, called the Strand. We are currently looking for art work to display in our black box theater space. I would love to talk to you about a possible donation of photos or other art pieces and an a potential installation at the Strand. Kindly let me know the best way to contact you!


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