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Volunteer Spotlight

The Houston Embroiderers' Guild

Here's an extra-special Volunteer Spotlight! The Houston Embroiderers' Guild contacted us late last year with a wonderful and generous idea - they were ready to hand-craft bookmarks for our students.

This beautiful offer came at the same time that we were preparing to re-introduce graduation ceremonies for our ESL students. We could think of nothing more fitting than to present each graduate with a symbol of literacy that they could treasure well beyond their time in class.

The questions below have been answered by Shannon Shock, representing the Guild members.


Graduating students in spring, 2018

How did you hear about Literacy Advance?

I looked for an organization in Houston that helps adults learn to read or read better. I believe I searched for “Barbara Bush literacy Houston” and eventually ended up at Literacy Advance of Houston.

How did you get the idea of making bookmarks for new graduates?

Our embroidery guild is always looking for ways to serve the community while doing what we love best, hand embroidery! Our national organization, Embroiderers’ Guild of America, has encouraged us to stitch bookmarks but we never really knew where they were donated and the thought of our hand-stitched bookmarks ending up at the bottom of a child’s backpack was not conducive to good participation.

I teamed up with a member who was willing to put a new bookmark design in each of our guild’s monthly newsletters and looked for a local adult literacy program – you! When a member hand stitches a bookmark, a lot of love goes into it. While I am stitching I think about the person who might receive it. I am in awe of the hours and hours of time, the dedication and the sacrifice each student makes. Making a little work of art as a gift is the least I can do.

What do you most enjoy about the crafting work you do?

New graduates choose from gifts of books and handmade bookmarks, spring 2018

We enjoy creating something beautiful with our own hands. There is always something new to learn. It’s a way to explore different cultures through embroidery. There are so many people willing to share what they know with you. The best part is the friends we make sharing the art we love.

How can someone new get involved with your group?

Houston Embroiderers’ Guild can be found online here and also on Facebook. Or contact Shannon Shock at


Don't forget our previous spotlights!

Find the 2018 archive here.

Find the 2017 archive here.

Find the 2016 archive here.

Find the 2015 archive here.

Find the 2014 archive here.

Find the 2013 archive here.

Find the 2012 archive here.

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