The Fourth of July looked a little unique this year for Toni Tierney. Amid the fireworks, parades and other Fourth of July festivities, the San Anselmo resident dropped off more than 200 handmade playing cards to citizens of a Corte Madera memory care center and its staff — some thing she’s performed for Marin’s various senior communities and treatment centers because 2020.

In the previous three years, she’s created 1000’s of cards to carry some significantly-needed cheer to people who want it — which includes grocery retail outlet personnel and firefighters through the peak of the pandemic — and to support make a experience of connection in the local community she’s invested most of her everyday living in.

The retired trend designer who used most of her job creating and producing infant and infant clothes started her pandemic job while caught at home, employing playing cards, ribbons, stamps and other discards she receives from people. She’s labored at the Merchandise, a Mill Valley boutique, for nine several years.

Q What motives you with this?

A I want to unfold pleasure and pleasure in our group. When I started in the pandemic offering to seniors, I wanted them to know that the group cares and enjoys them because they were possibly lonely. I operate at the Products in Mill Valley and with all the remnants the place I work, I make compact small gift cards, with the identical thought, and I give them out to everyone and all the young children that appear into perform and they enjoy them. It’s amazing how quite a few persons smile when you say I made this card and it results in a group, a way for us to say, I am contemplating of you.

Q What are some reactions you have gotten?

A I had despatched some cards to [former New York City] Gov. Cuomo right before he bought dismissed through the pandemic to thank him for all his really hard operate in New York Metropolis and he despatched me just the loveliest return letter. On Mother’s Day, I was walking into the Redwoods and there was a female sitting in her wheelchair outside and I walked up to her and said, “Here’s a tiny present for you.” She was so delighted, and when I came out, the card was on her lap and she experienced her hands on the card. I just about cried and I considered, wow if this is all that it requires for us to demonstrate we care about every single other. The reason of this is simplicity.

Q What built you get into vogue for infants and infants?

A I begun in women’s dress in and marketed throughout the United States, but I sat down just one working day and claimed, what do I definitely like to do? I like smaller, beautiful things. If you imagine about it, cards are compact. And do something you know you love. I did not have little ones. I experienced two shops in Marin as nicely, and it gave me a put where I could be surrounded by children, but it was also the reason of loving kids and letting them really feel attractive inside of and out. I still left my sewing equipment in the shop so the young children could come in and see what designers do. It was to let youngsters know there’s creativity out there, possibly to aid ignite theirs. I had these a exciting occupation.

Q What drew you to vogue?

A My grandparents arrived in excess of to Ellis Island from Italy and they went to the Bronx, and my father was lifted there. My grandfather ended up becoming a head sample maker for a company and my grandmother would send out us bins of ribbons and threads and I continue to have some of the spools. I would be in heaven. I commenced to make factors in my bedroom when I was younger. In large college, in the 1960s, I was earning crochet luggage and I would consider on a million issues and request my mom, what do you believe about this? I experienced a whole-fledge passion but my mother arrived from a generation where they assumed it was a hobby. When I started out my job, in my early 40s, I put myself by style design and style school because I realized my adolescent self needed to go so bad. I was the oldest pupil in the course but I experienced so a lot enjoyment, the pupils were being incredible. It is always been in me, I have generally been making issues. I’ve constantly been motivated that if I could give something to a person, it gave me reason.

By Amalia