Yesterday I posted the personal story of Sandra Potter, the CEO and Founder of Dreamcatchers For Abused Children. I had the opportunity to ask Sandra the meaning behind the name of her foundation and this is what she had to say:
I came up with the name Dreamcatchers because of the history & origin of the native name. Here is the meaning behind Dreamcatchers:
Traditionally, the Ojibwa construct dreamcatchers by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow. The resulting “dream-catcher”, hung above the bed, is used as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares. As dreamcatchers are made of willow and sinew, they are not meant to last forever but are intended to dry out and collapse as the child enters the age of wonderment. The Ojibwa believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams thus “Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through . . . Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.” Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.
What is a Dream Catcher?
Native Americans of the Great Plains believe the air is filled with both good and bad dreams. Historically, dream catchers were hung in the tepee or lodge and on a baby’s cradle board. According to legend the good dreams pass through the center hole to the sleeping person. The bad dreams are trapped in the web where they perish in the light of dawn.
Dream catchers are arts and crafts of the Native American people. The original web dream catcher of the Ojibwa was intended to teach natural wisdom. Nature is a profound teacher. Dream catchers of twigs, sinew, and feathers have been woven since ancient times by Ojibwa people. They were woven by the grandfathers and grandmothers for newborn children and hung above the cradle board to give the infants peaceful, beautiful dreams. The night air is filled with dreams. Good dreams are clear and know the way to the dreamer, descending through the feathers. The slightest movement of the feathers indicated the passage of yet another beautiful dream. Bad dreams, however, are confused and confusing. They cannot find their way through the web and are trapped there until the sun rises and evaporates them like the morning dew.
This is also the reason behind Dreamcatchers motto: “Helping to Perish An Abused Child’s Nightmare…”
Child abuse is a worldwide epidemic which is KILLING our children. Our organization will offer you the resources necessary to give you the knowledge to better understand and recognize abuse.
Help Dreamcatchers For Abused Children to break the silence. “Children are yours, mine, ours. They belong to all of us and it’s our responsibility to ensure their safety. Please join us on our mission to break the cycle of abuse once and for all!”
Here are ways you can help this organization:
- Donate your time
- Wear their shirts
- Invite them for speaking engagements
- Distribute their literature (this is what I plan to do)
Together we can make a difference in this fight to save and protect our children. Remember “child abuse is everyone’s business.” Help Dreamcatchers to “perish a child’s nightmare.”