Handmade Collective Awards are financial aid bursaries* at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, funded by individuals and businesses in the maker industry wishing to take a stand against prejudice. The program, initiated by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky, brings makers together through various creative fundraising projects, with the goal of giving power back to those that have had it taken away from them. The awards seek students who themselves are involved in community or in social justice work – thereby completing the circle of the collective concept of working together for change. 

(*For those of you who may not be familiar with this word, “Bursaries” in Canada refer to a scholarship based on financial need.)


3 x $1,000 awards will be awarded each year:

One each to a Black, an Indigenous and a 2SLGBTQ+ student. 

We initially committed to fundraising for a minimum of 3 awards each year, for at least 5 years. We have now raised over $20,000 which means additional bursaries! The more we raise, the more students we help! There is no limit to the number of bursaries we can award in the name of this fund.

In 2020 I decided that I wanted to provide a way for my community work to have a long term goal. I am a strong believer that empowering youth is the best avenue for long term change in the world, so I started looking into ways to facilitate doing this. I learned that most endowment funds and charities take hefty cuts from monies donated to run their organizations. I knew that I would be fundraising collecting funds in small amounts via quilt pattern sales, so I wanted to find a way to use every dollar raised. After months of research and learning about scholarships, bursaries, endowment funds etc (not my area of expertise!) I discovered that having an award set up directly at an educational institution means that 100% of monies donated go to the bursaries. Having these funds coming in benefits the universities, which means zero fees for us! Whoohoo!

Since setting the fund up required a lot of work as well as a large fundraising commitment, I decided to promote this fund as a way for others like myself to get involved. This being people in the maker industry that wanted to give back to equity deserving groups.

With the logistics now sorted and the awards all set up, it is easy for others to participate. I invite you and your friends in the maker community to join me in fundraising to support BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ students. The awards are named the “Handmade Collective Awards” to express the fact that these are not “my” bursaries, they are “our” bursaries. Together we can support multiple students in their quest to get an education to better their futures. Let’s do it! 

Yours truly


There are three ways to support this important cause:


(These projects will vary over time.)
BLACK LIVES MATTER quilt pattern – 100% of the profit into perpetuity will go to the fund.

2. RUN A Happy Sew Lucky GUILD PROJECT:
There are two guild / group swaps on offer in exchange for a small donation from each participant: The Connected Project designed to connect guild members during 2020 and the the Mini Mod Swap – hot off the press one for 2021. (Contact Berene for info on the latter.) Guilds are asked to collect the contribution and then make the donation directly. Please let us know when you do so that we can thank you! All donations are confidential so we won’t know unless you tell us.

Donations made here on the Toronto Metropolitan University site will go to the the Handmade Collective Awards. 100% of the amount donated goes towards the bursaries. Tax receipts will be issued for amounts of $10.00 or greater.

Whatever your craft or field of creativity we’d love to have you join this collective effort. By doing so you stand up for your principles, support communities that need to be seen and heard, and you connect with other creatives with similar mindsets. By promoting each others fundraising projects we all expand the reach of our fundraisers, as well as build and share a customer base of like-minded individuals wishing to work together for change.  Contact Berene via the Contact page if you have a fundraiser idea you’d like to discuss.

Why Toronto Metropolitan University?

In 2016, Canada welcomed over 30,000 Syrian refugees to find safety and a new life. While organizing “Quilts for Refugees” Berene learned about {what was then named} Ryerson University’s Lifeline Syria Challenge, in which they mobilized their student community to sponsor 11 refugee families and help these newcomers get settled. This amazingly inclusive project really impressed her. Fast forward to 2020, when searching for an institution that had a diverse student population and leadership that was proactively anti-prejudice, Ryerson fit the bill. In 2022, due to student pressure to remove the remnants of colonialism, the university changed it’s name to Toronto Metropolitan University. (TMU)

Toronto Metropolitan University is proudly diverse and intentionally inclusive. They are home to a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, from students to faculty and staff. At TMU, one of the primary purposes of equity, diversity and inclusion is to help shape students become global citizens and build their cultural competence.

TMU’s Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion works to make equity, diversity and inclusion a central focal point for all faculties, departments and community members on campus through a variety of programs and reports. In particular, TMU focuses on groups that have been historically and continue to be discriminated against.

TMU is proud to support and celebrate its Black, First Nations, Metis and Inuit, and 2SLGBTQ+ students through an array of scholarships and bursaries. Many include a comprehensive suite of wraparound supports, such as mentoring, career guidance, and sector-specific coaching from industry experts.

Their goal is to enhance financial aid for Black, First Nations, Metis and Inuit, and 2SLGBTQ+ students at TMU to receive greater support and opportunities throughout their academic careers. Increasing financial support for these students seeks to address the systemic barriers that their communities face in accessing resources needed to help them succeed in their studies and community involvement. 


Help us get the word out by sharing this with your maker friends.

Follow Handmade Collective Awards on Instagram.