Many of us have hobbies or interests we enjoy but avid sewers, quilters and knitters seem to have this PASSION for their art that goes beyond a way to spend leisure time. They describe it as “Sewing is who I am . . . it doesn’t feel right if I’m not sewing everyday” or “Sewing is my personal ministry to serve others.”
We’re fortunate to have volunteers and donors who share their love of sewing in many different ways . . . sewing items for others, teaching/helping with sewing classes, donating equipment/fabric/supplies, maintaining equipment inventories, servicing sewing machines and organizing opportunities for local women to use donated sewing machines.
Volunteer sewers have tackled everything from making curtains, fitted sheets for a daycare, chair cushions for special needs children, vinyl covers to protect sound systems, sewing machine carriers, bean bags for educators, pencil pouches for school backpacks, and beautiful decorative banners for Vida Abundante Church (photos below).
Our focus on sewing began five years ago by teaching women job skillsto support their families. Two volunteers, Ilene Kendrick and Treva Mahan, have championed this cause for years raising funds to help pay for a local instructor and purchase machines as well as bringing donated fabric, notions and yes, more sewing machines. It is comical to see their very “creative” solutions for bringing machines via cruiseship and plane. Donated machines help supplement those purchased locally and provide extras needed for women to check out to use at home.
Notions like zippers and special accessories are readily available in local stores, although most women we help in sewing classes can’t afford to buy what they need. Many are single mothers with extremely limited resources. If they work and are lucky enough to receive minimum wage (about $7US per day, NOT per hour), saving $ to buy fabric and notions is a huge challenge. The GREAT news is a small core group of women have enough sewing experience to start earning money doing alterations or they can save money making vs. buying their children’s school uniforms.
Special thanks to these donors . . .
- Becky Gomez, Lincoln NE, donated her Baby Lock machine with embroidery capability; zippers, thread, patterns for sewing boxers class and more
- Lynn Hedrick, Cozumel, donated sewing kits for participants in mending, sewing and crafts classes held Feb. 2013
- Paul at Sew Creative, Lincoln NE, provided a serger, a HUGE supply of serger thread and more. This serger was donated to Elizabeth Martinez, local sewing instructor, so she could further develop her expertise and then teach serger skills to advanced level sewers
- Sue Feiler, Cozumel, donated a new serger used by Friends of Cozumel for projects to benefit the community and for advanced sewing classes
- Treva Mahan, Paris TX, scouts garage sales and contacts sewing clubs year-round. She acquired, transported and donated multiple machines 2010-2013 to develop a pool of loaner machines and this past year made 20+ bags to protect all the machines
- Many, many island visitors and their friends “back home” who have donated fabric and notions to support sewing classes