Monday, June 16, 2008

Info on "Sewing and Sharing".....

Thanks to all of you who replied that you "Will Sew and Share". You have all offered to help in different ways. Not all of you can sew and we aren't all anywhere near each other so some of you offered prayers, money, time, whatever is needed. Interestingly, today is June 15 and to date 15 of you have replied that you would like to help. Some of you live nearby but we cover the U.S. from New York to Oregon, South Carolina to California and points in between. Amazing!!! I sent my original e-mail to my entire mailing list which is aobut 100 names. I used to work for a survey research company and the response you were looking for was 6%. I feel really good about the response to my initial e-mail!!
That original e-mail sent to all of you asked for prayer for my sister, Judy, and family and all those affected by the Iowa flooding. Additionally, I asked if you would like to go further and "sew and share" items for those in need. All weekend this has been on my mind as I watched the coverage and viewed the pictures on-line of the rising flood waters, the sandbagging, etc. I wondered what can we do to help and how can we make a difference.
I think I have a way for us to be connected not just for now but ongoing if you are willing (there are flooding victims in other areas of the midwest and there are wildfire victims in California, too!). I have set up this blog where I will post details of how we will "Sew and Share". And "sew", to the business at hand -
Here's what I propose. For those of you who can pray, please do. And if time is short or you don't sew, cash and gift cards will help buy supplies and food. For those who sew, here's my thought. Many of you already make quilts, pillowcases, etc. for area hospitals, shelters, etc. What I would like to collect at this time is small items first. Let's start with pillowcases and totebags. Make pillowcases from any fabric and for all ages. Make simple totebags and if you make ones for kids put a coloring book and colors, etc. in the bag. Totebags for women can be filled with personal items. Any size and shape of bag is welcome and they don't have to be filled. A couple of years ago, some of you helped make pillowcases and totebags and donated new purses that went to the Battered Women's Shelter in Belle Plaine, MN. With just a dozen of you participating, we donated 43 purses and many other items to the shelter. You went "above and beyond" when you filled the purses with even more than the suggested "comb, notepad, tissues" and filled the bags with make-up bags, nail care, phone cards, etc. etc. One of the things I asked you to think about then was - what if you had to leave home in a hurry and you didn't have your purse with you? The same thing applies to the flooding victims. Think about what it was like to leave their home in a hurry and you'll know what to put in a totebag or a purse. I remember watching the coverage of Katrina and there was a video of a couple walking hand-in-hand through waist-high water. She had her purse hung over her head and it was resting on her chest to keep it dry. I thought, how smart of her because if you have identification you're in great shape and without it, it spells trouble. It also crossed my mind that his wallet was probably very wet so wallets are welcome, too!
Pillowcases, totebags, purses, wallets, these are small projects but they can make a big difference. The next best thing to knowing I have my purse if I leave my house in a hurry is having a comfortable pillow to lay my head on when I am finally able to go to sleep. I have some resources for purchasing pillows but if you or friends you know want to donate Target or Wal-mart gift cards they will be sent to my sister to use for pillows or other necessities. I have copied this e-mail to my sister and through her church she can see to the distribution of these items. Also if any need for donation receipts is needed that is possible, too.
You might have thought I would ask for quilts but I decided initially to start with small items. However, if you want to make a quilt or quilts, I know there will be a need as so much has been lost in so many homes. Some of you know that the first year my husband and I were married, we lived through Hurricane Camille. We had five feet of water in our apartment. We all know that some things are irreplaceable. For me, it wasn't purchased wedding gifts that were broken and lost but a hand-made black and white rug made by my Great Grandma that was ruined by the silt and salt-water. Most of us are quilters and can relate to the quilters who may have lost not just their quilts but their sewing machines, their supplies, etc. I know two quilters, one near Cedar Rapids and one near Iowa City, who can connect us with those quilters in need. I see us assembling "quilting care packages". Nothing big, just a box with perhaps a pincushion, needles, scissors and a couple of fat quarters - something that says someone is thinking of me and may make the recipient smile. I see this "Sew and Share" project evolving into the fall when thoughts of Christmas come and so there'll be a need for Christmas stockings. Several years ago when I worked full-time for a computer company, I coordinated a stocking stuffer program. A couple of us made stockings and then fellow employees signed up to take a stocking and fill it for a child of a certain age. So that's a project for the future.
Right now, if each one of you makes just one item and then perhaps if a friend makes another or makes a donation, well, before you know it we have made a difference in a big way with just a small effort of time and talents on our part.
make a pillowcase,
or make a totebag,
or fill a purse or buy a wallet,
or make a quilt,
or send a gift card
or start making a stocking.
Do what feels right to you.
And all I can say is THANK YOU!

At this time, send items to me and I will see that they get to my sister.
Please e-mail me what you will be sending and I will give you my snail mail address.
Mail delivery to my sister may not be reliable right now, plus their church will not be habitable for quite some time (they met at a local library this past Sunday and are looking for interim space as are a lot of people). Their home does not have water issues (just a trickle in the basement from the rains, according to Judy) but it is overflowing with church items and also, veterinary equipment. Oh, I should tell you that they did get a truck and got help to move the items from the veterinary offices. As this changes, items can also be sent directly to her. And I can guarantee that all items and donations you make will be used/donated to flood victims.

For those of you who live near me, there will be a "Sew and Share" day at City Hall here in Henderson on Saturday, July 12th from 9:30 a.m. to whenever we decide to stop stitching. Lunch we'll be provided. Please e-mail me ( if you are coming so that we can plan the food. If we want to plan another day, we can do this more than once if you are all willing as the actual clean-up from the flooding will take weeks and months so the need will continue. My sister said that her church alone took on 6 feet of water so it will be sometime before the water recedes and they can get in to do repairs. Some people put their possessions in second floor rooms only to have the water reach so high that it flooded the entire house. There is months of work ahead for so many.

Okay, that's all for now. If you want to see flood pictures go to the "Iowa Press Citizen" newspaper site. Again, thanks so much for offering to help.

No comments: