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What kind of charity project are you sewing?

So far in 2011 ASG members have donated 4,241 Turtle Pillows to The Painted Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes, California. The turtles will be stuffed when they arrive.

Many large sewing organizations sponsor charity sewing projects, and many philanthropic organizations seek donated items for their good cause. Groups sew hats for cancer patients dealing with the ravages of chemotherapy treatments; hospitals welcome baby hats, booties, and other items for their nurseries; depressed areas of the world are happy to receive garments for their children or adults; and the list goes on. Some projects are local to a specific city or region, particularly following a natural disaster, while others are national or even global in nature. Your stash can often be put to good use by supporting one of these charitable groups. As with any giving, before donating your time or talent, be sure to check into the group and its project to make sure it’s a legitimate cause.

The American Sewing Guild (ASG) is an organization of sewing enthusiasts who connect with each other at local, national and web-based levels for activities, communication and networking. There are local Neighborhood Groups and Special Interest Groups as well as the National organization. Each year ASG announces a new community service project. So far in 2011 members have produced 4,241 Turtle Pillows that were donated to The Painted Turtle Camp (one of the Hole In the Wall camps for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses). In 2012 the National ASG Community Project will focus on making blankets. Lap blankets for hospice patients or veterans in VA hopspitals, and receiving blankets for needy families welcoming a new baby are always needed.

In addition to large organized projects such as those of the National ASG, many local churches and other religious organizations encourage mission and charity work, and small service groups organize smaller projects for donation locally or around the world. They sometimes shy away from a lot of publicity about their generosity and caring, so we don’t always hear about their efforts. In addition, many individuals sew independently to provide a cancer cap for a friend struggling with the results of chemotherapy, a colleague undergoing brain surgery, or a similar kind gesture.

The New York Sun newspaper in New York City, reported on research published in the publication Science. The study focused on charitable giving and why it appears to lead to happiness. The research found that “giving affects our brain chemistry” in a manner that is often referred to as the “Helper’s High.” The bottom line of their research is that “giving isn’t just good for your favorite cause; it’s good for you, too!”

Have you been sewing for charity? If so, what did you sew? 


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  1. KSouza | | #1

    We sew for a poor hospital in Tandala, Democratic Republic of Congo, making layettes for newborns, scrubs for the doctors and nurses, and rolling bandages of strips of old sheets sewn together. There is an Aids Orphanage nearby for which we sew simple dresses and shorts.

  2. User avater
    cucperson | | #2

    Members of our group sew, knit, felt and make other items to raises funds to go the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Each fall we hold a two day sale of our products and this year we raised over $30,000 from the wonderful handcrafted items made by our members. A sample of our products are featured on our web site http://www.ujamaagrandmas.com. We are located in Calgary Alberta, Canada.

  3. lou19 | | #3

    I don't have time to sew for charity.
    But I do donate unwanted patterns, sewing books , magazines, fabric and wool to the GOODWILL SHOP at my local EMMAUS. a charity that helps homeless people. They sell all sorts of items. And also have a group of volunteers who made lovely craft items with donated materials.

  4. User avater
    SansSouci572 | | #4

    I don't sew for charity either. I do other things for charity, but I am not going to sew for charity. I do not have time for it. I do not like being asked either, at ASG meetings and such.

    For me personally, I do not think this is a useful gift for me to give. I would rather donate food, supplies, and other things.

  5. grd1604 | | #5

    Our church has a group called SEW GOOD WORKS which was started in 2001. Since then we have sewn, crocheted or knitted over 10,000 items of warmth and comfort from slippers to afghans, sweaters, rugs, hats, quilts, dresses, PJs, curtains, - you name it we've done it for shelters and inner city parishes to out-of-state needy organizations. We've sent chemo caps and breast pillows to hospitals as well as lap quilts to seniors in need. The women of our group can't wait to meet each month to share their knowledge and skills. It is truly a highlight for us to get together and create something useful.

  6. samoon | | #6

    My ASG group sews clothes for 18-inch dolls. Then we package the clothes and dolls together and donate them to a local charity that has a Christmas store for the poor in our community. The dolls (which are the knock-off version of American Girl dolls) and their wardrobes are very popular with the people coming in to get toys at Christmas. I also buy a few extra dolls and make extra sets of dolls/clothing for the Christmas store at my church (we see about 1,500 families each year). I don't have a lot of time to sew either, but I really look forward to making the doll clothes. When I retire I plan to donate my time doing mending and repair of the clothes that are donated to our church's clothes closet.

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