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start a non-profit: the seed took

BellaGabriella | Posted in General Discussion on

June 7th I posted about starting a biz for children’s occasion clothing; I’m sure some of you remember. Anyway, the following was posted in that thread, and for this last month this seed has apparently been rooting because I feel more strongly about this than the other:

We could do so much — what little girl wouldn’t love her own embellished quilt in pretty colors.  Her very own to cuddle with when things on the home front are not so happy, or just down-right frightening?


DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY TO GET SOMETHING GOING FOR A WHOLE GROUP OF LITTLE GIRLS?  THEY ARE NOT ALWAYS SWEET, BUT A LITTLE KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY, EVEN A LIFETIME.  And there are so many of us that are good with needles and threads — that is not even beginnning to speak to the thousands of elderly in nursing homes, without anything — what would a pretty quilt or new dress do for them?

I sound like such a Pollyanna — for some of those ladies, I bet its been years since they have had a new dress –,I wouldn’t even know where to begin with the men.

Hopeful — it is, up to us.  God works thrus us, he can’t do it alone.

I’ve been on vaca this week and have forced myself to relax, so I’ve been doing a bit of sewing, cross-stitching, weeding (too much rain) hanging out with son, reading (To Kill a Mockingbird – what a book!) and thinking. I’ve also watched Joyce Meyer – ministry – I like how she says things. So…this week’s topic has been on giving to others, because you should if you can. A sign, maybe?

So…with that and this I was thinking about doing it the right way, and thought a non-profit would be the way to go. Now, I do have a full time job and would probably have to limit the scope of the org., but was thinking of little dresses, quilts for boys and girls, handmade cloth dolls. The quilts and dolls could even be for the elderly.

So, wise ones, do you think this is a good idea? Would you (as a representative of “people”) be willing to make a commitment? Would you donate your fabric and time to sew for others for nothing, on a regular basis? Would you serve on the board or rather work the needle? Is it difficult to start a non-profit?

Opinions, advice, or general comments welcome.



  1. kaitydid | | #1

    well, i am certainly not a wise one, but i think it sounds like a great idea. i have crocheted blanket blocks for Warm Up America, and it was something i would do again. you just get a good feeling when you help people, ya know?

  2. katina | | #2

    I only wish I had some wisdom! But yes, I believe your idea's a very sound one.

    Good luck


  3. damascusannie | | #3

    I think it's a good idea. You'll need to start by looking into the laws that govern non-profits, both in your state and on the federal level. Also, you might want to begin compiling a list of local organizations that are positioned to distribute the items already: churches, linus project (for quilts), social services, the Red Cross, homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, etc...

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #4

      Annie is right about the legalities. I once helped an organization set up a non-profit. There are all sorts of information available to you from the feds. Here is a starting point for you: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/ezec/toolbox/501c3factsheet.html Sometimes you can find an attorney who shares your views and visions who will help you pro-bono. Very likely, Legal-Zoom.com will have the forms and instructions for setting one up.I think it is a fine idea and hope you keep us apprised of your progress. My suggestion would be to start small with a local sewing group or organization that would be interested in and could use the end product. I do believe it will grow exponentially.Good luck.

  4. ctirish | | #5

    Nancy, Joyce Meyer is great, her show is more reality based that most. On your plans to start a non-profit, have you looked into your local ASG- American Sewing Guild- Chapter. In addition to being a great place to meet people who sew, and learn from the great events they have every year. They are a non-profit and each chapter does some sort of charity or giving back work. The National site is encouraging making the Anti-ouch pouch for women or men who have breast surgery, it keeps the arm away from the body. Last year the Shriner's Hospital of Northern California was selected as the recipient of the American Sewing Guild's national Community Service Project. In conjunction with Ginger Software they made pajamas for the kids to wear when they came to the hospital. Many of the chapters across the USA do ongoing projects to support the their local hospitals with many different items. Pillowcases, bibs - for babies and adults, tote bags, bags that go on walkers and wheelchairs are just a few of the items created and distributed. You can find out more at http://www.asg.org.

    There is also a National group called Project Linus, I am not familiar with all that they do, we had a store in Connecticut that would have a contest to win a brand new Sewing Machine. You got one entry for every blanket you made and brought in for the Linus Project Drive. They did it every year in February but I don't know if everyone did it then or that way.
    I hope you check out the ASG, it is a great organization for everyone that sews. Good luck, jane

    1. Kathy001 | | #7

      Project Linus collects quilts and blankets for distribution to ill and traumatised children eg. some go with fire trucks, some to children's hospitals etc. I've made quilts for them for a long time and also teach a children's sewing class where we start out by making quilt blocks for Project Linus quilts. Both the children and I really enjoy doing this.

  5. Teaf5 | | #6

    Not all charitable efforts have to be organized or formalized.  While a non-profit may help you make a larger, more concerted effort, it would also take up some valuable time in the organizing, record-keeping, and conforming to legal regulations.

    Whenever I have spare time or energy, I volunteer my skills and time in different places in the community directly, usually without a formal connection or commitment.  I might sort books, pick up trash, help out at a tournament, distribute foods, help with a school project, paint a building, or sew costumes--whatever is needed at the moment.

    Sometimes the recipients or participants don't  know my name, and I've never won an award or recognition, but I always know that I have contributed and that all of my energy went toward the goal rather than to the logistics of an agency.

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