Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 11:20 am
Since 2007, women in the Sew Blessed sewing club at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus have met to sew pillowcase dresses, bed sheets and eyeglass cases for people in impoverished countries.
The driving force behind the club, Peg Weedman, is expanding her efforts by launching a sister sewing club at Southeast’s Indiana Campus.
Sew IN will have its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 225 at the Indiana Campus. Lunch will be provided and there will be door prizes.
The club then will meet the second Tuesday of each month to complete sewing projects and hear from inspirational speakers.
“We did have some requests from women who wanted to participate but didn’t want to drive all the way over to the Blankenbaker Campus,” Weedman said. “We are hoping for a good turnout.”
The name Sew IN is a take-off on the “I’m So. In.” volunteer recruitment campaign the church used prior to the launch of the Indiana Campus in April 2009. In addition to “So. In.” meaning fully committed, it also is a geographical nod to “Southern Indiana.”
Weedman hopes Southern Indiana sewers will become committed to helping their Sew Blessed counterparts in what has become an important mission of the church. Sew IN and Sew Blessed have set a goal of making at least 500 pillowcase dresses by the end of the year.
Involvement in the sewing club has been important to many of the women whom Weedman said want to be involved in advancing the Kingdom of God but don’t have the desire, health or financial wherewithal to serve as overseas missionaries.
“Every time these women come to sew they are on a mission trip,” Weedman said. “Even though they don’t get on a plane, they are every bit as important as the missionaries who do get on planes and go to far-away places.”
One of the women who believes in the importance of her work is Phyllis Jackson, who has been sewing sheets and dresses with Sew Blessed for 3 1/2 years. She learned about the ministry through a story in The Southeast Outlook.
Jackson estimates that she makes 25 to 50 dresses each month. She also contributes some eyeglass cases, and since has expanded her ministry to make dolls for girls battling illness at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
“My husband (Jim Jackson) was in declining health so I couldn’t go on a mission trip, but I thought ‘here is something I could do to help people in need,’” Jackson said. “If I can bring joy to someone, then I want to do that. I want to be a blessing to them because I have been so blessed.”
DONATED ITEMS LEAVE RECIPIENTS ‘ELATED’
Many of the items made by sewers at Southeast are taken to Africa by Louisvillian Dick Clark, who is the founder of No Other Name 72 Inc., a nonprofit organization that outfits people in East Africa with donated and refurbished eyeglasses.
Earlier this year he took about 500 dresses, shorts for boys and other items to Uganda to distribute to people in need. He said the response he received was overwhelming.
“They were elated,” Clark said. “They kept saying ‘I can’t believe it.’ For many of them, it was the first time they had ever received new clothes. One girl even cried because she thought she was going to have to give the dress back after we were finished taking pictures. A lot of kids over there only have one outfit, and some of the girls were showing up to the clinic wearing dresses that had more holes than dress. What these ladies are doing makes a big difference in the lives of those children.”
If you are interested in joining Sew IN or Sew Blessed, please contact Peg Weedman at (502) 419-5258 or email@example.com.