Sew To Give–Sewing & Quilting Outreach Opportunities
In December 2015, Nancy Zieman created Sew To Give™. Nancy Zieman’s Sew To Give™ spotlights sewing, quilting, and volunteering outreach programs – and the individuals that volunteer their time and talents to help others. Over the years, in the Nancy’s Corner Segments on her Public Television show, Sewing With Nancy, Nancy Zieman interviewed guests with amazing charitable goals. Listed below is a grouping of many of the organizations that touched Nancy, and give us all the inspiration to sew and quilt for others. As Nancy often says on Sewing With Nancy, “The gift is in the giving!”
Suggest a Sew to Give Outreach Opportunity or Organization by emailing the NZP Team at [email protected]
Want to donate fabrics or supplies locally? Check with resources in your immediate area, such as:
- 4-H groups http://www.4-h.org/get-
- Care centers for children
- Care centers for seniors
- Centers with art and craft departments
- Churches – many sew for those in need
- Community theaters
- Quilt Guilds http://www.quiltguilds.com/
- Schools, Preschools, Kindergarten
- Sewing Guilds http://www.asg.org/files/
- Shelters, including domestic violence and homeless.
- University’s Textile and Clothing Departments
Sew To Give—Sewing & Quilting Outreach Opportunities
Alzheimer’s Activity Mats
Visit their website: http://alzactivityaids.blogspot.com/
About: Activity mats are designed to safely stimulate and soothe people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, ADD, head trauma, or persons recovering from strokes. Activity mats are made by volunteers and donated to care facilities and caregivers.
For the pattern and more information: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-2/sew-an-alzheimers-activity-mat/
How to help: Click Here
American Hero Quilts
Visit their website: http://americanheroquilts.com/
About: Providing quilts as a metaphoric hug and a way to express our gratitude to our wounded service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
How to help: http://americanheroquilts.com/how-you-can-help/
Anti-Ouch Pouch (one of American Sewing Guild’s Community Service Projects)
Visit their website: http://www.asg.org/html/giving-new.html
About: Giving back is a vital part of a full and rewarding life. Nothing is more fulfilling than using your skills and passion to contribute to the quality of life of others in need within your own community.
How to help: http://www.asg.org/html/giving-new.html
Visit their website: http://alzheimerhumor.blogspot.com
About: Aprons4Alzheimers is a non-profit organization that provides funds for Alzheimer’s respite care. Gwen O’Leary raises funds through the sale of her book “When Life Hands You Alzheimer’s, Make Aprons! A Daughter’s Journal of Her Mother’s Last Months” and the sales of handsewn aprons by the author and volunteers.
Visit their website: http://binkypatrol.org
About: A binky is a homemade blanket that can be sewn, knitted, crocheted, or quilted. They range in size from 3 feet square up to twin bed size.
How to help: http://www.binkypatrol.org/article.cfm?id=19
Capes for Kids
Visit their website: https://enchantedmakeovers.org/category_36/Capes-For-Kids-Sew-No-Sew-Project.htm
About: Helping others through sewing. Handmade items such as pillowcases, dolls and capes are key to the healing process for women and children rebuilding their lives in shelters. Capes for Kids provides inner strength, encourages imagination, and brings out the inner superhero in every child.
Case For Smiles
Visit their website: http://caseforsmiles.org/
About: Helping kids feel better to heal better with a bright, cheery pillowcase.
How to help: http://caseforsmiles.org/getinvolved/#sew
Camo Quilt Project
Visit their website: https://camoquiltproject.wordpress.com/
About: Crafting camouflage, packable quilts for our troops. (PDF)
How to help: https://camoquiltproject.wordpress.com/faq/
Chica Nica Doll Dresses
Visit their website: http://chicanica.org/
About: The Chica Nica Doll Dresses program allows women to stay in their community, learn a skill, earn an income, and live with dignity. Women from the Learning Centers in Nicaragua are sewing beautiful dresses designed to fit 18″ dolls.
Coffee Creek Correctional Quilters
Visit their website: http://coffeecreekquilters.org/
About: Coffee Creek Quilters teaches quilting classes to women incarcerated at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. Since 2002, we have provided a positive, hands-on program that gives our students an opportunity to learn and practice many life-enhancing skills.
How to help: http://coffeecreekquilters.org/volunteer/
Comfort Doll Project
Visit their website: http://comfortdollproject.blogspot.com/
About: The Comfort Doll Project is a group of artists who create and donate their beautiful dolls to be delivered specifically to women in domestic abuse shelters to let them know that they are unique, worthy, beautiful, and deserve all good things in life.
Visit their website: http://www.craftingcomfort.
About: Crafting Comfort is a network of sewing volunteers in the Central Texas area. Many of the volunteers working on our projects are members of other volunteer organizations such as the National Charity League, the American Sewing Guild, Dell Children’s Medical Center Volunteers, the Community Sewing Project of Austin and others. Volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year making handcrafted items designed to provide comfort.
Our volunteers understand how a warm quilt or a handcrafted toy can provide security in stressful situations. Handcrafts made with love and concern for the recipient provide their own healing power.
How to help: http://www.craftingcomfort.
Days for Girls
Visit their website: http://www.daysforgirls.org/
About: Days for Girls provides sustainable feminine hygiene supplies for girls in developing countries so they do not need to miss school or work. Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity.
How to help: https://www.daysforgirls.org/chaptersandteams
Visit their website: http://enchantedmakeovers.org
About: Enchanted Makeovers’ mission is to create environments for women and children living in shelters that educate, empower, open a path for creativity and self-expression. Enchanted Makeovers’ mission is to transform homeless shelters for women and children into places that inspire behavioral and psychological change. Through various projects, mentoring programs and makeovers of the physical space, women and children are introduced to a way of thinking that helps to shift their outlook about their lives and possibilities for the future. The shelter is transformed into a “beacon of hope”. Mentoring programs such as the“Sacred Sewing Room”, “Stepping into the Dream”and “Capes for Kids” develop important life and coping skills. Thousands of women, teens and children will escape to shelters each year and will rest in the transformed bedrooms, use the sacred sewing rooms, and receive projects and Enchanted Makeovers’ programs. December 2019 marks the 13 year anniversary and to date Enchanted Makeovers mission has impacted over 60, 000 people locally and nationally.
How to help: http://enchantedmakeovers.org
FabMo Fabric & More
Visit their website: http://fabmo.org/fabmo/Home.html
About: FabMo rescues designer, high-end fabrics and provides it to artists, teachers, and others for their creative reuse.
How to help: http://fabmo.org/fabmo/Home.html
Giving Doll Project, The
Visit their website: http://www.thegivingdoll.org/
About: Their mission is to give faith, love, joy, hope and comfort to children worldwide, at times of special need through the construction and distribution of handmade cloth dolls.
How to help: http://www.thegivingdoll.org/get-involved
Giving Quilt, Inc., The
Visit their website: http://www.thegivingquiltinc.org
About: Promotes the creation and presentation of quilts that provide comfort to children and adults, and works to increase public awareness with a biennial public quilt exhibit and presentation ceremony.
How to help: http://www.thegivingquiltinc.org/contact-us
Hat Ladies, The (and Gentlemen)
About: In a typical season the Hat Ladies and Gentlemen host about 50 Hat Gigs. All the hats are donated to the recipients at a school or program–all with high concentrations of low-income children.
Often, the children select the colors for their hat, and they sit with a Hat Lady or Gentleman to have it sewn to size. For many of the children, this is the first piece of brand-new clothing that belongs just to them.
Note from Nancy Daly: “In November 2015, our grand total of fleece hats topped the 50,000 mark. In December, 2019 our grand total of fleece hats topped the 80,000 mark! Thinking how to truly mark the occasion and celebrate, we did it in true Hat Ladies fashion, by smiling and then going on to make hat number 50,001! The Hat Ladies (and Gentlemen), numbering around 50 people, will gather for an end of season luncheon in January.” – Nancy Daly
How to help: If you’re inspired to make hats for children in your community, or would like to know more about this organization, please contact Nancy Daly at [email protected]
Get the pattern: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-2/sew-to-give-the-hat-ladies/ and download the pdf pattern here.
Hope 2 Others & Hats 4 Hope
Visit their website: http://www.bringinghope2others.com/
About: Hope 2 Others mission is to improve the quality of life in developing countries. Hats 4 Hope (pdf brochure) helps babies from dying of hypothermia during the first 10 days of life. Hats 4 Hope kits include a knit hat, blanket, booties/socks, onesies, a sleeper, cloth diapers, and a bar of soap, as well as flip-flops and a toothbrush for the mothers.
How to help:
- http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-2/bringing-hope-2-others-blankets-needed/ and
Linus Connection, The
Visit their website: http://www.thelinusconnection.org/
About: The Linus Connection make and deliver handmade security blankets for children in crisis situations in the Central Texas area.
How to help:
- Blankets: http://www.thelinusconnection.org/p/blanket-specifications.html
- Weighted blankets: http://www.thelinusconnection.org/p/weighted-blankets.html
Little Dresses for Africa
Visit their website: http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/
About: Our mission is to provide relief to children of Africa, by distributing dresses to little girls, primarily in African villages, but also other countries in crisis. Little Dresses for Africa also distributes Britches for Boys. Because of the widespread AIDS pandemic, little girls and boys are often left to be the primary care givers of their young siblings. It is our hope that in delivering dresses to these young girls, that a seed will be planted in their hearts, in the name of Jesus, that they are worthy.
Get the pattern here: http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/patterns/
Lydia Project, The (where women coping with cancer are not alone)
Visit their website: http://www.thelydiaproject.org/common/content.asp?PAGE=436
About: Provides a handmade, designer tote filled with encouraging items and Lydia’s copyrighted journal for women undergoing cancer. Each tote has purple handles as a visual bond between women coping with cancer.
How to Help: http://www.thelydiaproject.org/common/content.asp?PAGE=345
MADACC (Cage Comforters)
Visit their website: http://www.madacc.org/
About: The MADACC Cage Comforter Program enlists volunteer sewers to make small comforters and toys for the kittens, cats, and small dogs in our care. Our animals love their comforters! The comforters not only ease the stress of our homeless animals, they also help to ease the transition when the animals are transferred, because they take their comforters with them to our animal placement partner organizations.
Cage comforters can be made from any type of material except looped fabric like chenille or terry cloth that might get snagged in the animal’s nails. They should be a finished size of:
- Dog Blankets: 24″ x 34″
- Cat Blankets: 10-3/4″ x 15″
- Cat Front Lobby Condos
- Sleeping Area: 10″ x 24-1/2″
- Play Area: 28-1/4″ x 24-1/2″
How to help: http://madacc.org/donatevolunteer/
Makers Coalition, The
Visit their website: http://www.themakerscoalition.org
About: We are a coalition of businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and service providers coming together to build a trained cut and sew industry in America. Therefore, we want to ensure the businesses that need high quality cut and sewing industrial craftsmen have the talent they need to grow. Join the movement to restore and build the industrial sewing heritage of America. We are working together to find, train, and employ a proud, creative, and skilled workforce for today and future generations.
How to help: http://www.themakerscoalition.org/donate.html We welcome your donations to help fund scholarships and programs, marketing, and other activities to grow The Makers Coalition.
Visit their website: https://www.marthastask.com/
About: Martha’s Task is a training and work program for homeless and disadvantaged women in the Bartlesville, Oklahoma area. Homeless women are taught the skill of sewing by a staff of volunteers. The seamstresses are offered a place to sell their hand-sewn items through Martha’s Task’s unique gift store in Bartlesville, OK . These women retain 100% of every sale to support themselves.
How to help: https://www.marthastask.com/get-involved_id65.html
Visit their website: https://www.mitsykit.org
About: The Mitsy Kit sewing and quilting kit, provides adapted materials and training to enable the blind, elderly, memory impaired, and all others young and old, to enjoy hand sewing and quilting using their sense of touch in place of eyesight.
How to help: https://www.mitsykit.org/get-involved/volunteers/
Visit their website: http://dragonflyquilts.com
About: Piecing together a better future for Mongolian women
How to help: Purchase Mongolian products
More Than Warmth
Visit their website: http://morethanwarmth.org
About: The project was designed to teach children about different cultures and give them a chance to reach out to children in another country. Students create a tangible group project through social studies, art, and literature. A quilt and booklet of letters connects with children across geographical and political boundaries.
How to help: http://morethanwarmth.org/contact.html
Newborns In Need
Visit their website: https://newbornsinneed.org/
About: Provides baby gowns, hats, blankets, sleepers, isolette covers and other baby essentials to hospitals, homeless shelters, and other organizations that provide for premature and newborn infants.
How to help: https://newbornsinneed.org/patterns/
One Million Pillowcase Challenge
Visit their website: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases/
About: American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging quilters, sewers, and crafters to help us reach our goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities. Many charities can benefit from the donation of a pillowcase and the challenge gives you the opportunity to donate and make a difference in your community.
How to help:
- Free pillowcase patterns. http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases/freepatterns/index.html
- We want you to make a difference in your community. Suggested list of charities to contact in your local area. http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases/wheretodonate/index.html
Operation Chemo Comfort
Visit their website: http://www.operationchemocomfort.org/
About: To offer comfort and services to patients impacted by cancer for the purpose of supporting their psychological and physical wellbeing. Hats and scarves are needed.
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project
Visit their website: http://www.ovarianquilt.org
About: The Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project was established to educate the public about the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer through the artistry of quilting. The Online Quilt Auction benefits research. This program aims to develop effective screening methods and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.
Patient Pouch T&B Foundation
Visit their website: http://www.tandbfoundation.org/
About: Inspired by Tyler Barnett and Brayden Bateman, T&B Foundation is here to fight childhood cancer and brighten the day of childhood cancer patients everywhere! The mission of T&B Foundation, Inc. is to encourage and support families with minor children battling cancer. We do this by providing Patient Pouches to the children with activities and diversions while awaiting and undergoing cancer treatment.
How to help: http://www.tandbfoundation.org/pouches
Visit their website: http://pointhope.org
About: A voice for forgotten children. Their mission is to raise awareness and champion the cause for forgotten children.
How to help make Beanies for Babies: http://www.pointhope.org/new-page-2
Prayers & Squares
Visit their website: http://www.prayerquilt.org/
About: Prayers & Squares is an interfaith outreach organization that combines the gift of prayer with the gift of a hand-tied quilt. Each knot represents a prayer.
How to Help: http://www.prayerquilt.org/AllAboutQuilts.asp
Visit their website: http://www.creativeblossoms.com/pretty-pockets
About: Pretty Pockets are handsewn covers for drain bulbs used by post-surgery breast cancer patients. Spread JOY through CREATIVE GIVING.
How to help: Click Here
Visit their website: http://www.projectlinus.org
About: Project Linus provides homemade blankets to children in need. Our mission:
- FIRST: Provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
- SECOND: Provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
How to help: http://projectlinus.org/
Putting Prayers to Action (formerly Tender Loving Care Ministries)
Visit their website: http://puttingprayerstoaction.com/
About: Clothing the underprivileged children of the Appalachian Mountains—Southern Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, and West Virginia.
Quilts for Kids
Visit their website: http://www.quiltsforkids.org/
About: Volunteer quilters transform fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children in need.
How to help: http://www.quiltsforkids.org/volunteer/
Quilts of Valor
Visit their website: http://www.qovf.org
About: Quilting to honor & comfort those touched by war; The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
How to help: http://www.qovf.org/make-a-qov/
Quilt to Give
Visit their website: http://www.quilttogive.org
About: Tornadoes, floods, and fires have recently devastated thousands of homes. We’ve all seen video on TV and online of the unbelievable destruction. Monetary donations are greatly needed—and I’m sure many of us have been able to contribute. In addition, making and giving needed bed quilts is another way of showing support and encouragement. Follow the step-by-step sewing directions to create quilts with your sewing/quilting groups.
How to help: http://www.quilttogive.org
Get the pattern: http://www.quilttogive.org
Visit their website: rethreaded.com
About: Rethreaded is a social entrepreneurship that is breaking the cycle of the sex trade by offering viable and creative work to those affected by the sex trade i.e. prostitution, drug addiction, and human trafficking. Rethreaded offers the oppressed a chance to grow into the fullness of who they are. Rethreaded provides a four-month holistic job training program for women in the Jacksonville, Florida area who are coming out of lives of addiction, violence, human trafficking, and prostitution.
How to help: http://www.rethreaded.com/pages/get-involved
Sew For Hope Kids
Visit their website: http://www.sewforhopenow.com/
About: Sew For Hope is a community-based group affiliated with Big Bend Homeless Coalition in Tallahassee, FL. Our group makes and gives away quilts and afghans for homeless and impoverished children from newborn to 21 years of age.
How to help: http://sewforhopenow.com/?page_id=1547
Sew Much Comfort
Visit their website: www.sewmuchcomfort.org/
About: Sew Much Comfort provides custom-made adaptive (Velcro closures) clothing, free of charge, to all wounded service members from current conflicts and from all branches of the military and National Guard. We wish to aide in their recovery, provide a tangible reminder of our gratitude for their sacrifice, and give them an added measure of comfort, dignity, and freedom as they recover from their injuries and return to everyday life. Adaptive clothing accommodates their medical devices and situations, provides ease of use, increases personal independence, and minimizes the visual impact of their injuries.
How to help: Donate or volunteer at http://www.sewmuchcomfort.org/
Sew Powerful Purse Project
Visit their website: http://sewpowerful.org
About: The annual Sew Powerful Purse Project enables girls in Zambia to stay in school. Purses are made and sent to Zambia as gifts. The local seamstresses make re-usable hygiene products and together they are provided to girls as part of health training.
How to help: http://sewpowerful.org
Sewing Machine Project, The
Visit their website: http://www.thesewingmachineproject.org
About: The Sewing Machine Project, Inc. (SMP), a qualified s.501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 2005 for the purpose of collecting and distributing sewing machines to groups committed to using the machines to provide opportunities to create, learn new skills, build self-confidence, and contribute to their own livelihoods and the well-being of their families and communities. Since 2005 we have distributed over 1800 sewing machines, helping people become self-sustaining through sewing. We work locally, nationally and internationally.
How to help: http://www.thesewingmachineproject.org
Sharing the Weight (Weighted Blankets)
Visit their website: http://www.sharingtheweight.org/
About: Sharing The Weight organization based in Iowa makes and distributes weighted blankets to special needs children free of charge.
How to help: http://www.sharingtheweight.org/how-to-make-a-weighted-blanket/
Sleeping Bag Project, The (formerly Ugly Quilts)
Visit their website: http://www.thesleepingbagproject.org/
About: Help the homeless by making simple sleeping bags from recycled fabrics and distribute them FREE to those in need.
Southeast Asia Project
Visit their website: http://www.mnvetsforprogress.com/projects-sewing-center
About: Create jobs, help orphanages, provide education, and give the gift of clean water to rural Cambodians. Minnesota Veterans for Progress is currently involved in the following four humanitarian projects in South East Asia:
- Installing water wells in rural Cambodia for land mine victims.
- Supporting two ethnic schools located in the poorest district in Vietnam.
- Building a sewing center in the Siem Reap Province of Cambodia to empower rural women and help reduce sex trafficking of girls.
- Supporting two orphanages for abandoned children in Hanoi, Vietnam,and Siem Reap, Cambodia.
STITCH (Sewing Together in The Caring Highlands)
Visit their website: http://www.hpclouisville.org/2015/05/stitch/
About: STITCH teaches sewing to Kentucky Refugee Ministries women. They have come from Somalia, Sudan, Nepal, Cuba, Kenya, Iraq, and Congo, to name but a few. They have sewn tote bags, aprons, skirts, tops, dresses, caftans, tablecloths, bedspreads, and pillowcases.
How to help: They need sewing machines; sewing notions, such as thread, scissors, marking tools, etc.; gift cards for JoAnn Fabrics and Hancock’s so that they can replenish supplies; and fabrics that are washable, since dry cleaning is out of the question for their students. Two to three yard pieces of fabrics are preferred. If you would like to contribute to the STITCH program, please write to:
Stitchin’ for Kids
Visit their website: http://www.stitchinforkids.org/
About: Stitchin’ for Kids create gifts for children of all ages requiring extended stays in hospitals. The gifts are intended to entertain as well as to provide comfort.
How to help: http://www.stitchinforkids.org/volunteers.html
For patterns: http://www.stitchinforkids.org/patterns.html
Sue Rock Originals Everyone, Inc.
Visit their website: https://suerock.wordpress.com/donations/
About: Healing domestic violence survivors with textiles—One Stitch at a Time! Our mission is to train women in the textile arts—teaching lessons of self-empowerment.
How to help: https://suerock.wordpress.com/donations/
Teal Mini Swap
Visit their website: https://evapaigequilts.com/pages/teal-mini-swap
About: Teal Mini Swap is a way for EvaPaige Quilt Designs to help raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer.
How to help: https://evapaigequilts.com/pages/teal-mini-swap
Threads of Love
Visit their website: threadsoflove.org
About: Threads of Love, through the effort and support of many participants in chapters across the country, provides clothing, blankets, and other handmade articles for tiny, premature and sick infants. Includes a crocheted or knitted cap, day gown, blanket, lovie doll, and a prayer for healing.
How to help: threadsoflove.org
Visit their website: http://www.tinystitches.org/
About: Mission is to provide basic clothing for newborns in North Georgia whose families are not able to provide for them. Distributed through social workers and nurses.
How to help: http://www.tinystitches.org/
Warm Up America and Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies
Visit their website: http://warmupamerica.org/
About: Each year across the world, 1 million preterm babies die within their first 28 days. Unable to regulate their temperatures, they are vulnerable to hypothermia and ultimately death. Tiny hats give tiny babies a fighting chance. They also distribute warm afghans of all sizes, adult hats, scarves, and other baby items to people in need.
How to help: http://warmupamerica.org/tiny-hats-tiny-babies
Remember, The gift is in the giving!
Bye for now,