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Season’s Greetings and Gratitude

First of all, Season’s Greetings to you from Utah. Christmas yesterday was just SO nice after all the crazy running around of the month of December. I stayed in my pajamas until 4, ate various combinations of butter and sugar, napped, did puzzles and watched Christmas movies with the family, and just basically avoided any forms of responsibility or the internet. It was heavenly. I hope your’s was equally delightful.

A few more holiday tidbits before the Christmas season wraps up. A few of my photos were featured in the latest edition of Vintage Holiday magazine. Pam had tagged me on Instagram saying she saw them. I was in line at Target a few weeks later and saw this issue and thought, “Hey! Maybe that’s the magazine I’m in.”
Sure enough it was! They featured the photos of some of my vintage ornaments I took a couple of years ago. I gave them permission to use the pictures months ago and had completely forgotten about it. Kinda fun!
I received a few lovely handmade gift surprises in the mail which was such a treat. As a mom, surprises at Christmas are sometimes rare, so this was very fun! 
This little bundle may have been my favorite. For the past year and a half I’ve been assigned to be responsible for all of the women of our church congregation. It’s weighty sometimes, but I love these women. One of them left this little handmade bundle at my door. 
Her name is Lee Xiong and she’s Hmong. She escaped Laos about 30 years ago with her young family, crossing the countryside and finally a river in the dark, into Thailand, with bullets flying over their heads. She and her family came to this country as refugees. When she earned American citizenship they went to document her fingerprints and she had none because she had worn them off her hands working in the fields in Laos to provide for her family. She lives with her daughter’s family now who are my neighbors. I was SO touched by her sweet offering to me.

Speaking of sweet offerings, an update on the Sewing Machines for Ecuador cause. Here is Elsa with the one non-electric Singer sewing machine that is being used by numerous women. As of right now there have been $1127 in donations to buy new sewing machines so that these women can contribute to the income of their families.

I was blown away by the response and the generosity that came so quickly. It was truly heartwarming. It has been decided that they will buy two regular sewing machines and two industrial machines. They will stay in this space above Elsa’s family shop and be available for multiple women to come and use.
Last week I transferred $1,035 of the donations directly to Cheryl (my neighbor who is living in Ecuador) and will transfer the remainder on Monday. (Paypal and GoFundMe take a small percentage for administrative purposes. I have covered those costs so that 100% of donations went directly to Ecuador.)
Thank you awesome sewing community! You are the best. This has motivated me to find other people and places where we can make a difference. If you are looking for more ways to help, here are two other charities that were suggested: Days for Girls, and Quilt Angels. There are many more, so keep the suggestions coming!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Sewing In CT
    December 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Bless you Amy! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Funky Kim
    December 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    How wonderful that you were surprised at Christmas! You deserve it!

  • Reply
    Sandra W
    December 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    What do you mean–you were responsible for all of the women in the congregation. Responsible how?<br />What did this involve?

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Good questions! In Mormon congregations, there are no paid administrators – members of the congregation take turn leading various groups for women, children, youth, sunday school, etc.. Every Mormon congregation has a women&#39;s organization called the Relief Society that includes every woman in the congregation. We are responsible for lessons on Sunday and monthly activities, but more

  • Reply
    Lindsay Swoboda
    December 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Merry Christmas to you, and so happy you had a day of complete family bliss and relaxation! I adore the little fabric strawberries, my Nana had some like that when I was a child, so sweet! I hope to make some handmade ornaments for our tree in this upcoming year as well;)

  • Reply
    O meu pensamento viaja
    December 27, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Happy new year, dear Amy!<br />Hugs from Portugal.<br />Nina

  • Reply
    Nancy
    December 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Wow Relief Society President on top of your busy family and your amazing career. I love how the Lord makes room in our days for our passions when we make room in our hearts to serve Him. Thank you for the beautiful picture of the Temple. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Texas!<br />

  • Reply
    pitbull
    December 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Merry Christmas, Amy! You have always been my idol, and even more so now that I have learned you are RS President. The Lord knows what He&#39;s doing in calling you. I hope you and your family enjoyed your Christmas, and wish you nothing but the best for the coming year. Hugs, elaine

  • Reply
    Margo Yang
    December 28, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Amy. Wow RS president too. I don&#39;t know how you&#39;re doing it all. I was asked by a dear friend to join in the Days for Girls project. We are going to sew the hygiene kits.

  • Reply
    carolg
    December 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you for your efforts for the Ecuadorean women, Amy. Thrilled to see how much was raised! My daughter and I are stocking up on sale flannel for days for girls. All the best to you for the New Year.

  • Reply
    SewPsyched!
    December 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    That&#39;s the perfect Christmas!! Wishing you an equally fulfilling and wonder-filled New Year!!<br />And THANK YOU for all that you do, not the least of which is spearheading so many worthy causes. XX!!

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    December 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Sounds like a great Christmas all round, hope you have a fab new year too :o)

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