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Places to Donate Fabric + Sew Goodness Charity Challenge

Looking forward: January always puts me in the mood to purge. If you’re looking to start the new year fresh and want to give fabric to a good cause, here are some places to give. (Before you send off fabric willy-nilly, I do recommend contacting the organization directly before to donate to understand their specific needs.)

If you’re looking for places to Donate Fabric, Batting or Thread try:

Many local Quilts of Valor chapters will gladly take quality red, white, and blue fabric.

Check your local Days for Girls chapter. They typically need dark and patterned flannels and quilting cottons.

Check with a local Quilt Guild. Guilds frequently head up charity projects. You can find your local quilt guild using this list of world wide traditional quilt guilds here and local Modern Quilt Guilds here  and ask them if they’re looking for any donations.

19 Quilts for Natalie is an organization that provides quilts for cancer patients and grieving parents dealing with the loss of a child.

Serving with Smiles is a Humanitarian organization that empowers kids to help serve. They can always use fabric and batting donations for blankets, bags, and quilt.

Annie’s Star Quilt Guild in Chico, California is collecting fabric and sewing donations for those who lost everything in the recent Camp Fire in Northern California.

Quilts of Compassion is a group that coordinates quilts for areas affected by disasters.

Check out this post from Sew Mama Sew for more great ideas and suggestions for donating fabric.

One reader said she donates fabric to her local women’s prison where they teach quilting classes. You might want to check your local resources like prisons, homeless shelters, or refugee relief agencies that may teach sewing and quilting classes.

If you know of other organizations (or you are one) looking for fabric donations, please leave a comment or contact me directly at amy@diaryofaquilter.com.

For other project ideas for Charitable Sewing check out the list on the Sew Goodness page.

Opportunities to sew for charity

I have learned a lot from hosting the Sew Goodness monthly challenge this year. My goal was to up my charity sewing and contributions. Ideally, my hope was to sew a simple charity sewing project each month. Looking back I learned a lot  – especially about pacing myself and how much I could manage. Maybe you did too.

For the December Sew Goodness challenge, I’m going to put a little twist on things: my challenge for you this month is to make face to face contact with someone you’re serving.

Whether you hand-deliver something you’ve made, volunteer at an organization or facility that takes care of others, or you just spend time with a person who could use some Christmas cheer. If you’re looking for place or people that need help, visit JustServe.org or CreatetheGood.org. Chances are good, however, that you won’t even need to look outside your immediate neighborhood for someone who could use some extra love.

I’m speaking for myself on this, but I love sewing and making things that I hope will make someone’s life better. That feels so good – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!

But I also know that it’s easy to just stay in my comfort zone – in my sweatpants sitting at my happy sewing machine – and missing out on the human interaction part of helping.

We learned this lesson this past year. Last Christmas our family signed up to be a Sub for Santa for a local refugee family. They are natives of Bhutan and lived for years in a refugee camp in Nepal. The family consisted of two elderly parents and a young adult son who was both supporting his parents and putting himself through community college. After meeting this young man and his parents, we arranged a time to deliver some basic necessities that would help them. Before we came, the young man called to say that his sister and her husband and small children would like to host us for lunch to say thank you.

This adorable family fed us the most amazing lunch. (Have you ever tried Nepalese Momos? They’re one of my new favorite foods!) Our family took up almost all of the space in their tiny apartment kitchen (they reassured us they would eat later) and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this family.

They invited us for traditional Nepalese food again this summer. Thinking I’d be generous, I filled a brown paper lunch bag with fresh tomatoes from my garden to bring to them. Following our visit, they handed us three giant bags of produce they’d grown in their community garden plot. On the way home, I had to laugh at the irony – I thought I was being generous, but I received SO much more than I’d given! (There’s a good metaphor in there…)

Since that time we’ve taken them on some outings to local sites and this sweet Bhutanese family has become our friends. We love them so much! And I think they like us too. I think that for them, the friendship is so much more important to them than any food or Christmas gifts we gave them.

So, keep up all the good you are doing. Don’t overdo or out pace yourself. Remember, small and simple gifts and contributions go a long way! And just being a friend, costs nothing!

As I look ahead for 2019, I’m making some minor adjustments to my charitable sewing plan and learning how to better pace myself. Charity sewing is still an important aspect of my sewing life, so I look forward to continuing to work on projects and to share good causes. I’ve decided I won’t look for a different cause/project every month, but I will continue to share opportunities and good causes as they come up.

And I’ll continue to leave the link to the Sew Goodness page permanently on the right hand sidebar of my blog for easy access to a (growing) list of Charitable causes in need of donations.

Also, remember if you made a quilt or project for charity this year, share and tag with #charityqal or email Dara Tomassen so that she can add you to her giveaway! (Details in this post.)

Thank you all for continuing to inspire me with the goodness that SO many of you are already sharing with the world!

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Little Bird Quilting
    December 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you! ❤️ I had just sent this quote to my sweet missionary. The spirit makes you get goose bumps sometimes!

  • Reply
    Cheryl B.
    December 13, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I’m feeling a bit down today after an argument with my husband of 41 years. Looking outside myself to giving is just the medicine I need to get a new perspective on my day. I am ready to start donating fabric I know I won’t use so thank you for this post. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    Cyndi
    December 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I am so grateful to find your post. I’m am going through overwhelming life changes and one of the biggest is releasing myself from my 30 year accumulation of quilting cottons and many assorted garment fabrics. I am down sizing from a 4 bedroom home with a 7 member family to a one bedroom, one person no job prospect life. I am surrounded by boxes of good quality fabric from a 15 year stint at a high end brick and mortar quilt shop. Enough said 😉. I am going to browse the links and hopefully find new homes for my dear friends. If anyone reading is looking for something, let me know.

    • Reply
      Amy
      December 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Oh, I’m glad this post was helpful! I hope that great fabric will find a wonderful home and be a load off of you. Wishing you the very best during this time of transition. xo

  • Reply
    Margie Matheny
    December 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Please consider donating fabric &/or yarn to your local chapter of Newborns in Need! We make many items for babies 0-6 months & moms in need. Also beautiful angel gowns & memoral envelopes when needed. Even better….find a chapter nearby and considering joining! I’m sure they’d love having you!!

    • Reply
      Amy
      December 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this charity! I wasn’t familiar with them and I’m so glad to find out!

  • Reply
    Lori
    December 25, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Project Linus is another organization that welcomes donations. There are chapters all across Canada and the US.

    • Reply
      Amy
      December 26, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      I love Project Linus. Do you know if Project Linus takes fabric donations, or only finished quilts?

  • Reply
    B. H. Ball
    December 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    check to see if you have senior center. Our senior center has two quilting groups. We make charity quilts for our new borns at our rural hospital and Christmas quilts for the clients of our DHS. Also my church has a quilting group that makes quilts for our local Hospice and anyone going through a “bad time” in their life.

    • Reply
      Amy
      December 28, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      That is such a great idea!

  • Reply
    Eileen Grout
    January 13, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Hi I’ve only just found this great site. I live in the UK and am a “novice” quilter but my husband has recently been diagnosed with prostrate cancer and I’m getting involved with the great organisation called “Maggies” and to my knowledge nobody has introduced patchwork and B H Ball’s comment got me thinking, but it’s where to begin and I’m only a novice myself! Any suggestions. Eileen

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