January always puts me in the mood to purge. If you’re cleaning out your stash as part of a fresh start to the new year and want to give fabric to a good cause, I’ve updated the list of places to donate fabric. I’ve updated the list this year. Before you send off fabric willy-nilly, I do recommend contacting the organization directly before you donate to understand their specific needs.
Places to Donate Fabric, Batting or Thread:
The Forget Me Not Project is doing good at home and abroad. Renee teaches women in her local prison in Mississippi how to sew and these women make items to be sent to children in Uganda. You can contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
19 Quilts for Natalie is an organization that provides quilts for cancer patients and grieving parents dealing with the loss of a child.
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.
Sew Blessed Kentuckiana makes clothing to donate to children in third world countries.
Serving with Smiles is a Humanitarian organization in Utah that empowers kids to help serve. They can always use fabric and batting donations for blankets, bags, and quilt.
Looking for a local organization in need of donations?
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.
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 email@example.com.
For other project ideas for Charitable Sewing check out the list on the Sew Goodness page.
A couple of years ago I hosted a Sew Goodness monthly challenge that taught me a lot about sewing for good causes. There are SO many out there. 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. A few Christmases ago 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.
Later the next summer, they invited us for traditional Nepalese food again. 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 dear 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.
2020 made it much more difficult to help people in person. We’ve all been so isolated for the past many months. And yet, I’ve been so touched by the stories of people finding ways to reach out or sew face masks, or surgical caps or gowns, or use that time in isolation to make a difference with all kinds of charitable sewing causes. Many of you have shared with me what you’ve been working on, and it’s inspired me and reminded me of the vast goodness that can be done by helping hands.
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!
If you’re looking for charitable causes that always need help, check out the Sew Goodness page for a list of Charitable causes in need of donations.
Thank you all for continuing to inspire me with the goodness that SO many of you are already sharing with the world!