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December Christmas Charitable Sewing Challenge

We’ve reached the end of our Sew Goodness charitable sewing challenge for 2018. 

The 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.

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

Opportunities to sew for charity

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!

Places to Donate Fabric - a list of charities

Also, if you’ve got lots of excess fabric on hand and wanting to purge, I’ve updated my list of Places to Donate Fabric here.

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13 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

  • Reply
    Peg Weedman
    September 10, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    We are a sewing ministry, Sew Blessed Kentuckiana. We make tee shirt dresses for girls in third world countries. We sew a cotton fabric skirt onto a cute tee, making a dress. You can see examples of our work on our Facebook page. We are always in need of pretty cottons and lightweight knits.
    We made/sent nearly 5,000 dresses last year – 1,700 to be added in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

    • Reply
      Amy
      September 11, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Fantastic! What wonderful work you are doing. And thank you so much for sharing your information – I frequently get requests from people where to donate extra fabric – I’m glad they can send it to you!

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