Three small ways to give this Christmas season

A few years ago, I wrote about our warm fuzzy jar and the real meaning of Christmas. In the last week I’ve come across a few small ways to make a big difference for other people. And as a result you can receive your own dose of the “warm fuzzies.” With a small contribution from many warm hearts I think the cumulative effect will make a profound difference. I firmly believe that through “small and simple things” great things will happen.

My awesome neighbor Cheryl is a recently retired Elementary school teacher and is volunteering as a missionary for our church, along with her husband, in Tulcan, Ecuador. While there they have identified some real needs and are trying to make a difference one life at a time. These sweet ladies with Cheryl have a small business selling aprons made from locally produced textiles.

Many of their husbands work 7 days a week to provide for their families, earning only $300-400 a month. These women have found a way to supplement their families’ income by selling aprons and other handmade goods in local markets where there is a demand. The trouble is most of the work is done by hand because they only have one machine between them and it is an old, treadle (non-electric) Singer.

I want to help these women so they can help their families, by getting them at least two new sewing machines (if not more). The machines will be purchased locally, minimizing the cost. Want to help me? I’ve set up a GoFundMe account. I think if enough of us contribute about $3.00 (the cost of a Fat Quarter) we can do this easily! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

(requires Credit Card and a $5 minimum)

OR to contribute via PayPal click the Donate button

(no minimum – I will add the funds to the Go Fund Me campaign)

Lauren is a young mom in Pennsylvania who has committed to make personalized quilts for children fighting chronic illness. I love Lauren’s generosity.

Lauren is looking for donations to help offset the cost to her young family. You can read more about it at the blog FundaQuilt. She has a goal to have 100 $1.00 donations before Christmas.  Want to help? You can donate directly via Payal here or via credit card here.

One more: I recently received an email from Sarah, a social work student a Fordham University who is doing an internship at a senior citizen residence in Brooklyn, New York. She has formed a Quilting group for the residents, teaching them how to quilt, and giving them something to enjoy. They just acquired a sewing machine but are in need of fabric donations for the residents to work with. Most of the textiles they’ve been given are too heavy for quilting. If you have some excess fabric to share, this would be a great way to contribute to a cause that could really use it. Go here for more information, or you can email Sarah directly at slee(@)bsdcorp.org. (Remove the parentheses around the @ before you try to email.)

Obviously, there are dozens more similar causes where we can work together to make a meaningful difference for someone. If you’re aware of other similar causes, please feel free to leave the information in the comments section for others to see.

UPDATE: Here are a few other links to great quilting/sewing ways to give:


By far, my favorite part of the Christmas season is finding ways to love others more than we love ourselves = that reminder that “perhaps Christmas means a little bit more.” Wishing a happy Christmas (or Hanukkah or whatever holiday is most near and dear to you and your loved ones) to all of you! I feel blessed to know of so many good WiseMen (and Women).

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  • Reply
    Christals Creations
    December 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    What inspirational people.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    What a beautiful, heart-felt post and what an inspiration to all of us. xo Diana

  • Reply
    December 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    You have a very kind heart, Amy. Thank you for bringing the needs of these good people to the attention of your many blog readers.

  • Reply
    Katie @SwimBikeQuilt
    December 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    What a great post. Thanks, Amy.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Great ideas! I tried to email Sarah but it was undeliverable, looks like it might be bSDcorp and is perhaps a typo above :)<br />

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Argh! Thanks SO much for catching that. D&#39;oh. I fixed it in the post. THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    Pieces of Cotton
    December 15, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Amy, FTY – the GoFundMe site requires a minimum donation of $5.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Shoot – I didn&#39;t realize that. Thanks for the heads up. I&#39;m going to set up a separate way to contribute via PayPal too. Thanks!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I can&#39;t tell you how reading this post affected me. THIS is what Christmas is about. I live on my social security but am surrounded by lovng family and friends. I am going to do everything I can to help in a small way each of these wonderful people. With what I spend on fabric, I can surely share with others. One of the best posts of the year. Thank you.

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

      That is so generous of you, Rosemary. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Thread Head Clare
    December 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Amy, your post today made me a bit teary (but in a good way!) as it is so easy to lose sight of the spirit of giving to those less fortunate that *should* be at the core of the Christmas season. You words were inspiring and show what a positive influence the internet can have. Thank you for posting this message! I have learned so much from your blog. Know how much I appreciate you sharing

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 15, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Aww, thank you. Your kind words meant so much.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 10:08 am

    thank you, Amy! I shared the fund for the ladies in Ecuador on Facebook. I hope the can get what they need.

  • Reply
    Kim Domingue
    December 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    In reference to the ladies in Ecuador, I would suggest purchasing some older Singer&#39;s from the 50&#39;s. They are sturdy workhorse machines. They have no plastic parts, are easy to operate, easy to fix, don&#39;t require special thread or needles, will sew through most any fabric and seldom require a visit to the &quot;sewing machine doctor&quot;. Newer machines also seem to have a much

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Amy:<br />Thanks for posting this and since you&#39;ve asked, can I recommend that your readers consider supporting Days for Girls (www.daysforgirls.org)? This organization makes and distributes reusable menstrual pads for girls and women throughout the developing world. <br /><br />I&#39;ve worked in developing countries and I can tell you from first hand experience that young girls often are

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    December 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hope those ladies in Ecuador get their machines soon, and it would be awesome if we raised enough for even more machines than their initial target.<br /><br />Good luck to the other charities too :o)

  • Reply
    Pam Walton
    December 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Bless you, Amy.<br />Pam from Canada

  • Reply
    Allison Babcock
    December 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you, Amy, for reminding us all about the true meaning of Christmas and ways we can serve.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks Amy!! Is there any way to buy the aprons from Ecuador? I love them!

    • Reply
      amy smart
      December 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      I hope so! I&#39;ll keep you posted!<br />

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