Friday 21 August 2015

Helping Others Through Sewing...

... if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others. … Sam Levenson

Today I've put together a list of charities that accept hand sewn projects in one form or another.  As sewists, we often have extra sewing supplies that are looking for a good home. Some of us even have so much fabric, that it feels good to sew just in order to decrease the stash a little. Ha, ha... that's me - a project or two hardly makes a dent in the stash.

Helping Others Through Sewing... a list of charities that accept hand sewn projects in one form or another. Charity Sewing ~ Threading My Way

If you find that you have a huge stash you'll never use up, a little spare time and are running out of family and friends to sew for, then a little charity sewing may be the way to go. You'll feel good and it'll make someone else's day, too.

I have only personally sewn for a couple of the charities mentioned...

As I don't have first hand knowledge of all the charities listed, the information mentioned is from websites, blogs and Facebook pages.

It's probably a good idea to check with the charity before beginning to sew, just to make sure they are still in need of the items and that contact details, etc are still relevant. I recently sewed and sent off some pillowcases, only to find that the group are overstocked. Had I enquired via a quick email before hand, I could have sent the pillowcases elsewhere.

Days for Girls International: Feminine Hygiene Program... Every Girl. Everywhere. Period. Their mission is to create a more dignified, free and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions. There are many chapters throughout the world.

Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress. This is the aim of Dress a Girl Around the World. There are chapters around the world and within many states of the U.S. The Australian chapter is the one I have sent dresses and shorts to.

Fluff Project (large) The Fluff Project is all about making stuffed toys for children in foster care. What started as a monthly project, co-ordinated by Kristy, from Hopeful Threads, has now turned into an ongoing drive.

Aussie Hero Quilts & Laundry Bags is designed to encourage sewers to make quilts and laundry bags for Aussie Servicemen and Women currently serving overseas. They care about the person, not the politics or the mission.

American Hero Quilts was established to provide recognition and appreciation to wounded U.S. service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They think of each quilt as a metaphoric hug and a way to express their gratitude for service to their country.

Angels for the Forgotten, an Australian charity, assists children and families who have experienced the foster care system, domestic violence and homelessness. Via the Angel Bag program, community donations of hand made items can give a vulnerable individual or family comfort in a time of need

Nanny + Friends Charity Sew, is a closed Facebook group run by Margie from Nanny Craft 4U. The group sews for a variety of Australian charities. At the moment they are sewing pillowcases for Angels for the Forgotten. I have helped in the past when they made quilts for many who had lost their houses to bush fires.

Little Dresses for Africa & Britches for Boys is a Christian organisation providing relief to children throughout the Continent of Africa and beyond. Volunteers from around the world sew pillowcase dresses and shorts.

Project Linus volunteers, known as blanketeers, provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatised children. There are chapters throughout the U.S. 

Precious Hearts, an Australian charity, delivers care packages to children recovering from heart surgery. They are always looking for donations of items that can go into the care packages

The Sew Powerful Purse Project is a finished product drive where seamstresses around the world use a free pattern from Liberty Jane to sew purses for a school aged girls in Nambia. The purses are filled with reusable feminine hygiene products that are made by local seamstresses, without which the average girl in East Africa would miss 6 weeks of school per year.

Tiny Sparks WA (Australia) need volunteer sewers to assist in making IV friendly dresses and t-shirts for very tiny premature babies.

The Angel Gown® Program supports families who have lost a baby. They provide comfort for bereaved families through the gift of a beautiful custom made gown for final photos and for burial services. Seamstresses make the Angel Gowns from donated wedding dresses. The program runs in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Australia.

The Handmade with Love Project offers beginner to advanced sewers from all over Australia who love to sew and make beautiful handmade things, an opportunity to channel their creative skills into making Soft Toys and Snuggle and Care Quilts for the sick children at Sydney Children's Hospital.

Pillowcases for Oncology Kids donate pillowcases to children undergoing treatment for cancer, in hospitals around Australia. I try to sew a few pillowcases each year. At the moment they have a surplus of pillowcases and are not accepting any more.

ConKerr Cancer is dedicated to children in treatment for childhood cancer. They aim to deliver smiles to kids in hospitals by sewing colourful pillowcases. There are many chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The One Million Pillowcase Challenge is run by American Patchwork and Quilting. They are challenging quilters, sewers and crafters to help them reach their goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities. From what I can gather, the One Million Pillowcase Challenge is set up for the U.S., although Australian Pillowcases for Oncology Kids is listed as one of the charities to donate to. The suggested charities list is huge and I have only quickly skimmed, so quite possibly there are charities from other countries as well. Conkerr Cancer is on their list.

Volunteers from Blaire Bears sew special teddy bears that they give to bereaved families for storage of their baby/child's urn. They even supply the necessary material. The program operates within Australia.

There's lots of sewing drives for charity that pop up through the year, but I've chosen to only list the ongoing ones. If you are aware of other charities where sewists can help, please leave details in the comments, preferably with contact details for the drive / charity to save me searching. As you leave me links, I'll add them to the list.
... Pam


  1. The list is good. I should take some time out to sew for some one really in need.. Would make someone's world a little happier. Thank you Pam for sharing it.

  2. What a great list Pam - I'm saving this for future sewing projects - so many great causes - and my fabric stash is huge!!

  3. What a great list to put out there in a post. There are a few very local initiatives to me that I've supported recently but I really ought to research a bit more what's up and organised in the UK.

  4. Hi there,
    Would you consider please adding Blaire Bears to the list? They're always in need of volunteers to sew special teddy bears that they give to bereaved families for storage of their baby/child's urn. They even supply the necessary material.
    Thanks so much!

  5. Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation in S. Dakota are always in need of hand-made items such as baby supplies, blankets, etc. I've worked with them for many years, they are great. Everything goes through the schools, no middle men.

    1. I'll add Pine Ridge when I update this post in the near future, Cathy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. A few years ago I sewed up some pencil cases for the reservation.

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