We call ourselves the "Sew Good Works" committee (SGWs). SGWs is a featured ministry on the St James web site at http://www.stjamesrh.org/ministries/sgw/sgw.shtml and we were highlighted on a local program CROSSROADS in May of 2003. Our mission is to create items of warm and comfort in the spirit of friendship, doing God's work one stitch at a time. We send our best wishes to all our women friends that stitch for charity! We are a group of women from Saint James RC Church in Rocky Hill, CT that meet in our parish hall to knit, crochet and sew items for charity. Our skills range from very basic to very good, and there is so much we learn from one another!
We started out with a few women meeting occasionally to work on a specific project and now have up to 35 women who meet faithfully once a month. One of our founding members, Sandy Rokosz, gives crochet and knitting lessons to help those who may be just starting or needing to brush-up on their skills.
During 2003 the group completed over 600 items of warmth and comfort - quilts, afghans, blankets, skirts, hats, scarves, mittens, vests, booties, shawls, lap robes, headbands, shorts, tops, dresses, etc. Although most of our items are slated for local families in need and many of the Hartford-area shelters, we have sent donations to an Appalachian project in Kentucky, to an orphanage in Haiti, to a Lakota Indian reservation in South Dakota and to children in refugee camps in Afghanistan. A special project provided 60 chemo caps and 40 surgical pillows in tapestry tote bags for our local cancer center.
Each workshop starts with prayer and has an afternoon session from 2 - 4 p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. so that as many people as possible can attend at a time that is convenient. We encourage members to bring along a friend or family member, or to tell us of a home bound person who would like to join us. We will pick them up and bring them to our workshop, or provide them with the materials, yarn, etc. to work from home. Youngsters looking for community service opportunities have joined our group and learned to knit or sew for the first time
At the beginning of every session, we set up a "donation" table. Members bring in completed projects that were worked on during the month and the piles grow until the evening session is over. In order to fund our work, we accept donations of yarn, material and patterns and each month have a "regifting" raffle. That's where we all bring in those "special" gifts that we receive but never use. It's a great way to recycle the items into cash to purchase our favorite Lion Brand yarn!! It seems like each session brings us a new member and a few new projects to work on. In the process, we have formed lasting friendships and received so much more than we give.
We would encourage you to join with other women in groups small or large and share the powerful feeling of time spent to "Sew Good Works!"