November Update

No surprise  – Sew for Hope will not be meeting in person in November. But we have lots of good stuff to share with you. First is a lovely thank you note from Diane Fogarty of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

I have been overwhelmed by the number of quilts Sew for Hope has contributed to SHP for the kids. My husband and I made a delivery today for three boys,( 7, 15 and 17) and brought three quilts today. All the boys were happy to receive something home made especially for them. The 15 year old said “I can’t believe someone made these quilts for us. I will treasure it forever.” He melted my heart!

A million thanks to everyone working on these quilts!!! And thanks to Donna for a wonderful article. She captured the mission and building process of SHP beautifully.

Diane Fogarty

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The last newsletter not only resulted in Diane’s lovely thank you, it also inspired this poem!

Piecework
For Julie F.

A woman is piecing a quilt
for a child who has no bed.

Another will bind the edges,
another will stitch the layers,
and other good people
are building the bed.

The woman feeds the bright pieces
to the hungry needle
and thinks of a child
asleep on the floor.
Does she sleep in her clothes?
Is his mother sick?

She sews another seam
and clips the thread,
daydreaming her hands
are smoothing the quilt
and soothing the child
in a newly made bed.

She imagines she is telling
a bedtime story about
the building of the bed,
the sewing of the quilt,
the day the bed came,
and what the child said
before falling asleep
and sleeping in peace.

Marda Messick, 2020

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John Cousins, the head of Tallahassee’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace project, wrote to say he had shared how the quilting groups were supporting SHP when he was interviewed for an article in the Tallahassee Democrat about SHP being nominated for this year’s Giving Tuesday funding.

The Beatitude Foundation hosts, plans and underwrites Giving Tuesday each year through the Tallahassee Democrat. #GIVETLH separately spotlights 9 local nonprofits in the Tallahassee Democrat.  Each of the organizations will receive a $2,000 grant just for being nominated. The local community then chooses the top 3 and they are announced on giving Tuesday. The 1st prize is $10,000, 2nd prize is $5,000 and 3rd prize is $2,000.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Tallahassee Chapter has been selected to be one of 9 nonprofits to compete for $10K in awards.   Should they be voted #1, this will enable them to build another 50 bunk beds or 100 kids off the floor in our town!!!!  Giving Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 1st this year. Watch the Tallahassee Democrat on how to vote!

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And last, but not least, many of you have been quilting up a storm. Here are some photos that were sent in to Sew for Hope.Click on quilt tops to see larger display.

Donna Dye’s quilts

 

 

 

 

 

Quilt tops are by Suzy Smith

 

 

Update for October

Sew for HOPE is still not meeting in person but that doesn’t mean great things aren’t happening in sewing around the area. Rags to Bags, a project of Sustainable Tallahassee, stopped making bags when COVID-19 struck and started making masks. Since March, 9,900 kits were picked up from their Thursday drop-off site, 14,247 masks were dropped off and they distributed 12,052 hand-made masks plus 93,000 Department of Health masks. Phenomenal job! They have decided to end the drive-through after the October 29 date, donating all masks on hand to the Power of Life foundation event in Jacksonville on 10/31. They hope to begin making bags again in January.

Since many of our quilts are going to Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SIHP), Donna Dye decided to visit one of the SIHP bunk bed builds. Here is her report:

The Bunk Bed Project
By Donna J. Dye

It’s difficult to imagine but there are children, including teenagers, who have a home but do not have a bed, pillow, and associated linens. It is not just happening in third world countries but also right here in the United States, including Tallahassee. In 2012, this unfortunate situation was recognized by residents of Kimberly, Idaho who wanted “a safe, comfortable place” for children ages 3 to 18 to lay their heads. A national 501(c)(3) was formed and the rest, as they say, is history. Corporate sponsors were found, volunteers were solicited, the construction process was established, and application guidelines were developed. Sleep In Heavenly Peace (SIHP) was off and running with its motto…No kid sleeps on the floor in our town®.

John Cousins, a Tallahassee resident, learned of the organization and established the SIHP Tallahassee Chapter in 2018. The chapter serves the Big Bend area and meets two Saturdays a month for “Build Day” during which 9 to 12 beds (accommodates 18 to 24 children – remember these are bunk beds) are constructed. The Build Day meetings are generally held in the parking lot of a corporate sponsor. The construction begins with raw lumber (no kits for SIHP!) which is measured, cut, sanded, drilled, screws/nails inserted, stained, and branded with the SIHP logo. All the finished components are logically organized so that the bunk beds can be readily assembled at the applicant’s home on a pre-arranged day.

Tallahassee Build Days usually have 25 to 45 volunteers, including staff from the corporate sponsor. The Build Day site is organized into 12 or 14 teams with each team responsible for a specific component of the construction process. Each team has a team leader who has to know the entire bunk bed construction process as he/she is not always the team leader for only one construction aspect. No babysitter, no problem – bring your child (over the age of 5) to a Tallahassee Build Day and introduce him/her to community service. One Saturday had two five-year olds who were put to work counting out 20 screws and placing them in a baggie, only to be repeated again and again!

SIHP Tallahassee connected with Sew For Hope in 2019 and SFH began sharing its hand-crafted quilts with SIHP as well as its original mission of quilts for children living at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition. SFH learned that Big Bend Homeless Coalition had an abundance of SFH quilts so it was decided SFH would concentrate on quilts approximately 45″ by 60″ for the Bunk Bed Project and to date has donated many, many quilts to SIHP. So many children are proud recipients of a hand-crafted bed and a hand-crafted quilt. Three of the SFH ladies are also members of the American Sewing Guild, Tallahassee Chapter and always share (i.e., show off) their quilts made for Sleep In Heavenly Peace.

A recent Saturday found ASG/SFH member Donna Dye, her husband Gary Sharpe, and their friend Vince Trimarco at a Build Day. The guys were actually put to work on one of the construction teams while Donna spoke with two SIHP members about the organization and the building process. Speaking as Donna…I was extremely impressed with the number of volunteers, the orderliness of the build process, the dedication of people, the volunteers knew what to do and never slowed down the 1 1/2 hours I was there. WOW, I was impressed!! Several SIHP workers told me the children are overwhelmed with the gift of a bed and linens, they are overcome with joy, some children and their parent shed tears of joy at the gifts. When her grandchild received his quilt, a grandmother cried about the “labor of love by some lady.”

How can you help, you ask? Well, make quilt(s) to donate, make a monetary donation to SIHP, go to a Build Day, purchase readymade twin size bed linens/pillows/bed coverings. Visit the Sleep In Heavenly Peace website www.SHPbeds.org or contact John Cousins, Tallahassee SIHP president at john.cousins@shpbeds.org for more information about volunteering and Tallahassee’s specific needs.

John Cousins, SIHP Tallahassee president and Donna Dye with American Sewing Guild and Sew For Hope holding one of her quilts.

 

A completed bunk bed. The black markings on the bed are the branded SIHP logo which is the very last step of the construction process.

What to do with those quilts!

August 2010

Greetings all you in Sew for Hope land!

Due to COVID-19, Sew for Hope will not to be meeting in September. Since many of you have been very busy making quilts, you are probably wondering what you are going to do with all that production. Well, the answer has arrived. Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), otherwise known as the bunk bed project, has been able to start making beds again in a socially distanced manner and needs quilts to go with them. Quilts can be twin size or smaller. Some of the smaller quilts are given to younger brothers or sisters of the bed recipient. If you have finished quilts that you are willing to share with SHP, please drop them off directly at:

The Living Harvest Thrift Store
​MIDTOWN- WEST TALLAHASSEE
1219 West Tharpe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32303
850-536-6082

They are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm.  It is always a good idea to call ahead to make sure someone is there and can handle a drop-off, especially if you do not want to go into the store physically.

Staying Safe

Hello Dear Friends,

We hope you’re all staying safe and feeling great.

As the number of Covid-19 cases is still on the rise in Leon County and Tallahassee, Sew for HOPE  has decided to postpone group meetings at St Stephen Lutheran until further notice.  In the meantime, our volunteers have made (and are continuing to make) thousands of face masks for friends, hospitals, and shelters. When the going gets tough, quilters make masks. But we’re also continuing to make blankets and quilts in our sewing rooms at home. Why? Because we know that sewing is our superpower.

Thanks for all you do,

The Sew for Hope Sisters

Sew for HOPE will suspend its work meetings!

Due to the restrictions recommended to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, Sew for HOPE work meetings at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month are being suspended until further notice. We will send out an email when the CDC and Leon County health officials have deemed it safe to meet in groups again.

We expect that everyone will welcome more quilting time! Finally, a chance to finish those UFO’s!