Faith Lutheran Church boasts a very large and active world-relief ministry driven by a dedicated group of ladies. Primarily, the group’s purpose is to sew by machine, blankets for those living in adverse conditions, like refugee camps and poverty-stressed regions, and in the wake of natural disasters.
This strong, Christian-based group, begun in 2009, is made up of both Faith Church members and members of the community. In a warm, welcoming environment, the ladies help each other learn new sewing techniques, share ideas, and generally have fun. Working through the Canadian Lutheran World Relief, the ladies gather in the church hall each Tuesday throughout the year. In addition to sewing many hundreds of blankets annually, they also make sundresses, shorts, and assemble CLWR We Care kits. They also gather school supplies, hygiene items, and small toys.
Almost all of the fabrics used are donated, as are many of the sewing machines. Other sewing machines, supplies, and batting are purchased through various grants.
Blankets are destined for places like Mauritania, Nicaragua, and Zambia. (Africa is heavily supported.) Since 2012, it has been involved in the annual CLWR Ontario Baling Days. Volunteers from surrounding area groups sort, fold, bale, and load a shipping container destined for an overseas area in need providing some much-needed basic necessities.
The group welcomes visitors any Tuesday and invites anyone to join who might find this work meaningful and fulfilling to them. There is a job for everyone, whether skilled in sewing, or not.
Good friends are like quilts. They age with you, yet never lose their warmth.
ANNUAL REPORT SEWING GROUP 2017
Canadian Lutheran World Relief Mission: Inspired by God’s love for humanity, CLWR challenges the causes and responds to the consequences of human suffering and poverty.
Much Christian activity continues to be witnessed each and every Tuesday generated by Faith’s Sewing Group of over 30 ladies. Although its main focus is the sewing of blankets, the ladies also include other projects. In 2017, 969 blankets were sewn, 157 sundresses and shorts made, 16 Teacher’s Kits completed, and many boxes of miscellaneous school supplies, hygiene items, baby clothing, and toys were gathered. Also, a generous number of baby items were given to a local government-sponsored refugee family who was expecting a child in December.
The very special Teacher’s Kits project this year was born out of a fundraiser held in November 2016 realizing more than $1,300.00. Each of the highly-coveted kits of supplies tools a teacher to set up a classroom for 20 students and even includes a soccer ball for physical activity.
To support improved, energy-efficient LED lighting in areas of the church, primarily in the basement hall, the group completed its commitment totalling approximately $1,800.00. The illuminated work stations are now more conducive to close sewing and the ladies truly benefit.
In April, contributions to the Ontario Baling Days included 1,103 blankets, 10 Teacher’s Kits, 200 sundresses and shorts, and many boxes of miscellaneous items for We Care Kits. The total number of blankets loaded on to the 20-ft. shipping container was 1,699. Brantford’s ladies can be very proud of their strong commitment to this annual endeavour by their contribution of both goods and labour augmented by some husbands as well. The two-day project was held at the Christian Aid Ministries in Wallenstein, Ontario. Nine volunteers from Brantford on April 24 and 12 on April 25 helped area churches fill the container destined for the Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (now a part of Tanzania), an associate field program of the Lutheran World Federation department for world service.
CLWR holds several Baling Days annually from different Canadian locations. Ontario is the most recent venture. Since each shipment is based on space taken in the 20 or 40-ft. container, bulky blankets are compressed into bales to take full advantage of the available space. Containers are shipped overseas to the nearest port of their destinations and then must be transported over land, sometimes many miles on often rough roadways. To help defray the cost of shipping expenses, the Brantford group contributed $660.00 this year. Two designated donations, some remaining funds from the CLWR Clothing Depot, and Sewing funds combined to make this possible.
In June, the group was awarded an ELCIC Women of Faith grant for $1,500.00.
In August, a large number of the ladies travelled to Hamilton to view the beautiful, gigantic, 263-block Quilt of Belonging exhibition. Recognizing that everyone has a story to tell, each culture represented displayed a unique beauty in its block.
A Brantford City grant was received in September in the amount of $2,250.00.
Many blessings of time, talents, and financial gifts continue to inspire this group’s work to be “In Mission for Others.”