Big smiles, open hearts!

I talked to Rebecca yesterday. She’s teaching our newest local programs at the Catholic Multicultural Center here in Madison. These classes are kind of a pilot thing that began with the classes for Bhutanese refugees in the spring. Rebecca’s expanded that program for Hispanic members of the community, teaching basic sewing machine use and simple, fun projects. I asked Rebecca to be the Lead on this project for many reasons…first of all, she’ so flexible. She adapts her teaching to the student’s interests and skill levels and does it so effectively. She’s warm and kind and most of all, she dives right in. We were promised a translator for these classes which need to be in Spanish and sometimes the translator is there, sometimes not. Does this stop Rebecca? Not for a moment! She dives in with her growing Spanish vocabulary and keeps things moving!

So I gave her a call yesterday to see how it all was going. She’s pleased with the progress, and I could hear the smile in her voice when she described how the students are teaching her Spanish while she teaches them sewing.

We’d decided that students who completed all six sessions, and the Pay it Forward component (making something for a charitable cause) would be able to take home their machine at the end of the class. She shared this information with the women just the other day and she couldn’t find the words to describe the joy that filled the room. “Some of the ladies were in tears,” she said. A new tool, a new skill, and new hope!

I am headed over to the Center this afternoon to help her with today’s class. I can’t wait.


  1. The class has been a big inspiration to me also, Margaret. As the unofficial “assistant” I and thrilled to get to know these beautiful Latino people and to polish my Spanish… it’s a sewing class and a language class… however we still have not learned the word for grain as in grain of the fabric or cross grain… =)

    • As I wrote that post, Cherie, I thought, “I need to write a post just about the volunteers who are helping with this class.” Thank you, thank you for so gracefully stepping in. I was there on your first day and watched as you warmed up the room with your bright smile and your gentle, “buenas dias!”.
      Thank you, thank you!

  2. This is so awesome, and I can feel your excitement, and know how those ladies feel about the gift of a machine. I haven’t always had ‘things’, and what a blessing you are giving to them! Bless you!


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