Not that long ago I was contacted by John, the owner of All Brands, based in Baton Rouge, LA. Initially, we discussed All Brands becoming a collection site for machines and this, in itself, is a wonderful thing. We’ve needed a collection site in Louisiana and it’s wonderful having all of All Brands’ locations available as dropoff locations!

Quickly, however, our All Brands connection has become much more significant and their generosity has made this happen. When we needed to ship our machines to Louisiana for our recent Gulf Coast visit, All Brands served as our destination for the truck, offering plenty of warehouse space as well as a much-needed loading dock. When we needed our New Orleans machines at the University of New Orleans, shortly after our arrival, John arranged to have one of his technicians bring everything to us. Not only did he help us unload our UNO machines and supplies, he followed us on to where we were staying to drop off the rest!

When we began working on our Haiti initiative, I told John that my dream would be to send 100 sewing machines on this first shipment. In answer to my dream wish, John has donated 100 new Brother sewing machines. Those machines are palletized and ready to go.

John and I have discussed the idea of creating “sewing cottages”, trailers that would be outfitted as sewing rooms with generators, to be shipped to Haiti. John showed me one during my recent Gulf Coast visit. He is willing to purchase the trailer and outfit it as a sewing room if we can find a way to get it to Haiti. With an offer like that, you can bet I’m scrambling to find a way to make it happen!

Pulling together the Haiti shipment has been a challenge, logistically. The final piece was to get the machines we’d sent and those John had donated from Baton Rouge to Mississippi, where they could be loaded onto a container. Short on time, I asked John if he knew of any shipping deals we could get for this final shipment. My answer came just a few days ago, as John informed me that they’d shipped all 3 pallets to Mississippi, taking care of the shipping charges.

I have often said, in the building of this Project, that when we’ve needed something it has appeared and this is undeniably a huge example.  I offer my thanks to John and his staff for all of the help and support they’ve given The Sewing Machine Project.

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