The email flurry has been seemingly nonstop for the past 24 hours. Notes about volunteer days, procedures, organization, how to manage our new student volunteers. Emails coming and going, sometimes directed at me, other times keeping me in the loop. I stand in my kitchen, the familiar ding of an email arrival on my phone and I take a peek. A volunteer asking about two matching machines she’s been working on. Shortly after that a board member, reassuring her that there’s no hurry and gratitude…always gratitude. Plans for an upcoming volunteer day. Confirmation of a student’s arrival and assistance. Lots of conversation, lots of communication…all signs of an organization that is passionate and alive.
Here’s what you may not know: I read these notes in the quiet of my home, the conversations and comments, the suggestions and ahas…and I often begin to cry. This compassion, this kindness, all around an idea that is blossoming beyond belief, an idea that originated in my heart. There is never rudeness, never unkindness. There is only compassion, wisdom and gratitude.
We discuss policy at monthly board meetings, making sure we are all on the same page with a foundational message of kindness and compassion. Everything must stem from that. We look at what we’re doing and the way we’re doing it and always hold decisions up to the light. And because we’ve had these conversations, because we are in agreement about the basis of who we are, I am given the gift (as Director) of being able to let go.
I can let go into the trust of knowing that these many tasks will be done extraordinarily well. I do not pretend to know the best way to do things for if things were done by my design alone they’d be restricted to only what I know. We operate from a compassionate, deeper message, and I know that all that we do is done from the same heart.
And so I let go. And in that letting go I open up to other possibilities–opportunities arrive and I am able to accept them knowing that the other tasks are being done by people with talents and skills that are beyond my own–people with a deep love for this organization and the work we do. Board members and volunteers, students and community members. Everyone picks up a piece and does it well.
So now the secret is out–the beauty of this organization brings me to tears. Probably not too much of a surprise to those of you who read this blog :-). The people who make up The Sewing Machine Project are extraordinary gifts, each and every one of them. And you reading this, your interest and support fuels this and only adds to the unfolding picture. And standing in the swirl of communication, shared ideas and big plans, I cannot help but be blown away by the beauty of it all.
Requesting for more information on how to access the machines for our org
I am writing to ask the same question. How do we acquire machines for a group. I volunteer teaching sewing at our local Jail in a program started with a grant. The program is called Restorative Partners. The inmates from our local jail are invited to join the Honor Farm program. The Sheriffs along with a few volunteers are teaching inmates to sew, it bring self-esteem and a skill for them to use when they leave. Last year alone they made 100 quilts that were given to the homeless in our area. They also have learned to knit and embroidery. The hats also go to the homeless and some of the ladies have said they will make money making them when they are out of jail. They are so please to be able to give back to the community. They also make Teddy Bears for “The Get on the Bus” program. This is where children of the Men’s Colony inmates get to have a visit from their children. The Teddy Bears are given to the children when they leave after the visit with a love letter and picture with their dad. The Teddy Bear is to have something to hug on the way home and a good reminder of a wonderful day with dad. One sewing machine the ladies use they have to pull the fabric through as they sew because the fee dogs will not come up. Another makes a quilt in a day or two on a machine that has a broken part…what she does it when it acts up she tweaks the part to get it to work again…she does this the entire she is making a quilt. It may just need a new part. I have sewn on another machine that feels like a thrashing machine. This program as I understand has a 90% no return on women that have gone through the program…they change their lives for the better and vow not to return but will continue sewing. If you have a few machines that would work it would be appreciated. all the material and batting is either donated or the volunteers pay for the supplies.
I also would like information for my group here in the u.s.a. tx.
I have collected working sewing machines for the Sewing Machine Project & could not found the email address. Please tell me where to ship the machines. All cleaned, oiled and in good working order. Thanks. Ledra Brady.