Though The Sewing Machine Project has no gender specific policy, most of the machines we distribute go to women. Since the beginning, groups begun by and working with women find a connection with the work we do. We hear the stories. Stories of great need, of women struggling to get by, women to whom a sewing machine can make an incredible difference. A tool for mending, a tool for creating, a tool for carving out additional income, these machines lend power to our lives.

And we hear stories of ideas. Applications arrive spelling out how sewing machines can make a difference, how groups plan to tackle poverty and loss with sewing. The ideas are inspiring, as are the women to whom the machines go. The Stories of strength and resilience in the face of mighty challenges are incredible.

And I am awestruck.

When women come together to sew, magic happens. Ideas are shared, problems are solved, we all come away stronger, infused with the power of collaboration, creativity and community. I see women inspired, reinforced, buoyed by one another. And though we, all of us, have those moments where we feel less than, tired, ready to lay it all down, let us continue to find strength in one another. You who don’t feel like you have anything left, your ability to raise your head and put one foot in front of the other is an inspiration. And though it may seem like everyone else has it figured out, we’ve all been there. Seeing ourselves in one another, let us walk together, supporting each other when we’re weak, celebrating when we feel strong.

Walking, weeping, dancing, laughing, we’ve got this.

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