Sewing Seeds for Hope for Afghan Women Artisans: How You Can Help
As many Owl readers know, a number of Westonian groups help out Afghan refugees, one of which is based out of St. Peter’s Church. You can read about that group, which started in October 2021, in this Owl post from February 2022.
Most recently, the group received a tremendous response to their Valentine’s day beauty supplies drive for Afghan women. The women had a fun party, including wearing red, making Valentines and playing a very competitive English language bingo game with Hershey’s kisses as markers and beauty supplies as prizes. There was a lot of laughter and chatter while everyone did each other’s hair, makeup and henna designs. Everyone chose beauty products to take home in goody bags.
The volunteer group recently started a business, Sewing Seeds for Hope, for Afghan women artisans. The goal of Sewing Seeds is to empower Afghan women refugees in Manchester, NH. The women are experts at sewing a wide variety of items. Currently, they are making pillows, aprons, cosmetic bags, scrunchies and baby quilts, with more items to be added soon. Most of the materials are donated, enabling all of the proceeds from sales to go directly to the women artisans.
The Afghan families are working hard to attain self-sufficiency in America. Most dads make little more than minimum wage in factory jobs and rents are as much as 78% of their take-home pay. For moms to be able to supplement their family’s income through the proceeds of selling their handicrafts is an enormous help to achieving self-sufficiency. It is also a tremendous source of pride, as they now call themselves businesswomen!
The volunteer group is now conducting a sewing supplies drive to support Sewing Seeds for Hope. They are seeking the following items:
– upholstery fabric
– solid and baby patterned quilting squares and fabric
– cotton duck fabric
– linen fabric
– ribbon and trim
– embroidery floss and needlepoint fabric
– sewing machine needles
– pillow forms and polyfill
– pellon interface
– nylon fabric
– zippers and large buttons
– safety pins
– rotary cutters
– clear rulers
– cutting mats
– sewing machines in good working order
– gift cards to JoAnn Fabric and Wal-Mart
They are also looking for outlets for selling products – church, mosque and synagogue groups, public events and spaces, and gift or craft shops. The Owl is 90% sure that there are Sewing Seeds of Hope products at the Wayland Depot (and hopefully the Lincoln Old Town Hall Exchange). Hey, Celebrate Weston team, can they have a table at the JST on May 20? Please and thank you.
Items can be dropped off at St. Peter’s Church, 320 Boston Post Rd., during normal office hours. Please contact Hansi Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like items picked up, or if you are interested in volunteering opportunities.
Thank you for helping the Afghan women artisans launch their business.