SBC’s sewing ministry, Threads of Hope, has developed a new passion during this unique season. Typically, the ministry volunteers sew dresses for girls and shorts for boys who live in impoverished countries. The ladies lovingly sew these garments, pray for each child who will wear them, and then send them to be given out by SBC mission teams when they visit.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, a few ladies from Threads of Hope decided to start sewing masks to help meet the need. Their original goal was to sew and deliver 1,000 masks to healthcare workers, which at the time seemed like a big number. It takes about 40 minutes to sew each mask. Before long, a small army of women began to form, with eventually 54 adults and kids taking part in the effort to sew face coverings.
Ladies who had never heard of Threads of Hope began sewing, including several from our North Ridge campus. Others heard about the project from a friend who invited them to join in. The team leaders (Jennifer West, Terri Clarke and Judy Clouse) were able to get to know each volunteer through emails, phone calls and visits.
The team has experienced countless blessings, big and small, along the way. Early on, one woman ordered rolls and rolls of needed elastic. After the order arrived, the team learned that elastic had become extremely difficult to find and praised God that they had more than enough to keep sewing for months. The blessings continued as organizations like JoAnn Fabric donated fabric, and ladies raided their fabric stashes or purchased fabric on their own. Several sewing machines broke down, but other women had machines to share. One woman’s sewing machine stopped running and so did her car and computer, but she didn’t become discouraged. Her friend gave her a sewing machine so she could keep going with the mask project.
Many mask sewers are older and several live alone. As the ministry team dropped off supplies and picked up completed masks at their doors each week, it gave an opportunity to check on these older women and deliver other needed items that they couldn’t get for themselves. Each one was grateful to be part of the project.
By early June, more than 4,200 masks had been sewed and given away! That represents at least 2,800 hours of sewing work, and so many people have been blessed and protected because of their faithful efforts.
All the masks have been freely given to front-line patient care providers as well as assisted living facilities, doctor’s offices, police and fire departments, and the Navajo Reservation. Organizations benefiting include several Banner Health locations, Valleywise Health, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix VA, Prescott VA, and Hospice of the Valley. Hundreds of masks were also delivered to Luke Air Force Base as well as to two US overseas military bases.
On one delivery to the Phoenix VA Hospital, the ministry team was greeted just outside the main doors by several medical staff. As they passed a bag of hundreds of masks to a nurse, she said a doctor had just entered through those same doors minutes before saying, “We need to find an organization that will help with masks, but I don’t know where to start.” Threads of Hope was able to provide that very VA hospital with almost 800 masks.
Servant hands. God’s timing. God’s provision! In addition to the 4,200 fabric masks that were made by Threads of Hope, volunteers also helped sew hundreds of tie-on masks that were given to the Army Corp. of Engineers.
Threads of Hope will be hosting an open house workshop on Saturday, September 12, if you’d like to learn more about being a part of this ministry. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.