Last summer, on a visit to Tanzania, Africa, I decided to bring along a treadle machine (yes, Janome still makes them) and an electric sewing machine. I wasn’t completely sure why I decided to do this other than I knew sewing was a big part of everyday life in Africa and necessary for many to make a living and survive. As fate would have it, we happened upon a place called “SEW Supporting and Empowering Women”. This charitable organization offers employment to women who have been widowed by AIDS and with that comes a stigma of having the disease themselves – which makes them unemployable in their country. So I wonder, how are these women supposed to support themselves and their children if they are not permitted to work?
During our visit to SEW we were greeted by amazing, joyful women who were gracious and talented. We were able to purchase some of the goods they had made from recycled grain sacks and fabrics. They were all sewn on treadle machines and the work was beautiful. While we were there we learned that these women had been saving their money from selling these bags and praying to God for an electric sewing machine! And as you know, I just happened to have one in my suitcase….. The women were ecstatic and they cried and sang songs to us – it was amazing and beautiful.
Never wanting to forget them and always wanting to help, we had the women of SEW custom make small zippered bags that hold gift cards. So this holiday season when you purchase a gift card from Keep Me In Stitches we will give you one of their gift card bags to truly wrap your gift card in love. We will also be selling the bags for other gift cards that you may purchase elsewhere as gifts. Each bag has a little piece of paper in it telling the story of the woman who made it; and the stories are heartwarming.
These little bags are $3 each and will go on sale in all stores during our “Small Business Saturday” festivities on November 26th.
Visit the organizations e-commerce website here to shop for gifts with real meaning this holiday season. Some of them may have even been sewn on an electric sewing machine!!