Our Programs & Projects
We offer six projects and programs designed to not only inspire and empower women and children in shelters but the entire “village” that supports us!
We don’t just transform the “physical” environment at a shelter. What we do goes much deeper than just changing a surface. When we change the physical environment it changes the way the women and children feel about themselves. A beautiful space sends the message “you matter and you are worthy”. For the “village” that supports us, it is inspiring to share their hearts with each hand-made item donated knowing it will help heal those who are re-building their lives. Click on any of the programs that interest you to learn how you can be a part of the “village” that is changing lives.
Through the transformation of the physical space, women and children are introduced to a way of living and thinking that helps their outlook about their own lives and possibilities for the future. We believe beauty heals. It is not rocket science but it is terribly undervalued in our society. I will never forget the first shelter I ever visited with prison beds with stained mattresses, duct-taped walls, nursing home bedspreads so thin I could poke my finger through them and lights hanging from wires. Think about what that environment is doing to the women and children who live there. What it says about their identity. If someone makes you a blanket it feels different when it is on your body than when you buy it in a store. That’s why handmade is critical to the organization. It says “You matter.” I believe that a person’s love and positive energy is woven into each piece someone has made and you feel it.
Volunteers can donate quilts, pillowcases and other hand-made soft furnishings as well as their artwork or trade-skills for the renovations. Discover how you can help.
My mother once told me “A sewing machine saved my life”. It is what helped her to battle severe depression. I knew I had to bring this life-saving skill to women re-building their lives at the shelter. The Sacred Sewing Rooms in shelters not only provide a life skill, possible income stream, but also a coping mechanism and healing for women that need creative expression and solace. They are a magical safe haven for women to start dreaming. Each Sacred Sewing Room has hand-painted murals inside by artists who volunteered their time. I want the women to feel like they’re escaping to another place while they sew. I will try my darnedest to make you believe you are in a retreat of healing and this is only a piece of your healing. Sewing is the ultimate meditation and mindfulness. It takes your mind off of whatever turmoil you might be going through. Ladies in this situation, with whatever issues they’re facing, are given the time to sit and think about what their next steps will be and how to move on from here. When you sew, you don’t think of anything but that project. Your mind does not go anywhere else.
We want children in shelters to know: “You have it within you to be your own superhero!” If we don’t have hope, what do we have? Children are transformed with a humble piece of material around their shoulders and tap into the power of their imaginations. When you put the cape on it’s like no one can really see you in your vulnerable self that has been through trauma, all they can see is someone powerful, strong and confident. They become more powerful because it’s beyond the cape. Psychologically they use their imaginations to become the superheroes they already are!
Everyone from school children to organizations to sororities have donated their time to make these empowering capes. The capes can be sewn by hand or with a sewing machine and we provide the easy sewing pattern for you to follow! Capes take approximately 1-2 hours to make and can be life changing!
“Ask me my name. I am more than just some child living in a shelter. I have a name and an identity.” We created the Patch Project so that each child’s name can be proudly displayed on their cape.
Children in shelters are paired with beautiful handmade dolls donated by crafters from around the globe. Adopting a doll gives children the opportunity to nurture and express love. This satisfies an innate need that we are all born with. The urge to love and protect is not the sole possession of the maternal instinct. Children feel it too, and seem most free to give it expression when they play with dolls. I remember when I was a little girl, taking care of my doll felt like I was taking care of myself. Tucking my precious doll into bed each night, I had to make sure her arms were comfortable and legs were covered so she could stay warm. I knew in my heart she was happy, because I nurtured her the way I loved to be nurtured.
Dolls can be sewn by hand or with a sewing machine and take approximately 2 hours to make depending on the complexity of your doll design. We encourage you to make your doll in any style you feel inspired by!
A humble pillowcase can transform the way women and children see their shelter bed by turning it into a place to travel away from your circumstances and into your dreams. These bright and patterned pillowcases are handmade with love. The Traveling Pillowcase Project will remind every woman and child the wonderful power of our minds and how this one amazing tool can bring happiness and joy even through the hardest times.
We are looking for brightly colored and fun patterned fabric for our pillowcases. The more fun the better! Think: rocket ships, superheroes, unicorns and animals. When you’re at the fabric store, really think about what you’re picking out. Make it something that you believe will help transport women and children to a different place in their minds. While sewing is required, this is a simple project with an estimated time-frame of 10-30 minutes (depending on sewing ability). While sewing machines are recommended, pillow cases can also be hand-sewn.
It takes a Village!
Learn how you can get involved and change your life in the process!