Sewing and harvesting: Ministry’s sewing program boosts residents’ skills and confidence – The Daily Reporter

“It’s just such a happy room,” Hope Center Indy board member Margo Ward said of the center’s sewing room.

Tom Russo | Daily reporter

Margo Ward doesn’t even sew.

But somehow, when she saw a catch-all room with plenty of natural light while touring the Hope Center Indy, she thought it would be perfect as a sewing room. It’s God’s sense of humor, she says.

She again brought up the idea of ​​the sewing room. And even.

Finally, she says, she was told she could work on creating one, but would have to do it without a budget.

So Ward – a board member of the ministry that helps women recover from trafficking, drug addiction or abuse – brought together people from her church to clean, scrape wallpaper and repaint the room. Someone donated new flooring. Ward also made a call on the Nextdoor app for volunteers, machinery and fabric. All three introduced themselves; within two weeks, the program had 30 machines and “so much fabric we didn’t know what to do with it,” Ward said.

“It’s amazing how generous people are,” she said. “People want to be involved; they just don’t know how.

Patty Hons, a retired home economics teacher and school counselor, saw the notice and stepped forward. Ward told her she was an answered prayer, a prayer prayed for someone who not only knew how to sew, but also knew how to teach people how to sew.

Now, interested Hope Center residents can join a Monday morning class where they start by making a simple stuffed animal and then move on to projects that interest them, perhaps a hobo bag, a quilt or quilts. clothes. Residents who complete all five phases of Hope Center programming and maintain an interest in sewing can walk away with a sewing machine when they graduate. So far, three graduates have received a machine, yarn and supplies.

Donations of neatly folded, colorful fabrics fill the shelves in the bright upstairs sewing room. They also fill shelves in a few adjoining rooms. So many donations came in, Ward said, that Sew Hopeful shared fabric and machinery with four church ministries that make blankets for others or do similar work.

Most of the students in the class are new to sewing, Hons said, or if they’ve been sewing it’s been a while, like a class at school.

But by learning how — like learning to stitch along a curve or placing the straight sides of pieces of fabric together when sewing — the women in the class develop skills and take pride in a project. finished.

“It’s truly amazing what a program like this can do for a resident,” said Sara Feasel, director of development for the center, located in the former Marion County Home at 11850 Brookville Road, just east of west of the Marion-Hancock county line. “It’s amazing to see their confidence that they’re gaining.”

“It’s therapy at the same time,” Hons said. “You create, but at the same time you are calm in your head.”

Hons said people don’t always think about ways to make a living from sewing, but she often hears people looking for someone who does alterations or can make curtains to match a sofa, for example.

“There are so many things you can do with just a basic sewing skill. They can make a living out of it if they want to,” she said.

Even if they don’t, there are other rewards from what they learn.

“I get so often, ‘I didn’t know I could do this,'” Hons said. “They gain confidence and pride that they never felt before.”

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