Hello everyone. Every now and then something happens in the world that makes my heart sing and this week I want to share this wonderful “feel good” story with you.
Here is the story in brief, you can read more about it on The Sewing Machine Project website.
Margaret Jankowski of Monona, Wisconsin, had learned to sew as a little girl, but it was not until 2004, when a devastating tsunami hit South East Asia that she learned of how one woman had lost her sewing machine in the storm. She had saved for years to buy this sewing machine and it was her only source of income.
This woman’s plight struck a chord with Margaret, and she decided to round up old sewing machines and ship them out to Sri Lanka. The response to her plea for donations of sewing machines was so overwhelming that Margaret formed an organization which has since shipped 3,350 sewing machines to schools and community centers nationally and internationally in Sri Lanka, India, Kosovo, Mexico, Liberia, El Salvador, Guatemala and New Orleans following the hurricane in 2005. People are taught to use the sewing machines which not only helps them to rebuild their lives but also empowers women to start small sewing related businesses.
“The Sewing Machine Project now operates on a local, national and international level offering machines and creative opportunities. One of the primary tenets of the SMP is the idea of Paying it Forward. We ask that every person receiving a machine “pay it forward” in a sewing-related way. This idea gives our work a ripple effect and reminds the recipients that despite their own difficult circumstances, they as individuals are important and capable of making a positive difference in their community, giving them a renewed feeling of self-worth.” (quote The Sewing Machine Project)
I love the thought of “paying it forward”, and it got me to thinking how we could use our embroidery in similar small ways, by freely sharing our knowledge, donating surplus materials or simply repaying an act of kindness? The smallest gesture could have a powerful impact on our community and make a positive difference to the world.
Wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful week, keep smiling and happy stitching!