Blessing thousands around the world, one garment at a time.

 

SEWING MINISTRY ORIGINS

Founded by Vi Valencourt, of Salem, in 2010, the RSA sewing ministry came about because of one woman’s compassionate heart for impoverished children. She wanted to use her sewing skills and gifts to give something tangible to the little ones. Reid Saunders and the outreach teams would then take the clothing Vi made and carry it around the world to distribute to children in communities where they were setting up for a festival.  The clothing was originally distributed to orphanages.

A few years later, several other women learned of Vi’s work and joined her efforts.  This led to a community “children’s fashion show” of children modeling some of the styles being sent. From here, the ministry expanded.  People donated fabrics and notions to be used.  Many women in the Salem area and throughout the US signed up to sew for the children. Whitlock’s Sewing and Vacuum, located in downtown Salem, offered their classrooms and machines once a month to give additional opportunities to sew there under the guidance of Carma Myers and Jeannette Pitalo. Today, thousands of little dresses, shorts, t-shirts and undies are being distributed to children living in the poorest areas around the world to various villages, door to door, at RSA medical clinics, in slums, orphanages,  refugee camps, and wherever there is a great need. Countries include India, Honduras, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, Myanmar, Bolivia, Brazil, Palestine, Philippines, Spain, and Peru.

More than 9,820 garments for children have been distributed around the world as of August 2019

NEW APRON MINISTRY ADDED

A group from Morningstar Church, Salem, began sewing aprons for Latin American women in 2018. Additional sewing groups from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California have joined in the effort.

Inspired by the story of Suzanne Wesley who covered her head with an apron to find quiet time with God, these aprons often build a communications bridge to the moms that are often overwhelmed by the stressful work of raising children in a busy or impoverished household.  Teaching and encouraging moms to pray for their children has a dramatic spiritual impact on families and communities worldwide. Outreach teams have delivered aprons to moms in Brazil, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Italy, and Peru. Contact Ruth Daniels to see how you can be involved in this ministry to moms around the world.  “Sew Blessed” story and testimony. See Tara’s video testimony below.

OUR SEWING TEAM PURPOSE

Through meeting the physical and emotional needs of women and children worldwide, we open the door to a relationship and a spiritual conversation. Our prayer is that the families receiving the free clothing items will come to the outreach festivals, hear the Gospel message, and begin a personal relationship with Christ.

 

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

1.  Do you love to sew?  Are you a quilter? Do you sew clothing? Say “yes” to volunteering your time and materials to sew at home and/or at Whitlock’s.  We target making clothing for children, ages 2-12.
2.  If you do or do not sew, donate 2 or more yards of bright colored 100% cotton fabric (prints, stripes).  Ask friends and neighbors if they will donate from their sewing stashes.  Or volunteer to cut out fabric for the sewing ladies.
3.  Donate t-shirts and girl’s undies (sizes 3-12).
4.  Donate funds to help finance the extra luggage needed for these articles as they are flown to the various countries.  It costs $100 per bag.  Contact Info RSA  for more information on this.

5.  Transportation and shipping of large boxes of dresses or aprons across the country can be expensive. Please let Ruth Daniels know if you or someone you know would be willing to transport an occasional shipment to the RSA office.

WHAT CAN I SEW?

1.  Sew a child’s garment that is simple and modest…not too elaborate. However, you may creatively embellish the dress appropriately for children. We discourage zippers.  Capped sleeves are preferable on dresses, but please do not sew pillowcase dresses that have large arm holes.  Shoulders that have ties (sundresses) are good as long as the bodice is one that covers the chest or can be pulled up to cover the chest. We add 2-3″ to the length of the dress when cutting them out.  The climate and culture of many of the places – where RSA distributes clothes – is warm and modest.
2.  Boys shorts should be simple and made of denim or the modern sports materials. Add at least 2″ to the shorts patterns.
3.  You choose your favorite patterns to use.  However, we do have patterns to copy onto pellon at Whitlocks, if you wish to take your copies home.  Watch for pattern sales.
4. You may choose your own fabric or use donated fabrics stored the the RSA headquarters located at 1790 16th Street SE, Suite 201, Salem OR 97302.   Phone  503-581-7394.
5. Start a sewing group with your friends from church or neighborhood.
6. For aprons, please contact Fawn Bartlett for pattern, sewing instructions, and group sewing get-togethers in Salem. Additional apron sewing groups have also formed in Southern Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and California.

JOIN THE “CHARITY SEW” DAY EACH MONTH

On every 2nd Tuesday of the month, women meet upstairs at Whitlock’s Vacuum and Sewing store, 455 Court St. NE. in Salem, Oregon.  There you will be able to sew the pre-cut dress kits or cut your own from donated fabrics or work on a project you started at home.  Bring your machine and/or serger or Whitlock’s has machines you may use.  The gentlemen there will help you carry in your machines, if you wish.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT RSA AND THEY WILL GET YOU IN TOUCH WITH THE SEWING TEAM LEADERS
info@reidsaunders.org or 503-581-7394

Add gallery of sewing images here