The bags, which are made entirely by members of the club, will be given to women at Fellowship Missions’ homeless shelter. According to June Thomas, a member and co-creator of the donation initiative, the idea occurred when she received fabric from a friend who had realized she had more than she could use. From there, Thomas began constructing a prototype of what the reinforced bag would look like. When friend and fellow club member Julia Frush learned of Thomas’s fabric and bag making, she suggested that they donate the bags to a homeless shelter.
“As word has gotten out about the bags you hear about more and more fabric all the time from places like churches that want to donate it,” stated Thomas. “This is a great community to give to the less fortunate. The Homemakers Club does a tremendous amount of charity work.”
Thomas and Frush stated that the club has cut out patterns for 100 bags so far and they intend to make even more. According to Frush, it is the hope of the club that the project becomes a continued project throughout the future. The one-of-a-kind bags take roughly 1 1/2 hours to sew and are taken home by members of the club to complete in their free time.
“We have enough fabric so this will be an ongoing project,” said Frush. “Our extension homemakers club can take the totes to be sewn home and sew them at their leisure and just turn it it. We hope to be doing this for the next few years.”
Though the bags have amassed more than 78 hours of community service time given by the women of the Homemakers Club, according to Frush and Thomas the club helps out with several other charities such as Riley Children’s Hospital. Both women stated that the club helps to sew totes for the children’s belongings and fleece blankets. The club also creates pinafores for children who will have a longer stay at the hospital to wear in lieu of their hospital gown.
Eric Lane said the women who have received bags thus far at the homeless shelter have loved having something new. Lane also explained that the women have enjoyed being able to easily keep their belongings together in the reinforced bags sewed by the club.
“We’ve only had a couple so far distributed but the women who have received them have loved them,” stated Lane. “Their stuff isn’t scattered, they can keep it with them, and they love receiving something like this that is new. We want to thank the Homemakers Club for all they’ve done.”
For those interested in joining the Homemakers Club’s efforts in community service call Julia Frush at 574-267-8619.