Gartman took the pieces home with her and sewed them together

‘Bag Ladies’ sewing group in Citronelle helps Shoe Box Ministry

View full sizeJo Nichols works on a drawstring bag with the sewing group at Memorial Baptist Church in Citronelle. (Courtesy of Eva Hendrix)

CITRONELLE, Alabama They call themselves “the Bag Ladies of Memorial Baptist Church” in Citronelle and their motto is “Sew you go.”

The group of women, led by Hazel Gray, meets every other Wednesday to make drawstring fabric bags to be placed in the shoeboxes filled with toys that are shipped to Third World countries as canada goose outlet store part of Operation Christmas canada goose uk black friday Child Shoe Box Ministry, a canada goose outlet reviews project of Samaritan Purse.

It all started about five years ago, according to spokesperson Eva Hendrix.

For several years, the church had been participating in the Shoe Box Ministry, and about 2006, “Hazel received a canada goose clearance letter asking for volunteers to uk canada goose outlet come to Atlanta to work goose outlet canada in a warehouse checking the shoe canada goose coats boxes before they were shipped,” Hendrix said.

Since then, four to eight women from the church have made the journey to Atlanta the week after Thanksgiving, spending two or three days removing such items as shampoo liquids cannot be included weapon type toys and other forbidden pieces.

“It hard to explain how checking shoe boxes can be a blessing, but we get a wonderful blessing working in that warehouse,” Hendrix said.

Removing items, however, left empty space in the boxes. And though some retailers donate small items to take up the slack, and some volunteers canada goose outlet bring toys with them, the packages often need additional goods.

That where the drawstring bags canada goose black friday sale come in. “After our trip last year, Hazel got the idea of making the bags” so children halfway around the globe would have something of their very own to hold their treasures, Hendrix said. They each bring a dish for a potluck lunch. Some bring their sewing machines. One has a serger to fortify the seams of fabrics canada goose outlet nyc that might ravel.

Starting with just the women who canada goose outlet toronto factory make the trip to Atlanta, the group now has more than a dozen different women who have volunteered, though there are usually just four or five at each meeting at Memorial Baptist. in the core group are Hazel Gray, Tweety Miller, Peggy Hall, Hendrix, Gartman, Eunice Green and Roselle Schaniel. Others who come regularly to help are Margaret Loomis, Cynthia Miller, Renee Sellers, Jean Evans, Mary Sue Lofton, Jo Nichols and Debbie Miller.

Their goal was to complete 500 bags this year. But when they had finished those, they set another goal 1,000, then 1,500. As of the third week of September, the Bag Ladies had made 2,550 drawstring bags to take to Atlanta.

And so far, their expenses have been next to nothing.

“We asked people to donate material canada goose factory outlet that they were not going to use,” Canada Goose Online Hendrix said. “I asked the home economics teacher at Citronelle High School to save her scraps. And I asked my quilting friends for theirs.”

One person had several bins of upholstery samples that she contributed, and Gray even got a bolt of fabric for a birthday present.

“We canada goose black friday sale would tell people about our project and they would clean out their closets and bring us fabric or ribbon,” Hendrix said.

It didn matter that much if the cheap canada goose scraps they received were smaller than the size needed for their standard bag. Gartman took the pieces home with her and sewed them together to make “designer bags,” Hendrix said.

And as to drawstrings, “Some of the ladies crochet strings for us at home. People have donated crochet thread and ribbon for us to use,” she said. Their few purchases have been bought on sale at local stores or on eBay.

The Bag Ladies love uk canada goose the spirit of fellowship they experience as they sew their bags. And they are looking forward to their trip this year, their first since beginning their unique project for the Shoe Box Ministry.

Contributing something they canada goose outlet made with love will add another canada goose outlet sale dimension to the blessing they receive in the Atlanta warehouse.

“The filled canada goose outlet store uk shoebox is one way a missionary uses to teach a child about the love of Christ,” Hendrix said of her pleasure in providing items for Operation Christmas Child.

Tweety Miller, too, finds satisfaction in making Canada Goose sale canada goose outlet online a contribution.

“I can go (to another country) and hand out the shoeboxes, but I can be a missionary through someone else hands,” she said.

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