The YWCA Central Alabama recently celebrated Christmas in July when members of the Birmingham Quilters Guild (BQG) stopped by to start preparing for Santa’s Workshop.
Sewing machines and cutting boards covered the Sloss Room at the YWCA as the guild made items for Santa’s Workshop which is held every December.
Santa’s Workshop brings the magic of the holidays to homeless families by offering parents the opportunity to “shop” for free gifts for their children, while children create festive holiday crafts for their family members. The children are even able to have their picture taken with Santa! There were over 350 volunteers and 150 families served at last year’s event.
“We are impressed with the mission of the YWCA and the individuals we’ve met there – both the providers of care and the recipients,” says Denise Yuill, organizer of Christmas in July for the BQG. “Everyone there is so gracious. That makes us connect with the needs of others because we know who we are helping and that our help is truly needed.”
Formed in 1978, the mission of the BQG is to promote the love of quilts, to encourage and preserve the art of quilts and quilting and to contribute friendship, knowledge and encouragement to others.
“The YWCA sew day reminds us of the old quilting bees – though we aren’t gathered around the quilting frame, we are spending time with fellow quilters talking, laughing, listening to stories, telling a few of our own and truly making a positive difference in the lives of others,” Yuill adds.
“To say that we are happy with our partnership with the Guild would be an understatement – this group has been an incredible blessing to the children and families that we serve,” said Mary Jane Gibson, Coordinator of Volunteers and My Sister’s Closet.
The BQG were preparing some of the crafts that the children make each year including: jean purses, draft dodgers, headbands and scarves. During Santa’s Workshop the children will complete these sewn items using embellishments and give them as gifts for their families and friends.
“We hope our work makes life a little happier for families facing difficulties. The expressions on the faces of the children at Christmas make everything worthwhile. We thank the YWCA for this experience,” Yuill says.
The YWCA would like to extend a special thank you to the Birmingham Quilters Guild for sharing their time and talents to help make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Santa’s Workshop would not be possible without its generous donors and fantastic volunteers. The YWCA is always looking for volunteers to donate their time, talent and treasures to those who will need a helping hand this holiday season. It truly is a magical day for everyone involved.
If you or your group is interested in hosting a toy drive or volunteering for Santa’s Workshop, please click here.
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