Some of the ladies in our local quilt group (they meet every Thursday morning and work on projects in the gym of our church) were able put some drawstring bags together for the orphans of Bulgaria.
Thanks so much, everyone!
If you're not familiar with the Sewing For Orphans project, please click here.
The bags are not difficult to make, and even beginning "seamsters" can do it. (The pattern with exact dimensions and instructions is available as a PDF printable file which you will find in the link above) I was able to teach these 2 sweet girls how to make the bags that morning, and they did a great job!
1) You can make bags yourself and/or organize a sewing party so that you and your friends can make them all together, which is even better. I recommend asking everyone to bring their fabric pre-cut to the dimensions given in the tutorial before they come (it saves a lot of time) and it helps if everyone has their own sewing machine. Once the bags are completed, please mail them to the business address given at the end of this post and when I have collected enough for all the children in an orphanage, I will ship it there.
2) Print out the bookmarks (click on the icon in the righthand sidebar for a PDF printable file) onto CARDSTOCK, cut them out, and let children decorate the bookmarks. They could use photos of themselves, stickers, drawings, etc. You could also embellish the bookmarks yourselves, but it's a nice touch to have children do it and it's a great way to get them involved in the project. The bookmarks would be a wonderful group activity at your local school or church as well.
Please mail them to the same business address as the fabric bags. Once I have enough, I will laminate them for durability and punch a hole in the top to tie some ribbon through. If you would like to do this step for me, that would be great! But if not, no problem.
3) You could donate money to pay for the cost of shipping to Bulgaria, which will be quite expensive. Any financial assistance would be greatly appreciated! Please click on the DONATE button in the righthand sidebar and it will open up into a Paypal donation window. I'm still working on the paperwork to make this an official nonprofit (501) organization, but rest assured that 100% of any money donated will go toward shipping and the cost of laminating the bookmarks.
I'd like to give a special THANK YOU to Okle Miller for her generous donation when I first posted about the project back in November. It was probably a leap of faith for you to do that, since I'm just starting this up, but I really do appreciate it - thanks so much!
PLEASE EMAIL ME TO KNOW WHERE TO SEND THE BAGS.
Thanks everyone! If we work together, we can help bring desperately needed cheer to the lives of hundreds (and eventually, thousands) of orphaned and abandoned children.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
HOW MANY ORPHANS ARE YOU SENDING BAGS TO?
There are about 9,000 orphaned and abandoned children in Bulgaria, and their needs are not being met. The non-profit organization One Heart Bulgaria (click on link in sidebar) is doing much to alleviate their suffering and enrich their lives. I am working with OHB to determine which orphanages to send the bags to. The number of children in each orphanage varies, so it will be a case-by-case basis. When I have enough bags to give to each child in that particular orphanage, I'll send the package so no child is left without a bag.
CAN WE INCLUDE OTHER ITEMS TO BE SHIPPED INSIDE THE BAGS?
Due to the high shipping costs, the weight must be kept to a minimum. There will be a bookmark in each bag and a few little hard candies/trinkets, but nothing else since the bags are intended to hold the child's meager possessions in the orphanage. One Heart Bulgaria buys toiletries and other necessities for the children through stores in Bulgaria to avoid high shipping costs and to support local economies.
HOW LONG WILL YOU BE DOING THIS PROJECT?
As long as it takes, which will probably be several years. If/when all the children in Bulgaria receive bags, I will explore other areas of the world to give bags to.
Thanks again for all your help everyone!