A Cut Above the Rest
Carol Anders, St. Procopius 443, Chicago, Ill., was sorting through her late mother’s clothes, planning to donate a box to a thrift store that accepts clothes in need of mending, when she took a break to read the article “Sew Beloved” in the summer 2019 issue of Catholic Forester and her plans changed. The article featured Melita Pfeiler, Holy Cross 881, Holy Cross, Iowa, and her reusable diaper-sewing project for moms in Nicaragua. Melita uses cut up T-shirts as her material, reducing and reusing in a unique way that proves beneficial to the recipient mothers who have limited access to pregnancy and parenting resources. Carol read this and thought it would be a perfect use for her mother’s old t-shirts and sweatshirts. She contacted the Home Office to see how she could get involved, and after a quick conversation, she was inspired. She wanted to do more than simply ship off a box of t-shirts; she wanted to take on an active role and become part of the assembly line.
She gathered her fellow court members one Tuesday night, the many boxes of donated t-shirts piled around. Carol wanted to help reduce the steps in Melita’s sewing process, so she and her fellow volunteers laid out diaper patterns and started cutting away. They made piles of diaper shapes as well as rectangular cut-outs to make soaker pads. Many of the T-shirts were donations from parishioners, and in the hours the volunteers worked together they weren’t able to make it through all of them. Carol said they plan on continuing to cut out diapers on their own until they have used all the donations, at which point they will mail them to Melita along with some Velcro strips for fastening.
“It feels good to make even a small difference in someone’s life,” Carol commented, adding that she does foresee her local court doing more events like this in the future. By the end of the event, they had cut out 191 diapers and 469 soaker pads—a number which continues to grow as the volunteers work independently. The group will donate leftover scraps to Goodwill for textile recycling, as Melita does.
No matter what outreach effort you feel called to support, spread the news about it! Members all over the country turn to the magazine for event ideas, difference-making ideas, and inspiration. Your event could begin a wave of change.
Article by Alison Mink.