2018 Report for The Lydia Project/Sewing for Economics
The Lydia Project/Sewing for Economics is a God inspired and God directed ministry through Colorado Community Church currently being offered on two campuses: The More Life Community Center (MLCC) under the direction of Pastor Keita Andrews, and the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) under the direction of Principal Julio Contreras. Our pilot program on the MLC campus took root in January 2018 with 6 students and 10 volunteers from diverse backgrounds. The first beginner course at the DCIS began September 2018 with 7 students and 6 volunteers. At the end of November 2018 (final 2018 quarter) the Lydia Project had a combined total of 17 graduates, each receiving a new sewing machine.
Students and volunteers met for 3 hours, twice a week for 10 consecutive weeks. In addition to the regular classes, we offered weekend labs to the students. The first class included orientation that covered course policies, the curriculum, emergency and medical forms, and safety/security procedures. Each class began with a 30 minute Bible study (at the MLC campus) based on the life and contributions of Lydia of Thyatira (Acts 16:13-15). We discussed the following themes: Posturing Ourselves to Receive the Gospel, Distinguishing Between the laws of Man and the Laws of God, and Discernment.
At the culmination of each Beginner course, students were able to: read and understand pattern guides, determine type and quality of fabrics, hand stitch, sew on buttons, insert zippers, construct pillows, hem garments, insert pockets, construct waist bands, properly operate a sewing machine, and use multiple stitches to complete garments. At the end of the Intermediate course, students were able to construct: curtain panels, tote bags, half and full length aprons, drawstring bags, reversible pot holders, napkins, desk organizer coffee or tea mug covers, and encased pillow cases.
The students acquired basic and intermediate sewing skills enabling them to construct garments for profit. They were also able to save a considerable amount of money in lieu of paying professional sewers/dry cleaners to hem or repair garments. Students are now able to make skirts, pants, blouses, curtains, and other household items for themselves or other family members avoiding retail costs.
The benefits attained reached far beyond the technical task of “sewing”. Students, as well as volunteers, formed community and had a “safe” and warm environment in which to explore the Gospel and a topics central to our every day lives. Many participants expressed their gratitude for this “free” program where they gained sewing skills for a lifetime. They also voiced their appreciation for “sisterhood” and a place to just “be” while using their innate creativity.
There are 23 graduates from the Beginning course, 14 returning students, and 5 intermediate students over the course of 2018 for The Lydia Project/Sewing for Economics. 24 volunteers donated over 500 hours. A combination of fundraising and in-kind donations received from our Steering committee, members of CCC, personal fundraising, and community partners yielded approximately $4800 + (carryover from the second quarter). In addition, we received in-kind donations of fabric, lace, and miscellaneous supplies.
It is with thanksgiving and joy that I submit this report for The Lydia Project/Sewing for Economics for a very successful 2018.
Respectfully in Christ,
Sheila A. Johnson, Executive Director
The Lydia Project/Sewing for Economics