Sewing to serve premature babies
1. HOW CAN I BECOME A MEMBER OF THREADS OF LOVE?
Threads of Love has no formal membership requirements or application process. Simply come to our workshop at 19595 IH-10 West between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursday, and we'll put you to work. You may choose to come every week or just occasionally as your schedule permits. We do ask, however, that new volunteers come to our building and take a tour of our workshop before beginning work. We want to familiarize you with TOL's organization, method of operation, and the use of appropriate patterns and materials. Premature babies are delicate in so many ways and it's critical that all volunteers use the right kinds of soft fabrics and yarns for these precious little ones. Also, we ask that all volunteers wishing to use certain sewing machines (sergers, for example) first undergo training by one of our designated experts.
2. WHAT IF I CAN'T SEW?
We have many members who do not sew. Do you knit or crochet? There's a place for you. We also need volunteers to sort and package finished items, cut fabric, assemble grievance bags, create memory boxes and journals, make sock dolls (Lovies), fill positioning aids with beads, and help in a number of other ways. If you want to volunteer with Threads of Love, there's a place for you to serve.
3. CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN WITH ME?
We dearly love children, but our workshop was not designed with children in mind. It is an active, busy place that's full of sewing machines, pins, scissors, irons, and other items that could be hazardous to children. Also, since the workshop is only open for a limited amount of time, we want to focus on producing as many items as possible for our preemies. To protect the children and to increase productivity, our Board of Directors has determined that no children should be allowed in the workshop on workdays. Thank you for understanding.
4. I HOMESCHOOL. MAY MY CHILD VOLUNTEER WITH THREADS OF LOVE?
We welcome anyone who would like to donate their time and energy to this ministry. We do require a minimum age of 13 years old, accompanied by an adult. If you would like to bring someone who is under the age limit, we will consider the youth's involvement through an application process. This application includes a statement from the child describing the reason they desire to contribute to this ministry. The application contains a few other qualifying questions as well.Please let us know if you would like an application for your child.
5. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR ITEMS?
Threads of Love does not charge for any item that we make and distribute. All of our clothing and accessories are provided free of charge, and are given in Jesus’ name to those we serve at area hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers and military NICUs--here and abroad. We also provde items at no charge to individual grieving parents whose situations come to our attention. Some specialty items, such as tiny caskets, are provided selectively, based on financial need.
6. DO I HAVE TO BRING MY OWN MATERIALS, OR WILL YOU PROVIDE THEM?
We will provide all the materials necessary for you to create approved TOL items while you are at the workshop on our workdays. For purposes of Inventory control, however, we cannot permit volunteers to take extra materials home. Volunteers are certainly welcome to provide their own materials. We do ask, however, that you make sure that the materials you select are suitable and meet the stringent requirements for our delicate little preemies. The wrong materials and patterns can break preemie fingers and tear preemie skin. We will help you choose your materials wisely.
7. HOW MANY ITEMS DO I HAVE TO MAKE?
We have no quotas. You may make only one item, or several. We will receive each with gratitude and appreciation. Always remember, however, to get your materials and patterns pre-approved. If the materials are not suitable, we won't be able to use them for the babies, and we would hate to have your beautiful creation go to waste.
8. CAN I WORK FROM HOME? I CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE WORKSHOP ON WORKDAYS.
Yes! Many of our volunteers work from home or gather in their churches or places of employment to produce items for Threads of Love. You can deliver finished items periodically to our workshop, or arrange for a TOL representative to pick them up at your location. We do ask, however, that you take a tour of our workshop before beginning work so that we can make you aware of the proper patterns, materials and yarns to use. Preemies have very special requirements for their garments and blankets. Sadly, in the past we have been unable to use some very beautiful items simply because they were made with unsuitable materials or from the wrong type of pattern.
9. WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TOL WORKDAY?
TOL Director, Liz Page, opens the workshop at 9 a.m. Volunteers begin arriving and are free to come at any time while the workshop is open. At 9:30 a.m., for those who care to attend, TOL Chairman of the Board, Joe Page, leads a devotion and time of prayer in the breakroom. After the devotion, volunteers go to their various workstations and begin their tasks. Sometime around 11:30-12:00, volunteers go into the breakroom for lunch. Most ladies bring a sack lunch. A refrigerator, microwave, and water are available in the breakroom for volunteers to use. To protect TOL's equipment and materials, we ask that no food or drink be consumed outside of the breakroom. After lunch, some volunteers continue working, while others depart. The choice is yours. Threads of Love is also a place of fellowship where we celebrate each other on our birthdays, and mark various holidays with potlucks.
10. HOW IS THREADS OF LOVE FUNDED?
Threads of Love is a faith-based, Christian ministry dedicated to the Lord and to the service of premature babies and their families. ALL WE HAVE and all we are is the result of His blessing on this ministry. We are supported exclusively by the voluntary and generous gifts of those who have been touched by our ministry. Such gifts include money, fabric, yarn, and other sewing materials, building maintenance services, mailing services, vehicles, and even the beautiful building that serves as SARAH's workshop. All of TOL's garments are made by our wonderful volunteers. NO ONE in the organization receives a salary. We trust God and He has provided our needs in this way every year since our founding in 1999.
San Antonio, Texas
Threads of Love