Sugar-n-Spice and Everything Nice
Every Thursday afternoon, for the past three years, four women lug their sewing machines, piles of fabric, buttons and bows into a conference room in Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, NC. They are affectionately known as the M&Ms (Martha & Mary’s) and they are part of Forest Hill’s senior life group called the Chatterboxes. The M&M’s create magic every week as evidenced by the $1.50 bed skirt purchased from Good Will and transformed into nine delightful ‘sugar-n-spice and everything nice’ dresses. Not wanting the boys to feel left out, they also make shorts and couple them with t-shirts for a complete sleek ensemble. These labors of love have put smiles on the faces of little boys and girls in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Senegal and soon-to-be Bless Back Worldwide sites in Nicaragua and Haiti!
In addition to beautiful clothing, the M&M’s have taken on a new project. They make pouches for adolescent girls and women that contain greatly needed reusable sanitary pads, washcloths, underwear & soap. These items might not be as fun as the dresses to create – but they provide a very critical need as many females miss school or work during their cycles. Bless Back Worldwide (BBW) will be delivering these gifts to the women of Nicaragua and Haiti during Women’s Health Conferences this July. The BBW team will also provide each child at a local school with a charming outfit that is sure to please! A huge thank you to the M&M’s for sharing your gifts with us!
The backbone of the M&Ms is their life group at Forest Hill Church. Every Sunday, this energetic and committed group of seniors, collect money so the M&M’s can purchase fabric. They also donate crates of soap, underwear, t-shirts and washcloths. BBW is about using your God given gifts, talents and resources to change the world. The Chatterboxes are definitely making a difference!
The M&M’s run their sewing circle like a well-oiled machine. Each person plays a specific and critical role in the creation of their wares. Carole Parkinson is the chief cutter. Dede Dewey is the master sewer and pulls the major pieces together. Charlie Eichler does the beautiful finishing & handiwork and Carolyn Powell tags, labels and writes a hand written bible verse that accompanies each item. Before packing the wares, the four ladies gather around and pray for each child who will be receiving them and for the safety of each person delivering the items around the world. The ladies have a “nothing is wasted” attitude. All scraps that are created during the process are collected and lovingly sewn into old pillow cases to become warm, comfortable dog beds for the local animal shelter.
It’s hard to put into words the love and joy that one feels when meeting with these women. They are humble, grateful, funny and charming. They share that “creating these gifts is every bit as much of a blessing as it is to receive.” I am honored to have met each one of these special ladies and I am grateful to the life group that supports them. I am a better person in knowing them. They are the hands and feet of Jesus. They are changing the world.
A huge Bless Back Worldwide thank you to the M&M’s and the Chatterboxes. We love you!