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Ministry work these days revolves around receipt of donations from other cross stitch enthusiasts who are cleaning out their stash and have no clue what to do with "leftovers." There are also donations of those leaving cross stitch and moving on to other art forms and want to know that all their supplies will be used for a good purpose. Last of all, as families face a loved one who was a stitch enthusiast and has passed away or moved into assisted care where there is less room, donations have been made of those items. These donations are then sorted, cleaned, ironed, whatever needs to be done to them to have them in excellent condition when they are passed on to those participating in the various projects being supplied. I have numerous tubs with all the items in them and then re-distribute them as needed.

The donations coming in are far exceeding the expectations on a regular basis in their quality, their quantity and the love being shown in donating items to those wanting to learn or in recovery and unable to have their own supplies. This is the "God Thing" part of it all - it just shows up when its needed and it goes back out the door to those in need. The blessings of being the vessel to make this happen cannot be expressed here in mere words. The passion and art of stitching is being renewed with every box that is recycled rather than being thrown away.

Working one-on-one with a recipient is something I do personally. I want to know that criteria is met that the items will be used to teach others to stitch in an environment where learning is both therapeutic and something eager to be learned. Great care is taken to make certain the items are used for the purposes meant. This is critical to me. These environments currently include a number of public and private school teachers in after school programs as well as several outlets where stitching is being used in therapy.

Kissing Pillows for Soldiers is one charity that is currently supplied with Aida, thread, stuffing and backing fabric for pillows. There are currently three outlets that are all EGA (Embroidery Guild of America) based who are stitching pillows. As the word gets spread, there will be more to supply.

Sparrow Ministries, an orphanage/adoption ministry based in the United States, is supplied kits of our leftovers that include a hoop, needle, fabric, thread, embellishments and backing fabric. The project on their website (www.sparrowministries.com) is then completed and sold to raise funds to aid in US based adoptions and orphanage care.

Hope Women's Center located in Phoenix, Arizona (www.hopewomenscenter.org) receives items regularly that are donated for use in their ministry. The Director, Tammy Abernathy, is a personal friend and attends Camelback Bible Church with me.

The main focus, however, is still US based individual teachers in schools and street/park ministries for adults and children. There are also recovery based stitching groups that are supported by this Ministry to aid in the peace and tranquility of a needle and thread meeting fabric. There are several mission projects and orphanages outside of the US that are supplied as well by direct hand carrying of the items by close personal acquaintances who are established with those wanting to learn. Some of the participants in these groups have been stitching for a number of years.

In order to facilitate the mission of Paraclete Designs, I have been implementing the support of all of the above, including teachers, therapists and personal missionary friends who travel to orphanages and abroad. Through donations, I am taking your unwanted leftovers and finding new homes and uses for them to the younger generation of would-be stitchers and those recovering from life trauma situations. In doing so, I am hopeful to pass on this legacy so that the love of cross stitch specifically is taught, becomes a passion and moves forward.

 

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