Fire Up the Machines

“Fire Up the Machines,” New Era, Apr. 2013, 45

Fire Up the Machines

young woman and sewing machine

Photographs courtesy of Patti Peterson and © iStockphoto/Thinkstock

You know you’re in for a good service project when a facilities expert has to be consulted beforehand to make sure your intended activities don’t knock out a fuse. The combined young women from a stake in Nevada, USA, had an ambitious goal: to create 100 pillowcases from scratch and donate them to local charities, ranging from the children’s ward in hospitals to homeless shelters. As a bonus, they’d also learn sewing skills.

They certainly had strength in numbers: 130 young women from their stake showed up for the activity. In addition, they had a Relief Society sister assigned to teach and work with them one-on-one as they tackled the big sewing project.

The 130 sewing machines were spread out among four Church buildings, filling gymnasiums, stages, and lobbies in a strategic electrical arrangement planned out by a facilities specialist ahead of time.

As the night unfolded, the young women soared past their goal of 100 pillowcases almost before the sewing machines had warmed up. By the end of the evening they had cranked out over 600 pillowcases, all of which were donated to local charities. The young women had an absolute blast. “It was fun sewing the pillowcases and imagining the reactions of the children who would receive them,” says Kaelamae T., a 14-year-old in attendance.

Erin C., a Laurel, was so impressed with the activity that afterward she decided to launch her own pillowcase project for those in need. Plus, “my love and appreciation for [the Relief Society sisters] grew so much after this,” Erin says. “I can’t wait to join Relief Society in a few years.”

young women with pillowcases

Photograph courtesy of Patti Peterson