Stitchers send clothing, love across the globe

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Saxony Stitchers is a group of women at the Saxony Village Retirement Community in Cape Girardeau. But it's more than a group with a sewing hobby looking to pass the time. As the name indicates, the members do sew, but their work goes beyond doilies and blouses. Their creations go around the world and help mend lives.

Elizabeth Spencer and Mary Hitt started Saxony Stitchers for the purpose of using their sewing interest to aid mission work through Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse that sends boxes of toys, books, clothing and other items to children in need in other countries. The two gathered a team, secured a grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to purchase sewing machines and began stitching dresses to send to children and teenagers.

Why Operation Christmas Child? These ladies wanted to tend to more than physical needs. They wanted to address spiritual needs, as well. "We chose them because they also include information about Jesus Christ, and that's part of our mission," said Spencer.

Items they have sewn include shorts for boys, infant crib sheets and burp cloths, sock monkeys and dogs, quilts, tote bags and more find a home in places like El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Africa, as well as St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.

These ladies inspire us. Their hearts are as precious as the hands they use to sew. They are not in this for themselves, but are motivated by what their efforts mean to others. Spencer said that "thinking about the children when they receive these" motivates her. Hitt added, "After we've completed a dress, we like to think how that's going to look on someone and the happiness of a bright colorful dress, a toy."

We could learn much from the Saxony Stitchers. We could also lend a helping hand. If you can cut out patterns or cut elastic, you qualify, and they could use the assistance. As Hitt recently told the Southeast Missourian's Adrienne Ross, "It's been a few of us who have been able to do this large project." Consider donating some time to help them help others at home and abroad. Being an honorary Saxony Stitcher would be an honor indeed.

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