Community Service Update – July 2020

Providence Portland New Beginnings

Our first set of 25-30 maternity cinch bags went to Providence Portland’s New Beginnings program about a month ago. The original plan was to deliver them in late March, but, well… You know. This set of bags was intended as a trial run to get feedback on size, cording, drawstring length and other elements before we went into “production mode.”

They tried them out and here is the verdict:

The bags look amazing!! And the use of fabric instead of cording is perfect. It is resourceful and functional. Great job to you and the group!

Providence did ask for one small adjustment–lowering the bottom loops almost to the bottom of the bags. The instruction sheet has been updated so if you’ve printed out the earlier version, you’ll either want to reprint it or make a note on your existing copy. The second paragraph under “Preparation” now reads:

  • On both front and back, make a small mark on the left and right sides, 2″ down from the top edge (drawstring marks). Mark 1″ from bottom of bag on each side of bag back for placement of loop squares. Fold loop squares in half, matching raw edges, and, with raw edges aligned, pin the loops at the 1″ mark on the right sides of the bag back.

I’m thrilled that the Providence reaction was so very positive. These bags make the perfect little sewing project in between other larger, more challenging (or more frustrating) activities. The New Beginnings program serves nearly 500 patients per year so we’ve still got a long way to go! Every bag that goes to Providence will have a card tucked inside letting the recipient know it comes from Columbia River Sewing as an expression of compassion and encouragement.

Collecting them in these strange days may be the bigger challenge. I’m thinking of asking people in various geographical areas to coordinate no-contact porch pick-ups and drop-offs. If you are willing to take on that task or have other useful and creative ideas for the collection process, please let me hear from you!

Keep calm, keep cheery and keep sewing!

In the meantime, it’s so nice to know our efforts are appreciated and valued!!