LIHUE — Sewers on Kauai made more than 50 pillowcases over the past month, which were donated to the YWCA family violence shelter Tuesday morning.
“We appreciate all the efforts to help us at the family violence shelter,” said Renee Hamilton, executive director of the Kauai YWCA. “This year we’ve seen an increase in families staying at the shelter and that means our resources are more taxed.”
The Pillowcase Challenge was hosted at Discount Fabric Warehouse, where customers could pick up a free yard of material and combine it with their own scraps to create a pillowcase for charity.
“It’s part of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge,” said Cindy Grossman, one of the store’s employees. “It’s the first one that we’ve done, but it’s something that’s being done across the country.”
The challenge was posed by American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine at the beginning of the year to all quilting, sewing and craft stores nationwide.
Each store is challenged to provide one yard of material to each of its customers and ask them to create a pillowcase, preferably out of 100 percent cotton. Then stores report the number of pillowcases that have been donated back to the magazine’s website.
So far, the challenge has generated almost 640,000 pillowcases. It’s open to anyone who wants to join and will run until the counter shows 1 million pillowcases donated to charity.
Grossman said the store sewing events were on the first and last Friday of the month.
“We made 53 pillowcases over the course of the two events — they’re specifically for women and children,” she said.
Grossman said Maui customers also sent over a few pillowcases.
“Ladies came in and volunteered their time to sew these pillowcases and help others sew,” Grossman said. “It was a great time.”
In total, 20 women showed up to the two events.
The YWCA family violence shelter has 16 beds that intermittently need new sheets, bedspreads and pillowcases.
“We will throw a futon on the floor, too, if we need to in order to make sure people are safe,” Hamilton said.
Providing a safe, clean environment within the shelter, however, is just one of the missions of the YWCA’s family violence shelter.
“People may not know that we help families that are starting from scratch and moving into new places, too,” Hamilton said. “Resources from the community are such a great help for us.”