The Action Kivu Sewing Workshop Fundraiser

The fabric giveaways are now closed but Action Kivu is always in need of donations.  Please read about Action Kivu, below and give what you can.

Hello everyone! It's an exciting day.

Today is the first fifth day of a week long fundraiser that I'm hosting right here on my blog.  I'll get to the serious stuff but let me just start by telling you that there are amazing fabric giveaways involved! Really and truly amazing.  Ok, on to the tough stuff...

This is a fundraiser for Action Kivu, an organization in eastern Congo that runs a sewing workshop for victims of the conflict there. The conflict in Congo has taken the lives of over 5.4 million people since 1998. Rape is used as a weapon of war, with estimates putting the number of rapes in the hundreds of thousands.

Needless to say, this specific organization, with its link to sewing and women, really strikes a personal chord in me and I suspect, with many of you as well.  Our online sewing community is so blessed to be able to pursue our love of sewing as a hobby, career, or just for fun, but for these women, learning to sew is life changing and gives them hope for their futures.

The Action Kivu sewing workshop of course costs money to run and they need supplies - sewing machines and more.  I am launching this fundraiser to raise the money for their supplies (and Action Kivu's other activities should we raise over $7500) and I hope that you'll join me by giving what you can.  All donations are tax deductible.

This is not lighthearted stuff and it is difficult to face, but we're in a real position to help these sewing sisters so please do take the time to watch this 5 minute video and donate.   After you watch the video, scroll down to learn the details of the fabric giveaways that you could win if you give!

My goal, $7500 $10,000 (you're so generous it had to go up!), will make an enormous difference.  See that thermometer up on my side bar? (Please click through if you're reading this through a reader.)  Let's make it grow all week long!!

$10000 is just 400 people giving $25 each!  Please decide to be one of those 400.

The original $7500 raised will go to the Sewing Workshop for their supplies.  Money raised in addition to that will go to Action Kivu's other activities.  Along with running the Sewing Workshop, Action Kivu also pays for vulnerable children to go to school.  This money we are raising will help so many women and children!

Over and over I have personally experienced the amazing generosity and kindness that exists in our community.  Let's all join together in that spirit to help these women to learn to sew and start a new life.

And so that fabric I mentioned? Here's the deal - if you give, you qualify to win these amazing giveaways!

Give $25.00 and you're in the running to win 8 fat quarters of out of print Heather Ross fabrics!  VW Buses and all!

Give $50.00 and you can win 96 fat eighths in this amazing color wheel assortment!  No I'm not kidding - NINETY SIX!  Half solids and half patterned fabrics.  Think of all the amazing projects you could use this fabric for.

But it doesn't end there...

Give $75.00 and you are entered to win fat eighths of the ENTIRE line of Flea Market Fancy. We're talking 45 fat eighths!

So please do DONATE!!! And give what you can - if you can give $10, please do. If you can give $500, please do! Click and give so that we can all work together to help these women!

And please help to spread the word about this fundraiser! Tell your friends or blog about it - let's all join together and really make a difference!

Many more details in the case that you'd like to know them:

You're probably wondering how I got involved. My twin sister, Cate, is working with Action Kivu. Action Kivu provides some of the eastern Congo's victims of violence with the opportunity to rebuild their lives on a foundation of hope, dignity, and economic self-sustenance. Their approach is spearheaded through two programs. First, they run a sewing workshop that teaches women who are victims of the conflict to sew. This leads them to be able to support themselves and their families. Secondly, they pay for children to go to school which is not free in Congo. It costs $40 a year, per child. That's very little money that makes a big impact.

If you are wondering why we can't just donate our old sewing machines, there are a few reasons. First, getting supplies to eastern Congo is no simple task and would cost more than the value of the goods. Secondly they need very specific things. For example, they don't always have power so they need trundle sewing machines. Lastly, it's best that they buy the supplies there, putting the money into the local economy. You can imagine that buying a sewing machine helps not only the woman who sews with it, but the person they buy it from and the money trickles down from there.

Action Kivu is run in eastern Congo by a Congolese man, Amani Matabaro (who you saw in the video), who Cate knows personally and who is amazingly passionate and committed to his cause of helping women and children in his country. As an orphan who lost his parents in the conflict, he was driven to try to do something to help. He currently works as an interpreter for the UN and runs Action Kivu in all of his spare time. Amani has specifically asked for these things - we will not be throwing this money into the wind, not knowing where it's going. Through photos and emails with Amani we will be able to see the immediate and concrete results of our fundraising.

If you'd like, you can learn more about the conflict, here.

Any other questions? Just drop me an email or comment and I will happily answer them for you!

Action Kivu is always taking donations but entries into the giveaways close on Sunday, 8/29 12:00 am EST.