Members of a local sewing club have found a way to use their skills to help an Augusta refuge for victims of domestic violence just in time for Christmas.
Ruth Evancic (from left) and Gloria Tanksley, of Evans, help Lou Lessard, of Lincolnton, measure a fleece scarf that was one of many donations from their sewing club to Safe Homes of Augusta.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
The group, which meets at Branum's Sewing and Vacuum Center on Washington Road in Martinez, used their weekly meetings to sew several fleece scarves and ponchos for the women and children at Safe Homes of Augusta.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful place. We are not without (its effects) right here in this small room," Judi Boulware, group coordinator, said referring to Safe Homes and the fact that two women in the group have had daughters go there.
The sewing group, made up of up to 20 Branum's customers from as far as Lincolnton, North Augusta and Statesboro, Ga., sewed the ponchos and scarves and collected money and housewares such as sheets, towels and household appliances to donate to the shelter at their annual Christmas luncheon Dec. 15.
The shelter serves a 10-county region in east Georgia and 61 percent of its clients are children, said Sandra Johnson, executive director of the shelter. The shelter offers a refuge for victims of abuse, as well as programs to help them find jobs and housing.
"I wanted to extend our heartfelt thanks for all you have done for us," Johnson told the group Dec. 15. "It's very much appreciated and it touches my heart that you devoted your time and energy to sewing and doing all this for us."
With so many of the group affected by abuse, they decided Safe Homes was the perfect charity to give to this year.
"I don't think people realize how many abused people there are," said Ruth Evancic, of North Augusta.
The group has been a blessing to other members such as Gloria Tanksley, of Evans, who joined through fellow member Lou Lessard, of Lincolnton, after moving to the area.
"This has been a home away from home for me," Tanksley said. "It's good to be with somebody else who loves to do what we do and give to others."
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