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    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    Kindness in Real Life: Stitching a little love in an Old Lyme church

    Priscilla Peabody finishes a toddler dress for shipment to Haiti from St. Ann’s Episcopal Church. (Photo submitted)

    In an Old Lyme church basement, hearts and hands make a difference across the globe.

    For several years, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme has housed a sewing ministry that supports international programs with hand crafted items. Located in its newly renovated ground level workshop, the ministry extends its hand sewn items to families in need in Haiti, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and other locales throughout the world.

    Clothing for Haitian and Ecuadorean preschool children is intended for those who fall outside of the typical support provided for community schools. The goal is to fill the gap between layettes for newborns and uniforms for school age children. Volunteers sew dresses, shorts and shirts.

    Clothing items are shipped to willing groups traveling into Haiti. Clothing is transported to Ecuador by mission groups from St. James Episcopal Church in New London.

    In the Dominican Republic, St. Ann’s sends periodic shipments of infant layettes for distribution through supported prenatal clinics to families in need. Each layette includes clothing for newborns, baby blankets, infant towels and hand knit wash clothes.

    St. Ann’s also provides funding, materials and sewed items to support a program called Camp Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. There are more than 450 campers every summer. The camp’s mission is to teach the youth of Haiti and the Dominican Republic responsibility with the hope that they will have opportunities in the future to move up in society.

    Yet another program, Seamen’s Church Institute, involves St. Ann’s sewers making ditty bags. Since 1898, volunteers of the Seamen’s Church Institute have knitted, collected, packed, and distributed gifts to mariners who are miles away from home during the holidays.

    Days for Girls is St. Ann’s newest program, providing access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education to young women across the Third World.

    Carol Carlson of Old Lyme volunteers for the Sewing Mission at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church.

    Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To submit an item, email times@theday.com.

    Colorful outfits are created for students in Haiti, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. (Photo submitted)

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