Service Projects

Currently, I am working on Give Life...Give Hope - a project I founded and am directing that focuses on hosting quarterly life-saving blood drives combined with hands-on service projects and collections that benefit people who are struggling medically, financially, and educationally. The recipient organizations help those who live locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Please consider volunteering, donating, or supporting these efforts. 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Serve & Stitch Quilting Retreat on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Scandia Community Center in Scandia, Minnesota from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.:

Join us for a one-day retreat at the Scandia Community Center. Gather your favorite projects that you would like to work on. We also will have demos, games with prizes, food, and opportunities to share your sewing and quilting skills to help others in need.

Leave the responsibilities of school, work, and/or home behind; and dedicate an entire day to doing something you love. Enjoy time away and get reacquainted with your creative side!

  Something special about this retreat is that you will have an opportunity to do two community service projects. One of the projects can be worked on before the retreat for those who are interested in doing so.

  Hours are: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th

·         Spend an hour or two working on a community service project.

·         Spend the time working on your own quilt project.

·         Do a 30-minute treat-for-you project.

·         All activities are suggested but nothing is required except relaxation and fun.

There will be one 8’ work table per participant; a couple of ironing boards and irons for participants to share; a few surge protectors; and a couple of large cutting mats. If you would like to use your own items, please feel free to bring them. We also will have some 8’ tables pushed together to spread out larger quilts.

  We will provide snacks, beverages (coffee, tea, water, some soft drinks), lunch, and dinner. Plan to eat breakfast before arriving to the retreat. 

IMPORTANT DATES AND FEES:


Saturday, February 9th is when registration opens. Register by mail at: Give Life…Give Hope, 14363 Oren Road North, Scandia, MN  55073. Full payment is due to be guaranteed a spot. A waiting list will be created when we reach 20 people.

  The fee is $45; and only 20 people will be able to take part in this enjoyable and educational event.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

 A refund – minus a $10 processing fee – will be given until March 15th. No refunds will be given on or after March 16th.

QUESTIONS:

We are looking forward to a great time of sewing, eating, laughing, and fun!  Please email Sophia at sophianienaber@icloud.com if you have any questions.

 Give Life…Give Hope is very grateful for the support of Minnesota Quilters

which provided a grant to help make this event and the service projects possible.

Stitch & Serve Registration Form

Due March 15, 2019

 

Name                                                                                  

 

Address                                                                               

 

City                                   State           Zip Code                            

 

Phone (day)                                                                                      

 

Phone (cell)                                                                                       

 

Email                                                                                                  

 

Any special requirements?                                                               

 

I would like to craft next to:                                                              

 

Fee: $45 per person. Please make checks payable to: Sophia Nienaber.

 

Mail to:

Give Life…Give Hope

14363 Oren Road North

Scandia, MN  55073

WHAT TO BRING 

-          Sewing machine

-          Ironing board and iron (if you need one)

-          Sewing/quilting supplies (e.g., scissors, ruler, rotary cutter)

-          Extra lighting (if needed)

-          Extension cords (grounded/three-prong)

-          Power strip

-          Anything else that makes your sewing experience comfortable. 

-          Items for Show-and-Tell: Bring a finished quilt and/or sewing project to share with the group

-          OPTIONAL:

o   Extra snacks, drinks (no alcohol please), and desserts to share.

o   Donate new or like-new patterns or quilting books for the “Giveaway” table. In this way, you get to clean out your craft room and leave with items that are new to you.

o   Any Un-Finished Objects (quilting or sewing projects) that you no longer want. Please bring each one in a brown bag or gift bag that you have on hand. These will be used for a game.

o   Any 12.5” donation block(s). You may create the blocks either before the retreat or at the retreat to be used for quilt(s) that will donated. We will sew the blocks together to create quilts for people of all ages who are experiencing homelessness. The organization we will be donating the quilts to is Solid Ground which is based in White Bear Lake; and serves people from Washington and Ramsey Counties.

o   5” squares of spring-color and/or printed fabrics – green, yellow, pink, purple - for a charm swap. (Bring 20 5” squares; and charm packets will be created for those who brought squares.)

o   Stash Bash - bring 6 (or more) new/clean fat quarters (28”x22”) from your stash. You also are welcome to use purchased fat quarters if you prefer. You will turn these in when you arrive and they will be sorted into groups of coordinating colors or types (e.g., all novelty prints). Each person gets a new bundle of fabric to take home based on the number of fat quarters that s/he brings to the retreat. (Please try to bring items in multiples of 3 or 6.)

 ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ *

PAST EVENTS:

Saturday, December 2, 2017, at Crossroads Church's activity building in Forest Lake, Minnesota:

=> Blood drive with the American Red Cross. Impact: 12 blood donors -25% of whom were teens. 36 lives saved thanks to blood donors!

=> Created 30 comfort bags for children with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy and receiving a blood transfusion. 

November 15, 2017: Some of the items that people have purchased that will be used for the comfort bags. There are 10 bags, 90 ginger mints, and six stress-relief balls with positive messages on them. Many more items are available for purchasing on the wish list on Amazon.com (the link is noted under the December 2nd blood drive and comfort bag assembly event).

November 15, 2017: Some of the items that people have purchased that will be used for the comfort bags. There are 10 bags, 90 ginger mints, and six stress-relief balls with positive messages on them. Many more items are available for purchasing on the wish list on Amazon.com (the link is noted under the December 2nd blood drive and comfort bag assembly event).

Sophia and Brenda filling two comfort bags for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy at the December 2nd event.

Sophia and Brenda filling two comfort bags for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy at the December 2nd event.

Five youth volunteers working with Sophia on tying a fleece blanket for a child who has cancer. This blanket was put in one of the comfort bags that was assembled on December 2nd.

Five youth volunteers working with Sophia on tying a fleece blanket for a child who has cancer. This blanket was put in one of the comfort bags that was assembled on December 2nd.

One of the blood donors at the December 2nd blood drive. She is holding one pint of blood which has the potential to save three lives!

One of the blood donors at the December 2nd blood drive. She is holding one pint of blood which has the potential to save three lives!

Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Scandia Community Center from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

=> Partnered with the Forest Lake-Scandia Leo Club to host a blood drive with the American Red Cross and do a "One Stop Donation Drop" in which the community can drop off donations or make contributions various non-profits. The impact of the event follows: 

-         Up to 45 lives will be saved thanks to 15 blood donors.

-         31 children’s lives will be saved because they will receive a measles shot through One Shot One Life.

-         902 books and 80 learning materials were donated to the African Library Project so 465 orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi, Africa, can have a library at their school.

-         584 items donated to Family Pathways.

-         88.69 pounds of food was collected for the Scandia-Marine Food Shelf.

-         54 milkweed seeds for monarch butterflies were planted in 9 biodegradable planters.

-         43 items were given to children in Child Protective Services at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

-         42 items were donated for use in welcome baskets for new residents at Christian Community Home.

-         24 pictures were colored for Color-a-Smile who then sends them to seniors who are homebound or in nursing homes; veterans; and those in the military.

-         17 items were collected for the Wildlife Science Center.

-         16 DVDs were given to Bridge for Youth for programs for at-risk, homeless, and formerly-homeless youth who are 10-18 years old.

-         11 hats were knitted for newborns at Fairview Lakes Medical Center.

-         10 items were collected for Northwoods Humane Society, $40 was donated, and 1 dog was adopted.

-         10 fleece-tied blankets were donated to Project Linus who will give them to children and teenagers struggling with life-threatening medical issues (3 blankets were made and 7 were donated).

-         9 items were collected and 3 no-sew tie fleece hats were made for pediatric cancer patients at Children’s Hospital.

-         7 raffle tickets were sold by the Scandia-Marine Lions Club which support service projects including college scholarships for high-school graduates.

-         5 ink jet cartridges were collected and recycled by the Forest Lake Lions Club.

-         5 pairs of eyeglasses were collected for the Scandia-Marine Lions Club in support of the Lions Recycle for Sight Program that provides glasses to low- and middle-income individuals.

-         4 boxes of donations were collected by The Baby Blanket & Hannah’s Arms to help single- and low-income mothers.

-         People learned from Christ Lutheran Church how mats are made using plarn (plastic yarn made from plastic bags) for those experiencing homelessness.

A variety of non-profits were at the One Stop Donation Drop including those pictured here: Community Homestead, Lions Gift of Sight, Scandia-Marine Lions Club, Wildlife Science Center, Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation, Christ Lutheran Church, and Osceola Medical Center. People could learn how to make plarn (plastic yarn) from plastic bags and use that to help crochet mats for those experiencing homelessness. The table behind the mats had fleece-tied blankets that were made for children and teens experiencing life-threatening health issues. There were additional organizations and activities at the event that aren't pictured here.

A variety of non-profits were at the One Stop Donation Drop including those pictured here: Community Homestead, Lions Gift of Sight, Scandia-Marine Lions Club, Wildlife Science Center, Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation, Christ Lutheran Church, and Osceola Medical Center. People could learn how to make plarn (plastic yarn) from plastic bags and use that to help crochet mats for those experiencing homelessness. The table behind the mats had fleece-tied blankets that were made for children and teens experiencing life-threatening health issues. There were additional organizations and activities at the event that aren't pictured here.

At the One Stop Donation Drop, attendees could knit hat for babies born at Fairview Medical Center in Wyoming (MN); and - at the table behind that - make fleece-tied hats for children undergoing chemotherapy at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Representatives from Osceola Medical Center were on hand to share information about diabetes prevention; and volunteers from Northwoods Humane Society had games and prizes, accepted donations, and brought two dogs available for adoption. One dog was adopted that day!

At the One Stop Donation Drop, attendees could knit hat for babies born at Fairview Medical Center in Wyoming (MN); and - at the table behind that - make fleece-tied hats for children undergoing chemotherapy at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Representatives from Osceola Medical Center were on hand to share information about diabetes prevention; and volunteers from Northwoods Humane Society had games and prizes, accepted donations, and brought two dogs available for adoption. One dog was adopted that day!

I'm welcoming blood donors and guests to the One Stop Donation Drop. At the table next to me, there was information about becoming a bone marrow donor. Guests could plant milkweed seeds and take them home to plant in the Spring. In the far back, was the blood drive with the American Red Cross.

I'm welcoming blood donors and guests to the One Stop Donation Drop. At the table next to me, there was information about becoming a bone marrow donor. Guests could plant milkweed seeds and take them home to plant in the Spring. In the far back, was the blood drive with the American Red Cross.

We are getting one of the fleece blankets ready to be cut so it can be tied at the One Stop Donation Drop. People from the community - youth and adults - tied the blankets. They were donated to Project Linus which distributes them to children and teens with life-threatening medical issues.

We are getting one of the fleece blankets ready to be cut so it can be tied at the One Stop Donation Drop. People from the community - youth and adults - tied the blankets. They were donated to Project Linus which distributes them to children and teens with life-threatening medical issues.

Teachers and staff from Scandia Elementary School donated a car load of children's books and teaching resources to create a library in Malawi, Africa through the African Library Project. Our goal was to collect 1,000 books and raise $500. After the One Stop Donation Drop, we collected 902 books. There were two more collection times happening during April to help reach the 1,000-book goal.  On May 16, 2018, we packed 1,012 books and shipped them to Africa to create the first-ever library for 465 orphans and vulnerable children!

Teachers and staff from Scandia Elementary School donated a car load of children's books and teaching resources to create a library in Malawi, Africa through the African Library Project. Our goal was to collect 1,000 books and raise $500. After the One Stop Donation Drop, we collected 902 books. There were two more collection times happening during April to help reach the 1,000-book goal.

On May 16, 2018, we packed 1,012 books and shipped them to Africa to create the first-ever library for 465 orphans and vulnerable children!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Scandia Farmers Market at Gammelgarden Museum from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

=> Introduced the community to the Wildlife Science Center and a broad-winged hawk. Also collected 4 rolls of paper towels for the WSC.

=> 7 sheets were colored for Color-a-Smile. The coloring sheets were sent to those in nursing homes or who are homebound; veterans; and servicemen/women who are overseas.

=> 22.48 pounds of food was collected for the Scandia-Marine Food Shelf's summer backpack program that benefits children who otherwise would not have food to eat during the summer.

=> 7 pairs of adult-size jeans were collected to make shoes for children in Uganda through Sole Hope.

=> 55 egg cartons were collected for use by Scandia Farmers Market farmers.

=> 119 canning jars were collected for use by Scandia Farmers Market vendors who can produce as well as Elim Lutheran Church that cans produce to support the Green Grocery Share for community members who are struggling to put food on the table.

=> 4 pairs of glasses, 2 hearing aids, and 12 hearing aid batteries were collected for the Scandia-Marine Lions Club/Lions Clubs International that refurbishes them for people in need in the U.S. and throughout the world.

=> 92 wire hangers were collected for Park Cleaners in St. Paul that will reuse and/or recycle them.

The Wildlife Science Center brought a broad-winged hawk and pelts from various animals. Many people of all ages stopped by to learn more about raptors and animals that live in Minnesota.

The Wildlife Science Center brought a broad-winged hawk and pelts from various animals. Many people of all ages stopped by to learn more about raptors and animals that live in Minnesota.

Two girls coloring photos for Color-a-Smile. The pictures will be sent to seniors in nursing homes, the homebound, veterans, and active servicemen/women throughout the U.S. and world.

Two girls coloring photos for Color-a-Smile. The pictures will be sent to seniors in nursing homes, the homebound, veterans, and active servicemen/women throughout the U.S. and world.

Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and hearing aid batteries that were collected at the June mini-One Stop Donation Drop for the Scandia-Marine Lions Club. The glasses and hearing aids will be refurbished and given to people in need throughout the U.S. and world.

Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and hearing aid batteries that were collected at the June mini-One Stop Donation Drop for the Scandia-Marine Lions Club. The glasses and hearing aids will be refurbished and given to people in need throughout the U.S. and world.

On May 16, 2018, we sorted and counted books that were donated to the book drives to establish a library in Africa for 465 orphans and vulnerable children. We worked through the African Library Project to create the first-ever library for these children.

On May 16, 2018, we sorted and counted books that were donated to the book drives to establish a library in Africa for 465 orphans and vulnerable children. We worked through the African Library Project to create the first-ever library for these children.

Give Life...Give Hope partnered with the Forest Lake-Scandia Leo Club to package the 1,012 books and learning materials for the library in Malawi, Africa.

Give Life...Give Hope partnered with the Forest Lake-Scandia Leo Club to package the 1,012 books and learning materials for the library in Malawi, Africa.

We shipped the 16 boxes of books and learning materials to the African Library Project which then ships them to the school/care center in Malawi, Africa. We wish we could see the children's faces when they see all the boxes and their new library!!

We shipped the 16 boxes of books and learning materials to the African Library Project which then ships them to the school/care center in Malawi, Africa. We wish we could see the children's faces when they see all the boxes and their new library!!

On June 18, 2018, we picked up a donation of fleece-tied hats and knitted hats that were made by a women's group at Eagle Brook Church. They were inspired to make the hats after attending the March 2018 One Stop Donation Drop at the Scandia Community Center that was coordinated by Give Life...Give Hope.

48 fleece hats and 2 fleece scarves for pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

48 fleece hats and 2 fleece scarves for pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

13 knit hats for newborns at Fairview Hospital in Wyoming (MN) and 10 knit hats for pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

13 knit hats for newborns at Fairview Hospital in Wyoming (MN) and 10 knit hats for pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Blood Drive at the Scandia Community Center + One Stop Donation Drop at the Scandia Farmers Market at Gammelgarden Museum in Scandia, MN  

=> 26 units of blood were collected at the blood drive with the American Red Cross. This has the potential to save 78 lives!

=> 8 no-sew, fleece-tied hats were made for youth who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

=> 7 sheets were colored for Color-a-Smile. The coloring sheets will be sent to those in nursing homes or who are homebound; veterans; and servicemen/women who are overseas.

=> 3 pounds of non-perishable food was donated for the Scandia-Marine Food Shelf's summer backpack program that benefits children who otherwise would not have food to eat during the summer.

=> 13 adult-size jeans and 37 jean pieces were collected; and will be used to make shoes for children in Uganda through Sole Hope.

=> 181 egg cartons were donated and distributed to Scandia Farmers Market farmers.

=> 19 canning jars were donated for use by Scandia Farmers Market vendors who can produce.

=> 25 eyeglasses and 2 hearing aids were donated to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club so they can be refurbished and given to someone in need.

Three blood donors were donating blood (for a total of 26 donors), no-sew fleece-tied hats were made for children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, and sheets were colored for Color-a-Smile at the Scandia Community Center on July 11, 2018.

Three blood donors were donating blood (for a total of 26 donors), no-sew fleece-tied hats were made for children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, and sheets were colored for Color-a-Smile at the Scandia Community Center on July 11, 2018.

One unit of blood has the potential to save up to 3 lives!

One unit of blood has the potential to save up to 3 lives!

Making no-sew fleece-tied hats for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. Many of the children need blood transfusions while going through chemotherapy.

Making no-sew fleece-tied hats for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. Many of the children need blood transfusions while going through chemotherapy.

25 pairs of glasses were donated on July 11th to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club. These will be refurbished and given to people in need.

25 pairs of glasses were donated on July 11th to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club. These will be refurbished and given to people in need.

Jeans and pieces of jeans were collected on July 11, 2018, to be used to make shoes for children in Uganda. The shoes help prevent the children from getting jiggers - tiny insects that live in the dust and burrow into feet where they lay eggs. Jiggers can cause many health complications - including death. Repurposing these jeans into shoes literally can save lives!

Jeans and pieces of jeans were collected on July 11, 2018, to be used to make shoes for children in Uganda. The shoes help prevent the children from getting jiggers - tiny insects that live in the dust and burrow into feet where they lay eggs. Jiggers can cause many health complications - including death. Repurposing these jeans into shoes literally can save lives!

No-sew fleece-tied hats that were made at the Scandia Farmers Market on July 11, 2018. These will be donated to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy.

No-sew fleece-tied hats that were made at the Scandia Farmers Market on July 11, 2018. These will be donated to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis for children who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy.

Six pictures were colored at the Scandia Farmers Market for Color-a-Smile. These pictures will be sent to seniors who are in nursing homes or homebound; veterans; and service men and women serving overseas.

Six pictures were colored at the Scandia Farmers Market for Color-a-Smile. These pictures will be sent to seniors who are in nursing homes or homebound; veterans; and service men and women serving overseas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Mini-One Stop Donation Drop at the Scandia Farmers Market at Gammelgarden Museum

=> 10 adult-size jeans and $50 were donated for making shoes for children in Uganda so they don’t get jiggers. Pattern pieces are cut from the jeans so that cobblers in Uganda can create shoes. 

=> 4 sheets were colored for Color-a-Smile. The coloring sheets were sent to those in nursing homes or who are homebound; veterans; and servicemen/women who are overseas.

=> 6 items were donated to Northwoods Humane Society.

=> 20 pieces of costume jewelry and estate jewelry for I Have Wings were donated. The jewelry is refurbished and used to raise funds for women going through breast cancer).

=> 33 egg cartons were donated for use by Scandia Farmers Market farmers.

=> 48 canning jars were donated for use by Scandia Farmers Market vendors who can produce.

=> 29 eyeglasses were donated for the Scandia-Marine Lions Club so they can be refurbished and given to someone in need.

=> 97 wire hangers were donated for a dry cleaning company in St. Paul that will reuse and/or recycle them. 

Northwoods Humane Society shared information about their programs. Youth and adults enjoyed playing a game and winning prizes.

Northwoods Humane Society shared information about their programs. Youth and adults enjoyed playing a game and winning prizes.

Sophia explaining about how the jeans would be transformed into shoes for children in Uganda so they don’t get jiggers. Olivia was coloring pictures for Color-a-Smile.

Sophia explaining about how the jeans would be transformed into shoes for children in Uganda so they don’t get jiggers. Olivia was coloring pictures for Color-a-Smile.

Tracing and cutting patterns to make shoes for Sole Hope which sends the pieces to cobblers in Uganda.

Tracing and cutting patterns to make shoes for Sole Hope which sends the pieces to cobblers in Uganda.

Sophia donating glasses to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club for its eye glasses recycling and refurbishing program that benefits people in need throughout the United States and world.

Sophia donating glasses to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club for its eye glasses recycling and refurbishing program that benefits people in need throughout the United States and world.

Sunday, September 16, 2018, Elim Lutheran Church, Scandia, Minnesota:

=> Created 20 kits to make shoes for children so they don’t get jiggers.

=> Created 21 care kits for youth and adults who were treated for jiggers so that they can do follow-up care at home.

=> Colored 6 sheets for Color-a-Smile.

Teaching a group of women at Elim Lutheran Church how to create the parts for children’s shoes from jeans and file folders. These components will be transformed by seamstresses and cobblers in Uganda into size 5 children’s shoes.

Teaching a group of women at Elim Lutheran Church how to create the parts for children’s shoes from jeans and file folders. These components will be transformed by seamstresses and cobblers in Uganda into size 5 children’s shoes.

Sophia assembling the parts that make up a pair of shoes. A sample shoe is to the left of the picture. The elastic band and soles (made from tires) are added to the kits in Uganda.

Sophia assembling the parts that make up a pair of shoes. A sample shoe is to the left of the picture. The elastic band and soles (made from tires) are added to the kits in Uganda.

Example of a care kit for people who have been treated for jiggers. There were bandaids, Neosporin, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, stickers, and safety pins included in each kit.

Example of a care kit for people who have been treated for jiggers. There were bandaids, Neosporin, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, stickers, and safety pins included in each kit.

Coloring sheets for Color-a-Smile.

Coloring sheets for Color-a-Smile.

Saturday, December 2, 2018, Blood Drive at Crossroads Church's activity building in Forest Lake, Minnesota:

=> Collected 14 units of blood that will save up to 42 lives.

=> Knitted 1 hat for a newborn at Fairview Hospital in Wyoming, Minnesota.

=> Colored 3 sheets for Color-a-Smile.

Two donors at the blood drive I hosted with the American Red Cross at HERO’s Holiday Fair.

Two donors at the blood drive I hosted with the American Red Cross at HERO’s Holiday Fair.

Knitting a hat for a newborn on a round loom.

Knitting a hat for a newborn on a round loom.

Coloring a sheet for Color-a-Smile.

Coloring a sheet for Color-a-Smile.