Sewing Machine Fundraiser
Update – March 24, 2021
In 2018 I Love First Peoples (ILFP) and The Art for Aid Project (AFAP) began working on a plan to get the AFAP Sew & Sew Program into the Mushuau Innu Natuashish School in Northern Labrador. With the help of some invaluable volunteers and efficient fundraising, we were able to send three (3) adult-level sewing machines and a generous helping of material and peripherals to the school, with the intention of following up on their supply needs in subsequent years.
This year, at the request of the school, we began searching for an affordable and suitable sewing machine to support a learning program for elementary students. We identified Janome Canada as a potential supplier because of their excellent reputation and the quality of their products. We began fundraising for 30 machines to be divided between three (3) schools. [Update April 2021: the number of schools have now increased to four (4) due to the generosity of Jenome Canada and supporters of the Sew & Sew Program.]
Josee Lusignan, President of IFLP, contacted Janome Canada about a possible partnership to help build the program. The result was really wonderful. Compelled by the cause and vision, Janome joined us as an official partner of the Sew & Sew Skills Lab! The Jenome machines we initially requested would not have been sufficient for the rigors of elementary school education. We received an education in what an educational machine might look like. They offered to donate 60 professional-level machines, fitted with child safety guards. These upgraded machines are significantly more expensive, will hold up to the tasks of a skills lab, and will enable us to expand the program to more schools in the North! In addition, Janome Canada will also lead a sewing supply drive this spring – more details to come!
How this translates for previous donations: The initial ask for donations to the Sew & Sew Program were $160.00 per machine, to which 33 generous donors responded! Because Janome Canada has offered to upgrade the machines, we will convert these 33 donations to 10 machines of the same model being provided by Janome Canada. These superior quality machines will ensure that students can access their skills labs for years to come. The machines are even strong enough to sew canvas tents - a much needed resource in the remote north! In the end, we will be installing machines into the Mushuau Innu Natuashish School Natuashish, that is in Newfoundland and Labrador, Jens Haven Memorial School in Nain, Labrador, and Nasivvik High School in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, and a 4th school to be determined. Jenome Canada has committed to supporting the Sew & Sew Skills Lab for the next 3 years with a donation of 60 machines per year!
Transportation: It goes without saying that shipping will be a significant factor in getting the machines and supplies to the schools, and ILFP and AFAP will be exhausting all avenues of support for this. We will continue to run the fundraising platform through spring in anticipation of significant expenses to ship and install this program. We plan to visit the schools once the program is set up in September.
The first Sew & Sew project: As part of the program, we will be inviting students to make a quilt that will be gifted to a local Elder. We will partner with Janome Canada and Indigenous cultural learning specialists on the development of this initiative, to be revealed in June 2021.
Machines will be shipped in May and June, in time for the start of the 2021/2022 school year.
We are so grateful to all of you who support the Sew & Sew Program. If you wish to contribute to this wonderful learning experience for Indigenous youth, please visit www.ilfp.ca and donate to the Sew & Sew program to help offset the shipping costs.