A love of sewing and a heart to help others brought two volunteers together, and their shared vision is enriching the North Shore one stitch at a time.
“The fact that we can teach a skill and how to make quality handmade items, but also give back in such a multifaceted way, really brings a positive response,” said Kathy Scioneaux who, along with her friend and partner Connie Haydel, established the Buckets Seed Foundation.
Scioneaux and Haydel view Seauxing as a sewing ministry. It is a nonprofit organization based in a bright, open studio in Covington, space that has been donated to the organization free of charge for one year.
They started working together in early 2020 in a church sewing ministry, but the challenges of the pandemic interrupted their work, along with many other things.
They started thinking of ways to use their skills to help others, and in March they opened the doors to the studio at the Buckets Foundation.
The foundation supports community partners by organizing sewing classes for all levels as well as sales of fabrics and sewing notions and by working with groups for events or private lessons.
Once a month they hold a FabGrab sale, where fabric is sold by the pound. “It’s so great. You can get vintage models and hard-to-find notions for a flight,” Haydel said.
They also host Open Buckets events, where attendees can sign up to sew one of many project kits or bring their own project; and Buckets it Forward, where volunteers sew items to donate to foster care centers, crisis pregnancy centers, nursing homes, youth and church groups, and disaster relief teams. natural disaster.
Some of the items created for donations include blankets, bibs, face masks, bibs, hospital caps, baby sashes, aprons, tote bags and baby clothes.
Bucketsing Seeds volunteer Toni Lanier of Amite said she prays as she works and brings care to every piece she creates. “I try to think about who I’m sewing and pray the room blesses them,” she said.
Haydel said organizations that receive the handmade items from Bucketsing Seeds often comment on the quality of each piece, from the fabric to the stitching itself.
“We’re getting such a great response, and we’d love to work with more organizations,” she said.
For that, they need more volunteers.
Bucketsing Seeds accepts donations of fabric scraps and other sewing supplies. They use the donated objects either in their creations to give away, for their lessons or to be resold by the meter.
In addition to sewing, volunteers are needed for several other tasks, from inspecting, organizing and sorting donated fabrics into bundles of free colors and patterns, to collecting donations and creating baskets. completed items. “There’s a lot to do, even if you can’t sew,” she says.
Student volunteers are welcome, Haydel said, as well as homeschool groups looking for a home economics lesson or Boy Scout troops looking for a sewing badge.
Proceeds from sewing classes and fabric sales are also donated to community projects, so those who’ve always wanted to sew can learn from Buckets and know they’re supporting good causes, she said.
Mother-daughter duo Teresa Arrington and Evie, 10, from Covington, said they never thought they would have as much fun learning as they did.
“I’m proud of myself because I’ve created something that I can use. I look at him and say, ‘Wow I did that; I didn’t just buy it at the store! ” Evie said of her pink-hued tote bag. She said she wanted to keep learning and planned to sew her own teddy bear.
Scioneaux, a retired teacher, said she keeps her classes fun and project-oriented so students can walk away with something they can see, touch and feel. “They feel a real sense of accomplishment when they see what they’ve created,” she said.
Haydel said that as the organization grows, she and Scioneaux have a vision to empower women to gain employment through sewing, create quilting circles and expand to help more people. organizations that could benefit from hand-sewn items.
“We always have such a vision of who we want to be that sometimes we have to stop and look around and remember how far we’ve come,” she said.
Anyone wishing to donate fabric or volunteer in the studio for a sewing project or with organizational help should visit bucketsingseedsfoundation.org, email [email protected] or call Scioneaux at (985) 966.8514 or Haydel at (985) 807.4739.