Could we have ever imagined doing a sewing class for our students via YouTube? Would we have thought there would ever be a reason for YouTube classes? No to both. But we did it! One week left and the women will have completed a quilted table runner and learned a skill that they can use to make even larger projects.
Covid has forced us into some interesting and amazing situations:
We've mobilized to sew over 2,000 masks - some to donate and others to sell.
We've gone to online parties on Facebook and been able to continue selling the products the women in our program make.
We've been able to connect RiSE seamstresses with employers who need extra sewing hands during this time.
And we've learned how to make tutorial videos and open up our classes to even more women since there are no space constraints.
Our program is dependent on face-to-face interaction and building relationships with the women in our program. Like everyone else, we're feeling a little isolated and weirdly disconnected from the people we used to see every week. We've mourned with one of our students over the loss of her husband to COVID. We've been sad to lose touch with some of our students over the past seven months, and we've had to respond to the women who have been on the waiting list for over a year, letting them know we are unsure when we can start in-person classes again.
But in the midst of this terrible pandemic, we've found ways to keep going. There are so many donors and volunteers to thank for this. With courage and generosity, they've continued to find creative solutions and give funds and time so that we can keep moving forward.
We will continue using our YouTube channel to give our students the opportunity for more classes. If you sew or are curious about what a quilting tutorial looks like, we would love to invite you to our channel. Our RiSE director, Kelsey has a five-week class on quilting that will take you through the steps of making a quilted table runner.
You can find us on YouTube here.