Photo Credit: Sarah Barclay

Story originally published by The Daily Republic 

A group of women from Mitchell, South Dakota, have spent decades helping hundreds of people in need across the world. They never see the people they help, but they can feel them every time they pick up a needle and thread.

"It's so wonderful," Piecemakers, a group of 12-15 sewers, member Anita Stevenson told The Daily Republic. "The joy of stitching together to make something for the needy."

Every Tuesday, the women work vigorously from 9 a.m. to noon making quilts, typically completing two every week. Most of the finished quilts are sent to the Lutheran World Relief, an international organization that aides in disaster relief and sustainable development, but the Piecemakers have donated to their community as well.

Many women in the group have been stitching together for up to 20 years, and have created a bond that is now irreplaceable. They accept people of all ages and welcome sewers of every level. Group member Janet Drewes found herself unable to leave after she donated fabric to the Piecemakers a year ago, and now looks forward to the time together every week to give back.

"They needed someone to cut fabric, so I never left," she said. "…I can't imagine a child being cold. I just can't."

In addition to quilts, members of the group have also made pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa, prayer shawls for local families, and both personal care kits and school kits for elementary students in the Mitchell area. Each contribution they make, brings the women that much closer to one another.

"I don't have a mom, but I have several moms right here," Piecemakers member Janet Drewes said. "They are a fun group of ladies to work with. There is never a dull moment here."