Texas Sewing Program Helps Economy, Communities

By Brown, Pamela J. | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Texas Sewing Program Helps Economy, Communities


Brown, Pamela J., Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


A stitch in time may save nine, as the old saying goes, but stitching-sewing-can accomplish a lot more. Sewing is a useful skill that can generate income and help to establish small businesses. It can benefit the economy and can be a source of community service.

Learning to sew does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Thanks to the efforts of Master Clothing Volunteers across Texas, anyone with a little desire and a few hours per week can be taught this practical and potentially profitable skill.

To become a Master Clothing Volunteer, you must (1) have previous sewing skills; (2) register for the program with a Texas Cooperative Extension agent; and (3) participate in a 25-hour training program. Once the training is complete, each new Master Clothing Volunteer is expected to give back 50 hours to the community by helping at least 15 other people learn to sew. The 50 hours are paid back during the first year after training; the commitment can be as little as 1 hour per week.

During 2001, Master Clothing Volunteers across Texas volunteered a total of 51,950 hours in their communities. If each hour is valued at $13, the volunteer hours are worth $675,350. In one year, program volunteers taught sewing skills to 895 people across the state, in both group and individual sessions. If each new sewing enthusiast bought $50 worth of sewing supplies each month for one year, more than $500,000 would be generated for local businesses.

Volunteers come in all ages and in both genders. …

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