After the tornado devastated Joplin, MO this past spring, Susan Stewart encouraged the sewing community to help Joplin recover with Project First Day. Sue shares her effort to provide new clothing to Joplin children for their first day of school below…
Thank you so much to all of you who made Project First Day an awe-inspiring, overwhelming success!!! Give yourselves a hand, and a pat on the back! I received a total of 1474 garments/outfits from generous seamstresses all across the country and Canada. On Friday, Aug. 12, we loaded up 38 big plastic storage tubs and a couple of boxes into a rented U-Haul and took them to Irving Elementary School. Actually, Irving had been destroyed in the tornado, as had 90% of its students’ homes, so an old retired school, Washington Elementary, was quickly refurbished to serve Irving’s students. Someone had “Irving-ton” T-shirts made for the children! Besides the garments, there were tables of new donated shoes, and boxes and boxes of books for the taking. The distribution was on Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, on the eve of the first day of school. It was crowded, noisy, and exciting. I know we made some children happy, and we also made some mommas get teary-eyed! There were plenty of garments, with lots left over. Those will be taken to other schools which were either destroyed or had a large percentage of students affected.
You may have seen these, but here are links to some of the media coverage…
- Local Pittsburg newspaper
- Local TV station
- Joplin Globe – this article was picked up by the Associated Press, and was published all over the country
- Good Morning America
- CBS Evening News
- Joplin Globe follow-up
I was also interviewed by CBS Radio News (national) and a local radio station in Madison, WI. The Quilt Life magazine, published by AQS, is writing an article about this, and I may even be on The Weather Channel!
Again, thank you!!!!
– Susan Stewart