"Sewing Peace"

"Sewing Peace" update - the May shipment arrived in Uganda on July 24, 2017. It was a long voyage but the boxes of sewing machines arrived safely. If you have a no-longer-used but working sewing machine, please consider donating it to the Sewing Peace project. Just bring it to your local transfer station and let the folks there know that you want to donate it to Sewing Peace. Thank you. (Last year we sent 43 machines; this year, on September 22, 2017 we sent 95 sewing machines, including 3 treadles!)

 Original article:

The Springfield Transfer Station serves as a collection site for working but unwanted sewing machines. Once a year, the machines are trucked to South Burlington to join a shipment sent overseas by the non-profit, Pedals for Progress (P4P). P4P started collecting bicycles years ago, and later added sewing machines. In  2015, the Transfer Station collected 25 sewing machines which made the long trip to Fiji. This photo from January 2016 captures the happiness of one recipient.

The Problem

"The poorest individuals in developing countries need work. Finding work, much less a career, in developing countries can require a Herculean effort. The barriers are often impossibly high and include widespread unemployment, limited education, inability to acquire credit, and discrimination. On top of this, many developing countries simply lack the industries, infrastructure, and robust economies that can keep people working."

The Solution

"A portable sewing machines, used, but in working condition is a job, period. In 2000, P3P sent its first sewing machine and discovered that these machines are in demand in the same places where our bicycles have changed so many lives for the better. Plenty of unwanted portable sewing machines exist in people's homes. They're often headed for a landfill or languishing in a closet."

"Overseas, seamstresses and tailors alike can acquire their most valuable tool and begin a business. Students can learn to sew - many of these machines will outfit programs in schools, teaching people a valuable skill they can use anywhere."

"How can we export good used sewing machines overseas? Pedals for Progress is a non-profit charity seeking useful used items destined for U.S. landfills, donating them overseas where they can become productive assets for the poor. P4P has maintained active bicycle recycling programs in foreign countries for 22 years. P4P's bicycle programs are so well established that the distribution channels for used sewing machines already exist with our overseas partners."

"The sewing machines go to non-profit vocational education, small business, community service programs and individuals."

"In the developing world, a portable sewing machine is a vital workaday tool. Brand new, these are priced well out of reach of the working poor. Which is why your help is so critical. By including these machines with our bike shipments, we've managed to significantly defray their shipping cost."

"Other non-bike locations have higher shipping costs as we need to airfreight the machines, larger cash donations help us provide someone with a most valuable asset - the means to ear a decent living in more remote locations."

"In a shipment of used bicycles to the Rotary Club of Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic, we included the first 17 machines - and a new P4P sponsored initiative was born. 12 years later, 2,300+ sewing machines have been shipped! Sewing machines provide a direct means of financial independence for the men and women struggling to support their families in these emerging economies. Let these people help themselves by supplying them with a tool with which to work. That old sewing machine gathering dust!"


from P2P 7/18/12


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