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burberry outlet ‘Bag Ladies’ sewing group in C

‘Bag Ladies’ sewing group in Citronelle helps Shoe Box Ministry

(Courtesy of Eva Hendrix)

CITRONELLE, Alabama They call themselves “the Bag Ladies of Memorial Baptist Church” in Citronelle and their motto is “Sew you go.”

The group of women, led by Hazel Gray, meets every other Wednesday to make drawstring fabric bags to be placed in the shoeboxes filled with toys that are shipped to Third World countries as part of Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Ministry, a project of Samaritan Purse.

It all started about five years ago, according to spokesperson Eva Hendr burberry outlet ix.

For several years, the burberry outlet church had been participating in the Shoe Box Ministry, and about 2006, “Hazel received a letter asking for volunteers to come to Atlanta to work in a warehouse checking the shoe boxes before they were shipped,” Hendrix said.

Since then, four to eight women from the church have made the journ burberry outlet ey to Atlanta the week after Thanksgiving, spending two or three days removing such items as shampoo liquids cannot be included weapon type toys and other forbidden pieces.

“It hard to explain how checking shoe boxes can be a blessing, but we get a wonderful blessing working in that warehouse,” Hendrix said.

Removing items, however, left empty space in the boxes. And though some retailers donate small items to take up the slack, and some volunteers bring toys with them, the packages often need additional goods.

That where the drawstring bags come in. “After our trip last year, Hazel got the idea of making the bags” so children halfway around the globe would have something of their very own to hold their treasures, Hendrix said. They each bring a dish for a potluck lunch. Some bring their sewing machines. One has a serger to fortify the seams of fabrics that might ravel.

Starting with just the women who make the trip to Atlanta, the group now has more than a dozen different women who have volunteered, though there are usually just four or five at each meeting at Memorial Baptist. in the core group are Hazel Gray, Tweety Miller, Peggy Hall, Hendrix, Gartman, Eunice Green and Roselle Schaniel. Others who come regularly to help are Margaret Loomis, Cynthia Miller, Renee Sellers, Jean Evans, Mary Sue Lofton, Jo Nichols and Debbie Miller.

Their goal was to complete 500 bags this year. But when they had finished those, they set another goal 1,000, then 1,500. As of the third week of September, the Bag Ladies had made 2,550 drawstring bags to take to Atlanta.

And so far, their expenses have been next to nothing.

“We asked people to donate material that they were not going to use,” Hendrix said. “I asked the home economics teacher at Citronelle High School to save her scraps. And I asked my quilting friends for theirs.”

One person had several bins of upholstery samples that she contributed, and Gray even got a bolt of fabric for a birthday present.

“We would tell people about our project and they would clean out their closets and bring us fabric or ribbon,” Hendrix said.

It didn matter that much if the scraps they received were smaller than the size needed for their standard bag. Gartman took the pieces home with her and sewed them together to make “designer bag burberry outlet s,” Hendrix said.

burberry outlet ‘Bag Ladies’ Keep It Clean

‘Bag Ladies’ Keep It Clean

And during their hour long, nearly three mile morning hikes, they fill them with trash from their Elizabeth Lake Estates neighborhood in Hampton.

“You name it, we’ve picked it up,” said burberry outlet Jo Obeck, who as a 15 year walker is the bag ladies’ unofficial spokeswoman. “When we first started walking, we did not pick up trash. But unfortunately, trash has become a problem in the past five years.”

Elizabeth Lake Estates nestles between Fox Hill and Woodland roads, near Kecoughtan High School. It is by no means the only place where folks work to clean up their communities.

Hampton Woods, for one, has Jackie Cannan and Raquel Cepeda, who were recently pictured in the Daily Press with their debris pick up paraphernalia.

So what’s in it for these garbage groupies?

“It’s fun to be together,” said Olive Johnston, one of the Elizabeth Lake regulars. “It’s a support system.”

Families, books, current events, aches and pains, and the weather are topics up for grabs.

“You don’t need a psychiatrist,” said Obeck. on this October morning

so quiet you could hear a cigarette butt drop.

“Woo hoo,” calls Jane Gibson to Obeck, who materializes like an apparition. On her heels come Sue Han, followed by Carol Lanshe and Johnston, her sister. Ann Lamothe falls in beside them as they head up Elizabeth Lake Drive. Jill Dair and Andrea Berndt, the other two in the group, aren’t here today.

The wal burberry outlet kers’ ages range from 55 to 75. Most of them are retired, from occupations including teacher, nurse, thrift store volunteer, career military servicewoman and artist.

Last year, the Elizabeth Lake Estates Civic Association received a Hampton Neighborhood Improvement fund grant for things like signage and landscap burberry outlet ing. Part of the neighborhood’s matching contribution came from the walkers’ more than 750 volunteer hours.

“I hate to think what the community would look like if we didn’t pick up,” Obeck says. “People should treat their surroundings like their living room.”

Unfortunately, not everyone lives by that rule.

“First beer of the morning,” chortles Lamothe, grabbing and bagging it. Condoms, coins and candy wrappers are other discards they find. The women usually draw the line at dog poop.

Before they pack it in today, they’ll patrol the Woodland Road side of the subdivision. Twice a week, they do the same on the Fox Hill Road side.

“It’s like a disease,” said Johnston. “You notice it (trash) everywhere.”

She and her sister will ask their husbands to stop the car so they can hop out and pick up something.

The Willow Oaks Village Square center has several fast food places and restaurants, and Starbucks Coffee recently opened in the Farm Fresh. Whether the refuse from burgers and lattes is thrown from passing cars or dropped by people on foot, it’s a problem.

These remains of the day and night can wind up in storm drains and move on to pollute local waters, eventually making its way to the Chesa burberry outlet peake Bay. So this is serious work.

burberry outlet ‘Bag It’ puts a smile on the p

‘Bag It’ puts a smile on the plastic bag question Review burberry outlet

Back to Main MenuBusiness News HomeFront PorchIt Only MoneyOregon the EconomyPlaybooks ProfitsSilicon ForestWindow ShopStock Market ReportBusiness Public BlogBack to Main MenuVideos from the OregonianVideos from The Beaverton LeaderVideos from the Hillsboro ArgusVideos from The Forest Grove LeaderYour VideosJeb Berrier, engulfed by plastic bags in “Bag It”It is a sometimes goofy movie with a deadly serious premise: our dependence on plastics, especially single use disposable plastics such as shopping bags, is killing the planet. We are wasting fossil fuels, creating massive landfills, choking the oceans, killing sea life and for no good reason.The film is built (sometimes overly) around the shambling everyman persona of Jeb Berrier, a Telluride, Colorado, performer who innocently wondered what happened to the plastic things that he threw away or recycled. Director Suzan Beraza follows him on a quest burberry outlet around the worlds of ecology, biology, health and politics to learn some of the grim truths.There a lot of Berrier in the film, but he an agreeable presence, and Beraza loosey goosey style is well suited to him as a central character. Unlike other, more strident documentaries, It wins you ov burberry outlet er w burberry outlet ith common sense and a common touch.