One of the nice things that came out of our nostalgia trip to Bartlesville was a visit to our old elementary school and our church. The former church community center across the street now has a sign that reads “Martha’s Task — Sew Original.” The front of the building is a store where lots of handmade items are on sale, with an emphasis on aprons. A nice woman came up and gave us a tour of the back of the building where a couple of women were sewing. She explained that Martha’s Task is a non-profit business set up to help disadvantaged and homeless women. Local businesses, the church and the community donated sewing machines, tables, fabric, trims and all the other supplies necessary, and volunteers teach sewing and other needlework classes. The women who make the items receive a stipend for each completed project, and in addition they receive 100% of the money when the item is sold. We were also pleased to discover that the former nun’s residence next door is now a women’s shelter. After viewing the horrible condition of the downtown and surrounding homes in this old part of town, it was nice to stumble upon this wonderful organization.
Here is the statement on the Martha’s Task home page:
Our emergency assistance and economic development programs provide training and/or contract work for women in poverty situations who need immediate funds to pay for utilities, rent, food, prescriptions, etc… Individuals have the opportunity to earn money by selling their handicrafts rather than having to ask for charity.
And this is the cute apron I purchased. I love the retro design and the coordinating feedsacks with yards of yellow bias tape.