A six-year member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Andrade, 60, had been pondering a way to help people in the community. Talks with church members resulted in a plan to assemble blankets and quilts for the homeless.
“It was need, I think — our community needs to help keep them warm,” she said.
About two months ago, Andrade and eight other women in the church began to stitch warm coverlets they would donate to Tracy Interfaith Ministries and the Coalition of Tracy Citizens to Assist the Homeless. They worked out of their homes, using whatever material they could find, from fabric scraps to old pants and shirts. Andrade, with little experience, assembled three blankets.
But sewing at home was lonely, she thought, and a little boring, too. Instead, she and her companions will meet twice a week starting in February to continue their sewing for the homeless and maybe get a little help with the effort.
She sees the group as a chance to gather the community together to make a difference.
“Anyone willing to be part of the plan of helping each other can come,” Andrade said. “There are many people that don’t have the money to help, but they have the time and talent to help.”
The group is looking for all kinds of extra hands. People can sew, quilt or just cut the fabric to make the blankets. People with no sewing experience can stop by and learn how. The group is also looking for cloth and material of all kinds, new or recycled. Even scraps are welcome.
“Whatever is thrown out as leftovers can be used as another man’s treasures,” she said.
Those interested in helping are encouraged to take along any sewing equipment they might have, from scissors to portable sewing machines.
The group will start Tuesday, Feb. 1, and continue throughout the year.
Andrade hopes that with enough hands, the group can reach a goal of 100 blankets and quilts for the homeless coalition and Tracy Interfaith. The twin-sized blankets and quilts will be free to any homeless people who need them.
“If we can meet that goal, that would be awesome,” Andrade said. “The need is there, and it’s not getting any better any time soon.”
At a glance
• WHAT: Free group to help the homeless
• WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Feb. 1
• WHERE: Seventh-day Adventist Church, Room 3, 2025 Holly Drive
• DETAILS: Folks are invited to help sew and quilt blankets for homeless people in Tracy. Fabric donations of all kinds are welcomed. No experience is necessary.
• INFO: Mary Andrade, 835-6435