Given that this is a blog about sewing, I thought you might find this interesting. This post is about a different kind of sewing project in which I am involved………making breast cushions for Zonta.
Zonta International is a worldwide service organisation of business and professional women working together to advance the status of women. Zonta has 33,000 members in more than 1,200 clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas. I am a member of the Zonta Sydney Breakfast Club and we meet once a month.
The members of Zonta volunteer their time, energy and know how to local and international service projects. These projects are designed to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional satus of women around the world.
The breast care cushions (pictured above) have been designed to help women recover from breast surgery. For women who have had mastectomies (for cancer of the breast), the idea is that the soft satin pillow can be used to cushion the wound from the pressure of a seat belt for example. The pillow can also be tucked under the arm for support when sleeping. From all reports, there are numerous uses for the pillow because it is small and soft and an ideal shape.
There are several steps involved in the process, beginning with raising funds to purchase the goods, and then ordering and cutting the shells, applying the Zonta logo, sewing the pillows, stuffing and wrapping them and then finally, delivering them to the local hospitals.
Four times a year we hold a stuffing day which is attended by all the Sydney Breakfast members and friends of the club. It’s a marvelous day on many levels. It really is. Firstly, its very sobering to stop and sit for a morning and actually be able to just ‘talk’. It’s not often in this day and age we can afford ourselves that luxury. Secondly, the girls and women that attend the stuffing days, range in age from primary school girls to ………whatever and there’s a very comforting sense of solidarity and camaraderie between us, a sort of fusion of the generations as we pool our resources for the common good. Also, it’s a tangible contribution that can actually be seen and measured at the end of the session and somehow, that makes it better still. It’s a day that is good for the soul.
We tend to stick with pink and purple because all the other colours have been tried and tested and it seems that pink and purple make the prettiest cushions. The hospitals and the recipients are always extremely grateful and welcome the cushions,not only for their practical qualities but for the moral support that is packed into every pretty package.
Incidentally, Zonta means honest and brave