Sew with us: Packed with Dignity

Sew with us: Packed with Dignity

Come sew with us!

Goal: 100 Backpacks for men and 100 Backpacks for women will be created for the clients who use the services of the EMO HIV Day Center. The backpacks will be created by friends of St Philip the Deacon church under the direction of Viola Horton. The packs will be filled with a 20 piece pre-assembled hygiene kit, and additional items such as socks, underwear, masks, washcloths, feminine hygiene products, all in various sizes.

How a ministry starts…

From Viola Horton of St. Philip the Deacon

Before the pandemic, Pat Dickerson announced in church that the EMO HIV Day Center was donations of soap, toothbrushes, etc.

I began thinking immediately about a String Backpack project a sewing teacher friend created at the Fashion Institute during the sewing camp for tweens! I got the pattern, did the denim mock up and gave that  mock up to Pat who took it to the center, and the manager liked it!

I wanted to take the donations further, went online, and discovered that companies have put together kits, offer underwear and supplies at bulk prices, all to help different charities. Since I am already making masks, I decided to add those to the kits, as well.

How a ministry grows…

In a perfect world, here’s what I need to help this grow: 

  • EXPERIENCED cutters and markers to create backpack sewing kits!
  • EXPERIENCED sewers who can put together the backpacks!

Cutting and sewing takes under an hour per backpack. I am willing to pre-cut and mark fabric and make kits to put these packs together.

After social distancing is lifted,  we can gather and work together more efficiently. Until then, we can arrange pickup and drop-off of materials.

To participate, please email Viola Horton at

As there is interest, we will be seeking funding and endorsement to see if we can get deeper discounts on fabrics, notions, undergarments and kits to fill the back packs, so if you know of sources, please contact Viola or Mother Maria (