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Project Comfort: A Ministry Making People Feel 'Sew' Much Better

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During difficult times, even a small act of kindness can make a big difference.  That's the foundation for a sewing ministry that demonstrates the love of Christ to people in need. 

Each year, the ladies from First Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia turn out more than 5,000 useful items they make themselves with fabric, thread, yarn, and most of all, love. 

"Before I come, I say a prayer that whatever I do today would benefit someone in some way that would touch them," said volunteer seamstress Virginia Morton. 

The ministry is aptly called Project Comfort. Director Debbie Allen told CBN News the women make dozens of different items, such as pretty hand-knitted hats decorated for women experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy, as well as more masculine ones given to men who stay at the church's homeless ministry.

Beautiful, soft, baby blankets go to crisis pregnancy centers, along with pillowcases and other useful items for expectant mothers and their little ones.   

The ladies also make and donate tiny vests to local hospitals' neonatal intensive care units.  The vests are fastened with velcro and specially designed to accommodate the medical devices premature babies require. 

Project Comfort reaches out to the military community as well, providing patriotic-themed pieces like quilts and pillows for veterans in hospice care. 

"These quilts bring them comfort while they're still alive," said volunteer Linda Salverson, "Then after they pass, the family has either a pillow, or they have a quilt, something to say, 'My child touched this. It was with them to the end.'" 

Other helpful items include a decorative and useful piece of fabric with pockets that fit nicely over a walker.

Some women who join the Project Comfort ministry have no experience at all with sewing.  They quickly learn from others, like Cheryl Lawson, who has years of practice under her belt. 

"What better way to share your God-given talents, than to help other people," she told CBN News, "And to be here with all these wonderful ladies." 

Project Comfort makes small multi-purpose pink pillows for breast cancer patients that can be used under the arm to prevent crushing drainage tubes, under a cross-body seat belt for comfort, and under the head during infusions. 

Allen points to large, embroidered bibs that are donated to nursing homes.

"This has the drapery liner blackout so it doesn't allow anything that's spilled on the front to go through," she explained.

Even with all the materials and resources needed, this ministry is self-funded. 

"We have people constantly donating fabric, or machines, or everything that we need, to make this place run.  And it just happens. God makes it happen," Allen said. 

The generous donations also allow Project Comfort to join mission trips to developing countries where they pass on donated sewing machines, fabric, and supplies while teaching women how to use them. 

"They can sew for their family, which was most important," said Brenda Morse about her trip with the group to Peru. "Also, they can sew and earn money from what they sewed. So that was something really different to them."

While the women of Project Comfort enjoy a tight bond of Christian friendship while working together, their true joy comes from showing the love of Christ to people in need. 

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