By Brandon Robinson, Grice Connect newspaper
A group of local women from the Brooklet United Methodist church are in the business of pillowcase making. The group has been dubbed by local foster care organizations as “The Pillowcase Angels." The coalition of angels come together every third Friday of the month to stitch pillowcases for children in local foster care facilities. The angels begin their work in the Brooklet United Methodist Church Dining Room at 10am.
The angels launched their group in mid-2015. The catalyst for the group’s creation came after they trekked to the Macon Methodist Children’s Home with supplies and toiletries. After arriving at the facility, the facility director offered them a tour of the grounds. However, once the director showed them the children’s dormitories, something special there caught their eyes. Each child had handmade quilts and blankets on their beds -- but that was not the same for their pillowcases.
So, the leader of the Pillowcase Angels, Sandra Williams, decided that her church would step in to fill that void.
When the group returned home to Brooklet, they only had a handful of sewing supplies to begin with from their individual homes. However, over time, the group has received donations of sewing supplies and machines to carry out their work with increased ease and efficiency. To date, the group has made 823 pillowcases for foster care children across the lowcountry. Each pillowcase is hand-stitched with heart and completed with an emblem of love on the inside. The emblem reads: “Made with Love - From the Pillowcase Angels - Brooklet Women of Faith.”
The Pillowcase Angels group is regularly comprised of 10-12 women who carry out the divine Samaritan work. Each of them varies in skill-level and sewing ability. In fact, some of the women only choose to iron the pillowcases made, instead of participating in the pillowcase making itself. Yet, each angel plays a vital role in the process of successful pillowcase making and completion. These angels volunteer their time and energy to seam together these fabrics for the good of humanity and the emotional welfare of these foster children.
The group’s efforts were temporarily postponed once the pandemic ensued in 2020. In fact, they did not meet at all from February 21, 2020 - September 17, 2020. However, the group’s passion was never lost among any of them. And once they were able to resume their efforts in September 2020, the angels recouped all progress lost due to their swelling motivation to complete their charity.
The angel group sings the praises of their fearless leader, Sandra Williams. In fact, angel Marjorie Frazier expressed that “Sandra Williams has a gift from God” regarding her eye for piecing together fabric colors and combinations.
Williams, however, modestly redirects the limelight back to the group effort and how rewarding it can be for them.
"Sometimes the children will mail us pictures of their pillowcases, and we get to see how excited they are to receive them," Williams said. "The work that we do is highly rewarding, and we pray that the pillowcases assist those children in having sweet dreams when they slumber.”
In fact, many of the children who receive those pillowcases go on to carry them with them when they leave the foster care system. So, no matter what, they always have a handmade symbol of heart and soul to sleep on each night no matter what challenges they may face in life.
Brandon Robinson is a freelance writer for Grice Connect, a local newspaper in the Statesboro, Ga. area. This article was originally published on February 26, 2023, in the Grice Connect.