_DSC3770 (640x427)Despite scissors flashing and sewing machines going 10 to the dozen Thembalami Care Centre did not reach its target of 1 000 pillowcases and 1 000 sheets at its Sewing Marathon held on Saturday, May 16.

Run by non-profit organisation Rand Aid Association, this Lombardy-East care centre looks after men and women who are physically and financially vulnerable.

The care centre has received lots of condemned linen from various hotel groups over the past two years, including sheets and duvet covers for double and queen size beds. Although the linen had either a tear or mark on it, it was otherwise very serviceable. The problem, however, was that all of the care centre’s beds are single beds.

Thembalami’s staff hit upon the idea of holding a Sewing Marathon to use the donated linen to make single bed sheets and pillowcases. On Saturday morning, 18 people, including residents from some of Rand Aid’s retirement villages, family of Thembalami residents and a number of caring Alexandra residents arrived and got down to the serious business of churning out sheets and pillowcases.

“Although we did not reach our target, the event was a huge success. There was a wonderful sense of purpose to the day, with women arriving with their sewing machines, setting up, and then churning out sheets,” says Thembalami’s Elize Raath.

In fact, one woman, Moria Dowds from Tarentaal retirement village, completed 30 sheets within the first hour.

Sandwiches were served and a hearty lasagne enjoyed for lunch. A number of prizes were donated and handed out on the day, as was a floating trophy and medallion – sponsored by local businessman Chris van der Merwe – that were presented to Dikeleldi Nare who finished 65 items. She was closely followed by Sylvia Miyanbu with 54 items.