Sewing Hope

Hands of Hope Blog

One small action has the power to change someone’s life. With children continuing to enter the foster care system in Indiana, it will take one small action from each of us to make an impact.

When a child is removed from their home and placed in foster care, caseworkers usually provide a trash bag to collect any belongings the children want to bring with them to their next residence. In a recent 2020 community meeting, members of the Allen County Department of Children’s Services suggested an alternative: pillowcase bags. Pillowcase bags, which would be handmade by members of the community, are reusable, washable, and far more sturdy than a standard kitchen trash bag. It also communicates to children that their things are valuable, worthy of intention and care. Hands of Hope decided it was time to make a change on behalf of these kids, and the response has been overwhelming.

Between March of 2020 and February of 2021, over 1700 pillowcase bags have been made and donated by members of the community. Businesses even stepped up to support the cause: BurCraft Fabrics in Ft. Wayne donated fabric for the bags, Smoothie King volunteered to be donation drop-off locations, and All Seasons Climate Controlled Storage offered free space to store the bags until they could be distributed.

The response to the pillowcase bag initiative has been so positive that it has spread to 10 other counties in Indiana. Our Northeast Indiana Regional Manager Chad Bedwell has been inspired by the outpouring of support, saying, “This shows the power of community. You can’t do everything, but you can do something. And your something combined with my something makes a big difference.” One small action has the power to change someone’s life. Allen County knows that firsthand.

If you are interested in supporting this initiative, you can click here or contact Chad Bedwell at

Written by: Maggie Johnson (Honeycomb Creative Co.)