Arlington Sews Their Appreciation

June 01, 2011 | David Patrick

Sometimes the simplest ideas — such as pillowcases — can launch a ministry, provide an avenue for outreach and service, and make a difference in someone's life.

A couple of years ago, Diane Ball and Kathy Patrick from the Arlington (Wash.) Church heard about a military mother in Arizona who made pillowcases for care packages.

The women determined the military's standardized size of pillowcases, learned the cases could be decorated and discovered the cases would become a personal possession of service men and women. Every pillowcase has a unique and personalized touch, including a note of thanks from the sewer.

Since beginning this pillowcase ministry in January 2009, Arlington women have enlisted the community to join together to make thousands of pillowcases. A local fabric store joined in by providing a place to sew, including access to sewing machines and donated materials.

Community and church volunteers partnered to make 5,000 cases for the USS Lincoln, 5,000 cases for the USS George Bush and additional cases for ground forces. The goal, say ministry leaders, is to produce enough pillowcases for two or three ships per year and more for ground personnel.

"We believe that in sharing God's love in a tangible way we are witnessing and developing friends for now and eternity," say Ball and Patrick.