Members of Creative Sisterhood bundle items for the county’s domestic violence shelters. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one group of Maricopa women has worked to bring some comfort to those trying to get out of bad situations.

The Creative Sisterhood, a society of senior crafters, made and collected an assortment of quilts, pillowcases, afghans, blankets, tote bags and baby blankets, plus toys and toiletries in a drive to help Against Abuse Inc. stay stocked.

“Every woman and child in an Against Abuse shelter gets a pillowcase,” said CS member Marilyn Rein. “They need a pillowcase because that’s what they put their things in.”

Details like that have been learned by the women over the years as they’ve found the most effective ways to help others in need. Service remains an important part of the group’s mission.

“We started out once a month doing community projects,” acting President Carol Young said. In 2014, they made more than 200 pillowcases.

Acting president Carol Young (right).
Acting president Carol Young (right).

One of the Creative Sisterhood’s beneficiaries is domestic violence victims. CS members are constantly making items with a purpose, like the infant blankets. It adds up over time. So distribution time is exciting on a couple of levels.

“We’re tired of storing. We’re not about storing,” Rein said.

In September, the women bundled up hundreds of items and passed them along to Pinal County Victim Services ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“All of the items we collect through the month, including [Creative Sisterhood] donations, will be given to our Pinal County shelters to help victims of abuse,” said County Attorney’s Office spokesperson Tiffany Davila.

Victims are primarily women and children. Many are in county shelters like La Casa de Paz in Maricopa.

“The kids will get toys and pencils and games, a little something that a kid would like,” Rein said.

Most of the toys are donated, but the women also hand-make a few.

Young was co-founder of the Creative Sisterhood more than six years ago. The group is an offshoot of the Senior Center and gathers every Wednesday to sew, craft, learn and enjoy each other’s company.

“At the beginning of the month, someone will say, ‘We’re going to do this craft,’ like a show-and-tell,” Young said. “And they’ll tell you what supplies you’ll need if you want to make it, and then we’ll make it. It’s always something different.”

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The group first met in various homes but grew too big for that. Four years ago, they began meeting in the Copa Center. Rein said in the winter there are 30 to 40 women in attendance.

Some women quilt, others crochet or embroider, others scrapbook or do other arts and crafts. The women learn from each other and share tips. New member Lorraine Reilly said Young has a wealth of knowledge to help others improve their skills. Whatever they are working on, camaraderie is an important element of the gathering of mostly retirees.

“That’s our objective, too, to be a place where women can come – even if they don’t want to do a craft – to visit and have companionship,” Young said.

Victim Services PinalCountyAZ.gov/CountyAttorney/VictimServices
Creative Sisterhood 520-450-2093

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