Improving Lives One Stitch At A Time With Martha's Task

Martha's Task helps empower low income women through supportive seamstress training programs.

Martha's Task provides job training to low income women in the community serving some of the most vulnerable populations including the homeless, mentally ill, domestic violence victims and those who are marginalized by the difficulties of living in poverty. There are no other programs in our community or really in this entire state that meet the need we fulfill by providing job training and employment for women who are treading water in a difficult time of their lives. Our clients all come to us broken in some way. We help them learn new skills with paid training and the ability to sell their products at our store and in crafting markets. In addition to seamstress training, we provide an emergency assistance program through which women can earn cash for an immediate need. When our clients graduate from our program we provide them with a sewing machine to use in their own cottage industry, along with the renewed confidence in themselves so they can obtain jobs in other fields as well.

A $25,000 grant will help Martha's Task provide job training and employment for vulnerable low income women in the community who find themselves needing pay, but living in a situation that makes finding a job difficult. Domestic violence victims who have fled a dangerous home, sometimes with children in tow, often find seeking a job intimidating while they are recovering from their injuries - both physical and emotional. We help them earn money while they heal. The same is true of those who are homeless, recovering from addictions, struggling with mental illness and those who are working to rehabilitate their lives after serving time in the court system. We help these clients improve their lives utilizing private donations and grants entirely, with no public money involved. The State Farm grant will help pay wages, transportation and training. Our program helps reduce the clients' dependence on welfare programs and social services by increasing their skill level and income.

Martha's Task has a proven track record of serving our community with an impact that has lasted 19 years and counting. Our successes are measured by clients who learn the ability to follow a schedule, the skills to create beautiful merchandise and the income from sales that allows them to purchase a vehicle, renew outdated car insurance or pay the deposits to move from a shelter into their own apartment. Some of the women we serve go on to utilize their sewing to support themselves. Others use their seamstress training, but also take the stability they gain here to go work in jobs in other industries. One of our clients paid her way through college sewing and now works as a professional counselor. It is difficult to lift people out of the poverty cycle, but we are playing our part and we know the programs we have in place will continue to meet this vital need in our community for many more years.