As it appears we will be wearing masks for the foreseeable future - we are continuing our 'Mask Monday' feature of limited edition masks from local artists, designers, and sewers. We are excited to bring this latest mask (and story) to you.
The Collective Thread is changing lives one stitch at a time. The idea behind The Collective Thread is to break down what divides us and work together for the good of communities around the world. In African countries, they are raising up strong African female leaders and opening up a dialogue where Muslim and Christian women can work side by side. In St Louis, they are providing needed skills training and employment opportunities to immigrant and refugee women.
COVID-19 brought worry and stress for The Collective Thread, knowing their staff relied on the income provided through their sewing manufacturing work, which came to a halt during the crisis. They pivoted early on, allowing this local non-profit to not only survive, but thrive during this crisis. Founders Annie Miller & Terri Stipanovich are very proud of their sewing staff and the work they have accomplished together.
The story behind the 'Bibi' Mask - One specific sewer for The Collective Thread, Bibi, with the help of her husband, both refugees, made over 4,000 masks for TCT. Zaky, a former Afghan interpreter for the US military, was laid off early from his job and the only income they had was from TCT’s mask making project. Amazingly, through hard work and dedication, this project has provided enough income for a down payment on a home for Bibi and Zaky, an American Dream for sure. In the midst of crisis TCT has experienced hope in the community they serve through stories like these.