Cloth Bags for the Rez

All our donation areas can use cloth bags, home sewn or ready made and just like warm blankets, they’re always needed.  We’ve heard people shopping in Rapid City are being charged 10-20 cents for a plastic bag, which is a good incentive to reduce plastic in the environment but not everyone has reusable cloth bags.  In addition to grocery shopping in town, tote bags are used to pick up food and clothing in Wanblee, diapers, formula and other baby needs at the CDC office in Martin, carrying clothing and personal items when leaving the shelter and families shopping in the Feather Store at Marty Indian School.  All bags should be made of washable, sturdy fabric, lighter weight is fine if tightly woven or lined.

Grocery/tote bags – Finished size should be about the size of a grocery bag or about 14t x 18w.  This size is most popular but a smaller tote can be made for kids to carry their treasures…books, toys, shoes, etc.

Diaper Bags –  Kimmie Clausen makes up baby bags and gives them to the nurse midwife for her clients and Mary Mousseau from Bright Start fills them with donated items we send and gives them to her clients during home visits.  Bags about 18 by 20 or so, outside pockets are handy.

Clothing Bags – Cloth bags are needed to make comfort bags for rape survivors undergoing medical exams at the clinic.  All of their clothing and shoes are retained by police for evidence.  Kimmie and her crew fill the bags with sweat pants, shirt, underwear, shoes or flip flops, socks and a small toiletry bag with shampoo, conditioner, soap, comb, etc. so women can clean up after the exam and restore their dignity.  Drawstring bags should be large enough to hold the above items, with a separate bag for toiletries.  The shelter also needs drawstring bags about 18 x 26 or the size of a standard pillowcase for clients to pack their belongings in when leaving the shelter.

Toiletry Bags – Also used for make up bags and to carry menstrual needs especially for teens in school.  Kimmie gives make up bags to teens participating in their coming of age ceremony.  Women of all ages appreciate filled toiletry bags as not everyone can afford to buy them.  Smaller bags/pouches filled with teabags, hot chocolate , dry soup mixes, instant coffee, etc. are nice gifts to give to elders or for nurses to give to moms on their home visits.  They also make great Christmas gifts.

School bags and Pencil Cases –  Drawstring type with straps is easiest and the style kids like for school bags.  Use bright, colorful fabrics for kids kindergarten to middle school, large enough to hold a few books, gym shoes, school supplies, snack etc.  Pencil cases are handy to keep backpacks organized and supplies contained so they’re right where they need them.


Please send your finished grocery/tote bags to any of our donation areas, clothing bags (for shelter clients and rape survivors) to Kimmie Clausen in Martin, diaper bags to Mary Mousseau and Kimmie and school bags/pencil cases to all donation areas, addresses are here.  Be creative, use up your scraps for the smaller bags, learn a new skill and help others.  The need is ongoing and bags can be sent any time, the only exception is no shipments to Marty Indian School during summer break.

Thanks from Sew for Kids.











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