Everyone has their own calling. Some feel called to be leaders; Others, parents; and some are natural born teachers. This is the case with Perry. Perry, a Community enCompass neighbor, and Sacred Suds local has lived a full life with careers ranging from plumbing to doing hand radio operating to volunteering for disaster relief with the Salvation Army.
When I first met Perry we learned that we have a shared interest for food. However, unlike Perry, I cannot cook to save my life. Perry has since taught me how to cook delicious meals and has plans to teach me how to make sausage. As we moved past our love for food I realized that Perry knows how to do a lot of different things and is rather gifted in explaining even the most complicated tasks, like how to fix a commercial coffee machine. The one thing Perry does not know how to do is sew, but being a good teacher is often paired with being a good learner. Perry saw a need within his community for a sewing class and he wanted to be able to provide that.
Finding clothes that fit properly seems to be a recurring problem for neighbors, especially if you are on a tight budget. For this reason, Perry wanted to make sure that the sewing class would be affordable for anyone who wanted to join. He worked for months researching the best materials to use, the mechanics of each sewing machine, and basic sewing tutorials. Not only was Perry able to track down six different sewing machines but he has accumulated enough sewing materials to furnish a Jo-Ann Fabrics. And he did so on a budget of less than $100! To call Perry resourceful would be an understatement.
With all of the sewing machines up to Perry's standards and the materials all gathered, the class was ready to begin. Although Perry is a natural born teacher, he would prefer to be in the back of the room silently learning. So for the first class, Perry teamed up with fellow neighbor Kerry and together they taught the basics of sewing. Perry is still learning to sew, so he stuck to the mechanical aspects of the class and Kerry handled the sewing. The class went off without a hitch and I learned more about my sewing machine in two hours with Perry and Kerry than in the ten years I have had the machine!
We are in the beginning of the sewing course but it is evident the class will turn average Joe’s into avid seamstresses.
Here at Community enCompass we believe the key to building strong neighborhoods is connecting to the gifts and vision of neighbors themselves. Our neighbors have much of the knowledge, skills, passion, and resources to make a real positive change in their community. So we are about the business of identifying those gifts and connecting them to each other to make good stuff happen!
If you want to join Perry on his mission to better sewing you can join him and other neighbors every …Tuesday, 6 pm at Bethany CRC Church.
This article was written by Tabi Haney, Community enCompass Asset Based Community Development Catalyst Intern, and neighbor.