Charity Spotlight: Seeds to Sew International

As seen in Foxtales May 2016 Newsletter Published by FoxRidge Improvement Association, Centennial, CO

By Catherine Zhang, Eliza Rosenthale & Lucy Hollar (High School Student Interns)

Seeds to Sew International is an organization that works with two subsistence farming villages in Kenya to improve the lives of impoverished girls and women through education and job skills training. The nonprofit was founded by Ellyn Ito, her aunt, Lianne Aoyagi, and her mother Janice Ito, a long-time Foxridge resident and Cherry Creek School District educator. Their inspiration was to help disadvantaged women and girls who are often denied education and are subjected to abuse from their husbands or guardians. The organization provides their participants with any supplies they need, including donated fabric and sewing machines, so they can learn to sew and learn basic business skills. The women and girls make Enkiteng bags, Enkisoma bracelets, and Githomo gifts. The products are then sent to the U.S., where they are sold. All net proceeds are returned to the women participating in the program; school fees and school-related expenses are paid directly. Seeds to Sew has strong ties to both the international community and the local community of Foxridge. In fact, Enkiteng bags, one of the products that returns the most money to Seeds to Sew participants, originated right here in Foxridge when Ellyn’s husband started wrapping Christmas presents for the family in pillow cases! These bags are an eco-friendly, stylish, and convenient way to wrap your gifts. Ellyn, a 1987 graduate of Heritage High School, returns to Foxridge two or three times a year to hold events for Seeds to Sew in schools and churches, and often attends holiday gift fairs in the area. If you are interested in having her speak at your school, church or event, you can email [email protected]. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter or Pintrest.

Foxridge May 2016 Newsletter (pg.9)