Sew For Hope
P.O. Box 210514
Nashville TN 37221-0514
Mission Statement
Our mission is to foster hope among refugees and other marginalized groups of people by providing a sense of worth and accomplishment, along with the ability for future earnings, through marketable sewing skills taught in our classes. Each graduate of the Basic Sewing Program receives sewing tools, a certificate of completion and a new sewing machine to begin their journey as an entrepreneur or employee. Graduates may return for an Intermediate Sewing Class or take advanced classes in various sewing fields. Finally, when graduates request sewing work, they are matched to companies and designers requesting a referral for sewing jobs.

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Rita Atkins
Board Chair Rita Atkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sew For Hope Founder
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2015
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Projected Expenses $59,082.00
Projected Annual Revenue $63,200.00 (2017)
Mission Our mission is to foster hope among refugees and other marginalized groups of people by providing a sense of worth and accomplishment, along with the ability for future earnings, through marketable sewing skills taught in our classes. Each graduate of the Basic Sewing Program receives sewing tools, a certificate of completion and a new sewing machine to begin their journey as an entrepreneur or employee. Graduates may return for an Intermediate Sewing Class or take advanced classes in various sewing fields. Finally, when graduates request sewing work, they are matched to companies and designers requesting a referral for sewing jobs.

Background Sew For Hope began when the founder, Rita Atkins, visited a job training meeting with refugees at Thriftsmart.  She was struck by how hard they worked but also how large their barriers to success were. While she knew that Nashville had a very large population of refugees, she wasn't aware of the challenges they faced. Among the largest challenges were the lack of knowledge of English and marketable skills. Since her background was in sewing and she had operated a custom sewing business since 1980, she immediately thought of sewing as a very marketable skill. The next week she came back to the meeting and asked if any of the refugees would like to learn to sew. Four Bhutanese refugees said yes and a class began in August of 2012. When the class ended the graduates were awarded a sewing machine and certificate at a graduation ceremony. However, they requested to come back for additional classes and bring friends and family. The class continued and in December, the group officially became known as "Sew For Hope, a minstry of Thriftsmart". Thriftsmart aided the group with the classroom space, mentorship and accounting services. Sew For Hope grew enough to become an independent 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization. It  has continued to grow and has become recognized in the community as a resource for refugee women to have training in sewing, obtain resources, referrals for jobs and a place to meet other refugee women.
The goal is to expand the services to social enterprise and possibly a community center for women to come and sew together.
Impact In the 4 1/2 years of our existence, Sew For Hope has many accomplishments to celebrate. Among them are:
188 members of Nashville's diverse refugee community have been trained to sew and provided with sewing tools and sewing machines to begin a sewing business or seek employment in a sewing related field.A tested and proven curriculum has been developed to ensure good outcomes for all students in the sewing program.Since we have found that our Burmsese refugees needed additional assistance in English skills and were most at risk for poverty, a part time Burmese interpretor/assistant instructor has been hired to work with the Burmese classes.Approximately 40% of graduates have been documented to earn income through matching them with sewing clients. However, since not all of our graduates report this information to us, we believe the percentage is probably higher.
Program Outreach: Two individuals have been trained to teach our curriculum internationally to marginalized people in Belize and Nepal.
Program Management:
To provide continuity and stability in the classroom, a full time classroom instructor/manager has been hired to oversee all of the teaching aspects of the program.
A fundraising program is being developed to provide for current and additional needs.
Future goals Sew For Hope would enable our program to expand it's reach in many different aspects. Among these are:
 Facility: Our number one goal for the year is to add more space to the 256 square feet we currently occupy. We typically have to turn away 2 for every 3 people who want to apply for our program due to lack of space. Our classroom size will hold a maximum of 4 students at a time with 2 classes a day, 4 classes per week limiting participants to to 32 per semester. With a larger facility, that number could be doubled at first and with the addition of more classroom volunteers, possibly even tripled.
Funding: Additional Funding or donated space will be needed to expand our facility. We also pay rent at a storage unit to store supplies until they are needed. Those funds could be used for program services if we had adequate storage available for our supplies. Client/Graduate Program: To ensure better consistency, we would like to put a formal client/graduate program into place with a full time paid employee to manage the program.  We provide these services on a limited basis by a volunteer but would like to expand to serve additional clients/graduates with continuity and consistency in the processes.Social Enterprise Program: The addition of a social enterprise sewing program to employ graduates and provide income for the program through sales of a bag that has been designed by students is in the research phase.
Needs The most pressing need for Sew For Hope is a larger facility to expand capacity. We currently rent 256 square feet at Thriftsmart and teach 32 students per semester but would be able to double or, with the assistance of additional volunteer staff, possibly triple the number of participants with 1000 square feet of classroom space. At an estimated $10-15 per square ft. for the same general area, the cost would be approximately $10,000 to $15,000 per year. Utilities would add an estimated $4000 to that figure.
A part time Client/Graduate Liason is needed to work with the many companies and designers to assist graduates in being successful in producing sewn goods for income. An estimated salary of $15,000 is needed.
A part time Social Enterprise Manager is needed to work with developing and managing a social enterprise to provide employment for graduates and income for the program. An estimated salary would be $15,000.
The client/graduate liason and social enterprise manager could be combined into one full time job at an estimated cost of $30,000 annually.

Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Checks may be mailed to Sew For Hope, PO Box 210514, Nashville, TN 37221-0514.
Credit or debit card donations may be processed on our website at or by phone at 615-540-4411.
In-kind donations of sewing related materials (fabric, notions, patterns, sewing machines, sergers, embroidery machines, thread, sewing books,  are accepted at 4890 Nolensville Pk. Nashville, TN 37211. Please call 615-540-4411 to make an appointment for drop off.
We love volunteers. If you have a skill you would like to offer that is not listed, please email or call 615-540-4411.
 Sort and organize donations of sewing items
Test donated sewing machinesAssist with registration
Prepare classroom kitsClient liason for students
Assist in a sewing classBe a substitute teacher when needed
Teach an advanced class in your area of expertiseEvent PlanningSocial MediaMarketingTeach an ESL class
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Ethnic/Immigrant Services
Secondary Organization Category Employment / Job Training
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Adult Education
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
TN - Williamson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Cheatham
TN - Robertson
TN - Sumner
TN - Wilson
Sew For Hope serves the refugee population in Middle Tennessee, primarily located in the Nolensville Pk corridor but accepts people from Davidson and surrounding counties.
Description In the Sewing Training Program, participants learn the basic sewing skills to create sewn items in several different categories. Graduates must pass a final hands-on exam that ensures that they have retained the information taught. Graduates are given a certificate and sewing machine at a graduation ceremony where they wear the dress they made in class. Graduates may return to take intermediate and advanced classes.
Budget 63,200
Category Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Females, At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success We see women being uplifted each day when they realize they are capable of learning a skill that can make a difference in theirs and their family's lives.
Long term Success Refugees coming to the US often do not have applicable or marketable job skills for becoming employed. Sew For Hope will foster learning of sewing skills for entrepreneurship, employment, etc. Also, this will provide the Nashville Fashion industry with qualified people to make their products.
Program Success Monitored By
Graduates must pass a very comprehensive final exam on the topics taught in class before graduating. We can tell if the program curriculum and instructors are performing properly by the results of the exams.
We also match graduates to designers and companies who need items sewn. The satisfaction of their customers is also a good indicator on the success of the program.
Examples of Program Success In Spring 2016 we found that 40% of our graduates had documented income earned as a result of the program. Since many of our graduates do not return for advanced classes, this figure does not include any who have graduated but not reported income back to us.
Description Many designers and small  companies request a referral of our graduates to sew their products. We assist by matching them to graduates showing skill in the areas they request. Currently this program is lead by a volunteer at no cost but has grown large enough that a part time employee needs to be hired. We estimate that the hired manager will cost 15000 to hire a part time manager
Budget 15000
Category Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Females, Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success By the end of a semester and graduation we believe 100% of our graduates who request work referrals will be able to be employed with the addition of a part time manager to assist in job placements.
Long term Success We believe that we will be able to place every graduate with an employer. Due to the limited time of a volunteer, we cannot serve all the people requesting referrals of our students. We will be able to increase capacity by double or triple with a part time manager at $15,000.
Program Success Monitored By We should be able to measure the success of the program by keeping records of amount earned, people employed, length of employment, and satisfaction of the customer.
Examples of Program Success Donna Durham of Weighted Comforts hires 6 of our graduates to work for her making Weighted Blankets. She plans to open up a manufacturing facility and hire additional people. Because of training from Sew For Hope and our referral program, these 6 ladies are earning income for their families.
CEO Comments The sewing program is very limited in capacity by the space constraints of our current facility. We could double or triple current capacity with additional classroom and storage space. We are investigating additional space and how funding can be obtained to procure the space.
Board Chair
Board Chair Rita Atkins
Company Affiliation Sew For Hope Founder
Term Nov 2015 to Nov 2018
Board Members
Rita Atkins Sew For Hope FounderVoting
Lynn Creasy Community VolunteerVoting
William (Buz) Graham Christ Presbyterian Church ChaplainVoting
Danny Herron Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville president and CEOVoting
Sissy Simmons Lipscomb University, Adjunct Professor Fashion DesignVoting
Rob Touchstone Lipscomb University, Director/Professor of Missional Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, Co-Founder of The Well CoffeehouseVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
CEO Comments Members of our Board of Directors have many opportunities to contribute in areas of their expertise and experience. We are grateful for their dedication to our mission and willingness to guide Sew For Hope.
 We do not foresee any immediate challenges to our governance.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Rita Atkins
Term Start Nov 2015
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 8
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Under Development
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Under Development
Senior Staff
Title Operations Manager
CEO Comments We are a new organization seeking to expand its capacity to serve its targeted population.  Facility space, strategic hiring, and management of volunteers are needed in order to achieve the desired program expansion.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $63,200.00
Projected Expenses $59,082.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$0$0--
Administration Expense$0$0--
Fundraising Expense$0$0--
Payments to Affiliates$0$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses------
Program Expense/Total Expenses------
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$0$0--
Current Assets$0$0--
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0--
Total Net Assets$0$0--
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- ----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- ----
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- ----
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2017
Organizational Budgets and Other Documents
2017 Budget2017
Organization Comments Being a very new 501(c)(3) Sew For Hope faces challenges in attracting a group of committed donors. We are still in the development phase of a fundraising campaign and hope to have it in place by mid 2017. We have hired a full time Operations Manager and part time Burmese translator/assistant instructor as our first employees. Additionally, space is our biggest constraint for building capacity for our program. If we acquire additional space, unless it is donated space, it will bring a need for additional funding. Financial Comments

This organization filed a 990-N form with the IRS, which does not provide specific financial information. Most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less ($25,000 for tax years ending after December 31, 2007 and before December 31, 2010) are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead.

Kathryn Bennett 3/1/17.
Nonprofit Sew For Hope
Address P.O. Box 210514
Nashville, TN 37221 0514
Primary Phone (615) 540-4411
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Rita Atkins
Board Chair Rita Atkins
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sew For Hope Founder
Year of Incorporation 2015

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