Women’s Auxiliary hosts Fabric Fair

by Hugo Bravo

The event, which occurs twice a year, is a longtime fundraiser for The Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania. This spring’s fair drew over 1,000 visitors.

Every Wednesday, members of The Salvation Army Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Auxiliary in western Pennsylvania come to the Army’s warehouse in Pittsburgh to prepare for its next Fabric Fair fundraiser. The event, which occurs in the spring and again in the fall, raises money for The Salvation Army of Western PA through the sales of sewing goods and materials donated to the Army. Sewing and crafting hobbyists can find cloth, yarn, buttons, zippers, and more at lower prices than at retail hobby stores. In only a few hours, this year’s spring Fabric Fair raised over $50,000.

“This was one of the best Fabric Fairs that we’ve ever had,” says Major Jodi Lloyd, program secretary for the Salvation Army Western PA Division. “Our last one had about 675 people coming in to purchase goods, and this one we welcomed over 1,000.”

Major Lloyd has seen just how big the sewing community is in their area; many sewing groups that visit the Fabric Fair are also involved in their own ministries, creating a ripple effect. Though not a sewer herself, she is happy to be a cheerleader for women who host the event and is always on hand with coffee and encouragement for its volunteers.

“On Wednesdays, as we prepare for the next fair, we’re also sharing our life stories and updating each other on how we are. Many of the women are retired, in their 70s and 80s, but they say how important and meaningful it is to be part of this,” says Major Lloyd. “This event is on the shoulders of all these women that come to the warehouse to measure, cut, sort, and fold fabrics. Their work gets transformed into this beautiful event that raises so much money for The Salvation Army.”

The next Fabric Fair will be on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit salvationarmywpa.org/fabricfair.