Local ministry makes nap mats to raise funds for House of the Sycamore Tree

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The House of the Sycamore Tree is a non-profit group that helps adults with special needs and they're looking for ways to expand their services. But the Chapel Hill Baptist Church Women's Ministry is helping them out.

House of the Sycamore teaches their students activities from filing, cooking, or sewing. The tasks may seem simple, but it helps them become more self-sufficient.

"What takes you maybe a week to learn can take them five or six years to learn," said Chapel Hill Baptist Church Women's Ministry leader Vicki Cleere.

The organization hopes to do more and eventually turn their space into a living facility but they have a long way to go.

"We don't get a lot of donations because it's a non-profit," said volunteer Glenda Rodriguez. "I've worked at schools and the special needs kids were always kind of special to me so it's another way I can help and I love that part of it."

Chapel Hill Baptist Church Women's Ministry is donating their time and efforts to creating aprons and nap mats to sell. It started several years ago with one of the women in the ministry, Donna Sullenger, 78, was searching for her purpose in life.

"She wanted to talk to me and said she prayed and told God if He didn't have a purpose for her, that she was ready to go home," said Cleere.

What Donna didn't know is that she'd wake up one morning and learn about making aprons. They became aprons she'd sell to give back to the House of the Sycamore Tree, where Cleere also teaches. But until Donna passed away, the sewing grew each year.

"It's just a blessing to know she thought so much of the House of the Sycamore Tree and we're just going to continue that legacy," said Cleere.

That's why every year, the ministry continues to not only make aprons, but nap mats, bibs, and other items to sell in the community. All proceeds go to the House of the Sycamore Tree's services, craft materials, and maybe one day, a living facility, so the students can become more independent.

"They like being involved and it gives them a sense of 'I am worth something,'" said Rodriguez.

Because although it's a small space, they know under the House of the Sycamore Tree, it's where every stitch with love continues to grow.

Aprons for children are $15 and $20. Aprons for adults are $24 and $30. Nap mats are $55. To purchase one, you can message the ministry on Facebook here or call them at (432) 332-2145. You can donate materials or fabric but it has to be 100% cotton.

House of the Sycamore is always in need of volunteers. For more information, call them at (432) 312-8651.

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