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Serving with Smiles projects calendar

New to SWS? Request a liability waiver and registration form from Elizabeth 801-716-0318 for all children under age 18. Thank you for joining us in building good in the world! All projects held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 1152 N 400 W in American Fork. 

"SWS Youth" - Friday night 5-7:00pm projects for kids ages 11-18. Bring snacks to share!
"All SWS" - Saturday morning  9-10:30am project for kids ages 6+ and their families! Bring $5/person or $15/family suggested donation. 

  • SWS Youth. January 19, Friday Night Service Fun
  • SWS Youth, February 16 Friday Night Service Fun 
  • SWS Youth, March 15 Friday Night Service Fun 
  • SWS Youth,  April 26 Friday Night Service Fun
  • Have a good summer! 
  • SWS Quiltapalooza to make as many quilts and blankets as possible! Saturday, September 14, 9-11:00am. Invite your friends and let us know if you have a quilt frame we could borrow. 801-716-0318. 

For those who would like to contribute but can't attend our projects, please consider helping by making your own contributions. Take a look at this SWS@home page for patterns and instructions or look at ideas below. https://www.servingwithsmiles.org/p/do-sws-wherever-you-are.html
Email Elizabeth Jeffrey about drop-off locations.  thejeffreyfamily@hotmail.com

We would very much appreciate if you could make these items at home, and bring them to us so we can distribute them to our contacts. Here are our most needed items that we think are great for making at home. As always, find instructions under the SWS at Home tab:

QUILTS! Quilts are the most important thing we donate because they provide warmth, comfort, and protection. Go to our quilt instruction page to learn how.
HAT LOOMS keep little heads all over the world warm. You can order a hat loom on amazon here. Make sure to not use thin yarn. 
BABY RECEIVING BLANKETS are also very valuable and we include them in precious newborn kits 
ORIGAMI is super fun for the maker and receiver. Watch our tutorial on how to make an origami kit
HUMANITARIAN KITS. Your group can make kits at home! We admit this can get really expensive (one of the perks of SWS group projects), but look for sales, get creative, and you'll know what to do.
SERVE AROUND YOU! SWS is not the only way to serve. Look for opportunities all around you to do kind deeds, give loves to someone who is lonely, and reach outside to someone in need!

There are many local organizations who could really use help. Please consider donating to them, or donating to us (humanitarian items, not food pantry items) and we give to them:
Tabitha's Way in American Fork

    Email Elizabeth Jeffrey at thejeffreyfamily@hotmail.com if you have further questions. Thank you for all you do to make this world a better, happier place! 


    A Message From the Founders of
    Serving With Smiles

    "We have been very encouraged by the response about SWS  from parents, teenagers and children. They are fired up about being involved with Serving With Smiles. With all the heartache, war and suffering in the world, we sometimes feel helpless. We at SWS think when the tools to help suffering in the world are placed in a child's hands, the world becomes a better place."

    "We believe these children will begin to recognize throughout their life the contrast of helpless suffering versus compassionate service and hard work. Their humble gratitude will literally change the world as their impact is felt by those they touch. As we provide relief to those in need, we realize that our passion is to . . .TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO SERVE! And just as a good seed that is planted will mature into a beautiful, fruitful tree, we hope that all our children will have the "good seed" planted in their hearts and spread it throughout the world."

    Elizabeth Jeffrey and Corinne Allen
    Co-Founders of Serving With Smiles

    Hear from our

    The Directors of Serving With Smiles are dedicated parents who are committed 
    to giving children the opportunity to spread goodness throughout the world.  
    Listen to their stories... 

    Elizabeth Jeffrey
    Co-Founder, Projects Manager, Youth Group Director, Blogger
    "I learned at a young age how important it is for a child to gain self-worth and confidence from serving others. I remember my parents encouraging me to help after group efforts and secretly taking money to needy families. I also learned from my Grandma how to constantly incorporate service into our daily lives. She was always making quilts for people, making treats for people, giving money to the needy, writing kind letters of encouragement and strongly urging her family members to work hard serving others and giving our lives for good, not selfishness. This example has been deeply imprinted in the fiber of my soul and I am eternally grateful for parents and grandparents who taught me this valuable jewel of lesson: If you want to be happy, immerse yourself in the service of your fellow beings and your God."
    "When I was in high school, I worked as a life guard at the old Saratoga Springs Water Park in Saratoga Springs, UT. One day, patrolling the warm spring waters, I noticed a family with 2 little girls who had physical abnormalities that I couldn't identify. I started talking to the grandfather of these little girls about them. He told me that both sisters, Jessica and Amber had a rare kind of Leukemia called "aplastic anemia" and what rare odds that both sisters were infected with this horrible disease! He also mentioned that the monetary cost to treat these angels was astronomical and their parents just did not have the funds to pay for all the medical bills. My heart ached for this adorable little family. Right on the spot, I told the Grandpa that my friends and I would figure out a way to help them. I implored the help of a show choir that I was a member of at Lehi High School. Our instructor and all choir members agreed to put on a benefit concert to raise money for these precious girls. We put on the benefit concert and our choir, for the first time performed not for personal glory, but for the benefit of these girls. I saw how united people become when they leave their own personal agendas and reach out to someone else in need. I learned that a spirit of generosity and love can change hearts and reach beyond bounds of logic. Our little choir raised $1,000 for this family. This was just a drop in the bucket, but it was done with love and sincere service. This experience changed my life!"
    "I went on to Ricks College after I graduated Lehi High School. At the end of my Freshman year, I became the President of a service club on campus called "Serving With Smiles". Our club was quite successful and once again I learned and witnessed how hearts changed and reached out beyond their own personal agendas to help someone else who had a greater or different need. When I was pregnant with our 5th child, I was challenged to figure out what my personal mission in life was. Well, being tired and unable to think beyond taking daily naps and making sure my children were fed, I couldn't imagine that there was much that I could offer society. Besides raising a family, what unique gifts did I have or what unique experiences had I been given that would help our society and neighbors. I honestly could not answer this challenge. I did not know. I kept trying to think of job skills or displayed talents. I came up with nothing. Then my husband asked me, "what just makes you excited and happy? What have you been good at before that has blessed the lives of others?" I thought of my life experiences with service and I knew that Service was the gift that I wanted to share with my children, our society and the world."
    "I feel so blessed to be a part of Serving with Smiles! I love working with Corinne! We are a great team and I couldn't ask for a better partner! I am especially grateful to work with all the directors who have, like a magnet been attracted to SWS because of their similar life stories and desires for their families. I'm grateful for my husband, Joel and my children for passionately involving themselves. This organization is a light in so much darkness because children are learning valuable lessons of service, hard work, compassion and leadership! These children are already sharing this light with others in their families and with their friends. We have had children report that for their birthday parties, they asked their friends to not bring presents, but bring money to donate towards assembling humanitarian kits and other projects!! That is the coolest thing ever! I love the children of SWS immensely and I feel honored to work along side them!"

    Corinne Allen
     Co-Founder, Kits Manager, Schools Specialist

    "I was born and raised in central California. When I was 8 my mother, at the age of 28, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
    My dad usually worked 2 jobs and very long hours to feed our family. I do not remember ever being hungry or feeling like we had nothing, but I do remember knowing and realizing that times were tough. Our circumstances being what they were, my first memory of true compassionate service was on the receiving end."
    "Late one evening, there was a knock at our door about a week before Christmas. Dad opened the door, with four curious little girls trailing behind him. When we peeked outside, we saw a very large box but no visitors. It was to heavy for my dad to carry in, so we opened it on the front porch. Inside were four of the most beautiful homemade dolls I had ever seen, and one of them had my name on it. The box was filled with gifts, most of them wrapped, except for the dolls. I remember the joy I felt at this surprise. I wrapped my new doll in my arms, I loved her at first sight. I remember the tears in my parents' eyes. We placed the wrapped gifts carefully around the tree and all sat down together in the front room. My parents expressed there gratitude for the gifts and for the anonymous gift givers and encouraged us to do the same. I remember feeling like they must have been very nice people that magically knew that we had nothing for Christmas. And even as a little child, wondering who would take so much time and effort to give our family these gifts for FREE! And then knowing it had to be someone who loved and cared for us very much . . . and then wondering if they were angels."
    "We had more experiences like that growing up, but this particular one made a big impression on me. I wanted to do for others what had been done for me. Knowing how much these “angels” helped me and the joy they brought into my life, I knew I wanted to do that for someone else. Through the years I have gained a strong desire to serve. I have had wonderful examples through out my life that have fueled this fire within me. Loving parents, grandparents, school teachers, and church leaders have all played a role. They taught me gratitude. To look around me and see the beauty, to count my blessings, and then to quickly share them. I have learned that small things, can have a giant ripple effect and change lives. I know I am happier when I am serving others instead of being engulfed in myself or feeling sorry for myself. I believe it is the perfect cure in both of those circumstances."
    "In a more recent experience, I have again had the opportunity to be on the receiving end, that has inspired one of our projects at Serving With Smiles. In March of this year, I delivered a still born baby girl. Amiss all the many other emotions and feelings I do remember having some anxiety about what we would bury our little girl in and what would we even hold her with, since we brought no baby blankets with us to the hospital. The situation was all so sudden and we had no time to plan. As soon as she came, the nurse handed me a precious tiny pink blanket and a small little wrap for her tiny body. Where had these items come from? Again I thought…..was it angels? Yes it was and the angels can be any one of us if we choose. Someone had taken a little piece of their time, made those blankets for someone else like me who needed them, and donated them to the hospital. This experience opened my eyes even more to the way I wanted to live my life. We now teach children ages 10 and up at Serving with Smiles to sew preemie and stillborn blankets to donate to hospitals locally and around the world."
    "I love to serve. I do it as much as I can, and I try to teach my five beautiful children as much as I can. No matter where I live there are always people in need. I feel a responsibility to do my best, to seek them out near and far, that my family and I and this rising generation might be angels to them."

            Marilee Cole - Treasurer & SWS youth group director
    "I love Serving With Smiles. I graduated from college with a Bachelor's in Social Work and I have always loved helping people. As the mother of four children, I wanted to instill that love for service in them."
    "Serving With Smiles has the perfect way to do that! My children love doing the projects! I really enjoy being involved in the SWS organization. I love how it helps those in need and gives children an opportunity to feel the blessings of service and to learn to look beyond themselves."


                          Mark Allen - Director of supporting Corinne

    Aubrie Huggard - Registration Director & School liaison
    "Service is something that has come naturally to me since I can remember. I think it is because of my unique family situation. I am the oldest of five children, I have a brother that is three years younger (James) and a sister that is 14 years younger than me (Annie) that both have Down Syndrome. I feel it is a privilege to be their older sister and have the many unique responsibilities that come along with being their sibling. I think that this has made me more empathic toward others in need."

    "Another life experience that has strengthened my desire to serve others was when I was 15 years old, my father was killed in tragic farming accident on our family farm in Cedar Valley, Utah. It was and still is a very difficult thing for my family. My sister Annie was two years old at the time and wasn't even walking yet because of her poor muscle tone which is symptomatic with Down Syndrome. My dad would carry her every where we went as a family because she was so heavy, not being able to sustain her own body weight because of poor muscle tone. After his death, my mom wondered how she would carry her on her own. I remember carrying her a lot as did my brothers (Joseph and Evan) to ease the load on my mom. I didn't really think of it as service until years later my mom now talks about how that eased her physical burden so much."

    "A few years later I entered the Miss Lehi Pageant where we had to come up with a service platform. I chose something that was near and dear to my heart, which was a bereavement group for kids who had lost a parent. It felt so good inside to help others who had been through what I had been through deal with their grief. It sparked a love in me for others who had dealt with tragedy and a want to serve them."

    "As a young mother I have thought of different ways I could instill in my children a love to serve others. I have taken them with me to deliver meals to those who are sick or in need. We have performed many sub for Santas over the past few Christmas's and other small acts of service, but I was looking for a way to reach outside of our little town and help others who may not live here but need our help as much or more. When my dearest friends Liz and Corinne told me about this group that they organized called "Serving with Smiles" children healing the world, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get involved and help others. "Because I have been given much, I, too, must give" is a line from one of my favorite songs. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve and to teach my children about service by giving it to those who may need it the very most."

    Annette Steed 

    Origami Director & Youth Group Hostess

    Laura Winters - Quilting Director

    Jenny Thueson - Gecko Director

    Shauna West - Sewing Director
    "Shauna was born and raised in Provo, Utah. She graduated from Timpview High School and later attended Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. She served an 18 month mission for her church to Lansing, Michigan where she saw how service can change people for the better. After having four children of her own, she felt the need for teaching them how to think beyond themselves and to serve others. Joining up with Serving With Smiles has been one way to help fulfill that need and teach the children about others in the world. Shauna resides in American Fork, Utah with her husband, Aaron and their four children."

    Kathy Diether - Sewing Director
    I grew up in Provo.  I learned to sew at a young age.  I graduated from BYU with a bachelors degree in Clothing and Textiles.  I am married and we are blessed to have six children, 5 boys and 1 girl.  I have a strong desire to teach my children the love and joy of serving.  I also enjoy teaching sewing lessons.  I found the perfect opportunity with Serving With Smiles:  I get to combine teaching sewing with serving alongside my children.  I started SWS in 2013.

    Tonia Gray - ABC Books Director

    Erin Brown - Baby Cloth Dolls Director

    Julia Woolf - Value Bracelets Director

    Selena Hreinson - ABC Picture Books Director

    Drawstring backpacks sewing instructions

    Click on link for instructions with pics or see below:

     Drawstring Backpack
    Courtesy of Anne Michelle Bailey 

    2 pieces heavy cotton 15" x 18". I used outdoor canvas that I got off the discount rack at JoAnns and washed it so it wasnt so stiff. But you could use denim, or twill or anything that seems durable.
    2 pieces 3"x15" of the outside fabric for the casings. 2 pieces cotton 15"x18" for the lining
    2 - 7 ft long pieces of cording. I used cotton 6mm macrame cord for most of them. It was the easiest to thread thru.
    2 - 3 inch pieces of 3⁄4" twill tape or cotton webbing
    Step 1:
    Do a 1⁄4" roll hem on the short ends of the 3x15 pieces.
    Fold them in half, wrong sides together and pin along the fold to hold them. Or iron them if you're into that, or have a lovely assistant. Which I didnt, lol.
    Step 2
    Take the twill tape and fold it in half, and zigzag the ends together abt 1/4 inch from the edge. Set aside for a minute.
    Step 3
    Get one piece of the outside, and one piece of the lining, put them right sides together and pin the casings raw edges between them along the edge, centering them...there should be about a half an inch on each side of the casings.
    page2image3921376 page2image3911520 page2image3910176
    Sew with a 1⁄2" seam along that edge. Open up and it should look like this:
    Now sew 1⁄8 in or so away from the seam on the lining side, pulling the casing the other direction so that you are sewing thru all the layers. Is that clear as mud?
    Now repeat all that with the remaining fabric pieces.
    Step 4:
    Open both pieces up.. Pin them right sides together, (outer to outer, lining to lining) lining up the casing seams, and pinning the casings in the same direction. (Actually, now that I think about it, the same direction prob doesnt matter, but thats how I did it, lol)
    page3image3911072 page3image3924288
    Step 5:
    On the outer fabric, mark up 3 inches from the bottom. Take the twill tape loops and insert them in the seam and pin. Make sure when pining that after you sew it, there will be an appropriate amount for the cord to go thru without it being so big the knot will go thru. I found that if I pulled the twill tape edge out from the edge of the fabric about 3⁄8 of an inch, the tube ends up about right.
    Step 6:
    Starting on the lining side, and leaving about 5 inches open to turn it, sewing 1⁄2 seam all the way around, being careful not to catch the casings in the seam. Then zigzag the edges...I usually go back and forth over where the twill tape is so its really secure.
    page4image3920704 page4image3922272
    Step 7
    This next part is the hardest to explain, so if it doesnt make sense, go to you tube and search for sewing box corners. ( I learned a lot of stuff from you tube. This pattern is a conglomeration of about a dozen vids I watched and a little common sense).
    First clip the corners to the seam like this:
    Take the corner and pull it so the side seam is lined up with the bottom seam and it makes a point. Pin it, making sure your seams are lined up, and you dont have any tucks (my specialty).
    Then,, with a ruler, measure down from the point 2 1⁄2 inches and mark it with a pin or pencil. If you can eyeball a perpendicular line to the seam, great, if in doubt draw with a pencil
    page5image3922048 page5image3927200 page5image3919808
    Sew that seam, trim it to 1⁄2 inch and zigzag.
    Repeat with the other corners, making sure your seams are laying the same direction.
    I usually sew all four corners, then clip and zigzag. But whatever floats your boat.
    Step 8
    Turn right side out. Make sure your cord loops are the correct size, adjust if necessary, then close up the opening where you turned it. Since its the lining, I usually just zigzag it shut.
    Stuff the lining into the bag and you are ready to thread the cords.
    page6image3915328 page6image3925408 page6image3928320
    Step 9
    Now it looks like this. We hope, lol.
    Pin a biggish safety pin about 2 or 3 inches from the end of one of the cords. Or, alternatively, make a slip.knot and put the safety pin thru it. I find most of the cord threading is easier with the slip.knot, but to get it thru the twill tape loops, you may have to just pin thru the cord.
    Lay the backpack flat, thread the cord thru the front casing, starting on the right. When you get to the other side, thread it back thru the back casing. Pull the cord so the ends are the same length.
    (K, that pic is backwards, sorry.)
    page7image3905472 page7image3914880 page7image3889120
    Put the pin thru the cord...if you do it 2 or 3 inches from the end, it usually holds together long enough to get it thru the twill loop. I haven’t successfully done both cords at the same time, I had to do them individually. After you get them through, knot the ends like the picture. If it looks like it won’t hold, knot it again.
    Now do the other cord, starting from the left through the front, back through the back, then down to the twill loop. Once that is tied off, you are done!
    page8image3928992 page8image3929216