NORMAN — Those who have Sally Phillips on their Christmas lists won’t have to stand in long lines this year to find her that extra special gift.
In fact, Phillips is hopeful that she will start a trend by asking all who know her to buy one less gift this Christmas for a loved one and instead make a donation to the nonprofit she has started, Threads of Kindness.
Phillips, who retired as a school counselor after 28 years, went on her first mission trip last September to Haiti with five other members of Summit Church in Newcastle. Little did Phillips know that this trip of a lifetime would impact her forever.
“I pretty much cried the entire time I was there,” Phillips said.
After returning to Norman, Phillips knew that her work in Haiti wasn’t complete.
“I came home and laid in a fetal position for a week. I couldn’t figure out why God sent me to Haiti, because he certainly didn’t send me there to help those people. Finally, my husband said, ‘You’ve got to go back. Your work is not done there. You’ve got to go back,’” Phillips said.
Phillips, who was a home economics teacher for 22 years, decided to fuse her love for sewing with her passion for Haiti. Phillips knew her calling was to go back to Haiti and teach other women how to sew.
“I wanted to teach them to sew so they could actually make clothes with patterns,” Phillips said.
After a month from her first visit, Phillips found herself back in Haiti. This time, she was able to raise enough money to have 10 sewing machines, fabric, patterns and other supplies shipped to Haiti. In a week’s time, Phillips was able to teach a group of women how to sew.