Volunteers Wanted: Sewing Tote Bags for The Lydia Project Cancer Clients

One of several totes I sewed.

From a young age, God gifted me with a passion for sewing and needlework which I have shared with several people over the years as an act of kindness and support. For example, I sewed several face masks and hospital gowns for local businesses when COVID hit in 2020. Among other sewing projects I support is the Lydia Project, a non-profit, faith-based charity that assists individuals dealing with cancer.  Since 2019, I have been one of the Project’s volunteer seamstresses and I have sewn several beautiful totes for cancer clients. The Lydia group mail me tote kits with precut color-coordinated fabrics and sewing instructions. When I finish sewing the totes, I simply mail them back to the charity.

Tote bags

Each tote is unique in design. The top strip of fabric features the word Faith, Hope, or Love embroidered with purple thread. The tote handles are also purple. The reason for this is that the Lydia Project was named after Lydia, a character in the Bible (Acts 16: 14-15) and a successful businesswoman who traded purple cloth and extended a kind hand to those in need. It represents faith, kindness, and support to individuals and their families during such a devastating time.


The Lydia Project offers an array of free services to individuals who fight every type of cancer in the Aiken/Augusta area. Services include: lodging at the Daksha Chudgar Lydia House (a ten-bedroom facility); transportation for chemotherapy treatments; financial aid for medications, utilities, and rent; encouragement notes and prayers; and a quilt, or a tote bag filled with goodies including a journal and ginger tea for nausea.

The Daksha Chudgar Lydia House

The Daksha Chudgar Lydia House is a temporary home for women with cancer that was dedicated to Dr. Daksha Chudgar. Daksha was the wife of obstetrician and philanthropist Dr. Bipin Chudgar. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005 and died in 2009. During her battle with cancer, Daksha accepted the support of a Lydia volunteer who gave her comfort and a tote bag. Because of this kindness, Bipin helped build the Lydia House by donating $500,000 out of $2 million necessary for the project.

Community support

The charity relies solely on the generosity of volunteers and businesses to support their clients. Volunteers cut fabrics for totes, sew totes and quilts, write encouragement cards, drive clients to treatments, raise funds, help at the lodging center, pray for cancer clients, and much more. Also, the charity has partnered with community businesses such as Carolina Pine Quilters and Family Pharmacy to offer financial, material, and emotional help. Besides monetary donations to cover the cost of housing, utilities, and medications, these businesses (as well as community members) also donate tangible items such as fabric, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, toiletries, food snacks, bedding, bath towels, bottled water and others.  


The Lydia group are compassionate about their clients and appreciative of their volunteers. For example, inside each tote kit I received was always included a kind note such as this one:

  Thank you so much for your willingness to share your time and talents to sew Lydia totes,

  and support ladies battling cancer.

The group even remembers my birthday. One of their birthday cards really moved me:

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.

  For indeed, that’s all who ever did” — Margaret Mead.

Thank you for being one of the caring volunteers at The Lydia Project who changes lives

by being a Lydia sewer since 2019.

All our volunteers have helped Lydia continue services and remain open during the pandemic.

There is no birthday gift we can give that compares to your gift of time!

We hope your birthday is filled with smiles!


Lydia’s Project provides individuals facing cancer with a comforting and supportive network of free services to help them cope with their emotional and physical needs. These services happen because of volunteers and supporters like you and me who show compassion and empathy to cancer patients.



Dr. Bipin Chudgar donates to build house for cancer patients. (June 2011). Khabar.


The Lydia Project. (2022). https://www.thelydiaproject.org/