Sewing Hearts Together: Working with InterAct

A woman called to me from her car in the parking lot of a Cary Food Lion.  She was pregnant and had a toddler in a car seat.  “My husband hit me again and I‘m going to protect my baby!” she said.  She was headed for her parents’ home in Texas, but her husband put a stop on her debit card.  She needed gas, food and baby supplies to make the 18 + hour drive to her parents and safety. 

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to find yourself in a situation like this, being hurt by the person closest to you and having to rely on the kindness of strangers.  Although I didn’t know it at the time, I could have directed this woman to the services of InterAct of Wake County.

InterAct describes itself as “a private, non-profit agency that provides safety, support and awareness for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. InterAct fulfills this mission through the support of its volunteers and community.”  A crisis line, counseling, and a residential shelter are among InterAct’s many services, all of which are confidential and free of charge.

I got involved in a small way through a friend who coordinates special projects to benefit InterAct at her church.  I helped sew totes for families in the shelter. Nearly 23 families a day seek help from InterAct, and they often arrive with their belongings in a plastic bag.  The large colorful handmade totes are a practical symbol that people care.  The totes also make use of fabric recycled from curtains, blankets, and neckties that the Dorcas Ministries shop cannot sell. Initially, I sewed a few totes every month, but when my friend broke her arm last spring, I took on more of the work and enlisted the help of some women at Peace. 

Throughout the Bible, God’s people are consistently called to help the helpless and the oppressed. This is just one way that God called me.  While Interact is not a faith-based ministry, my modest involvement in care for these women has enlarged my heart for them. I sew totes and yet am reminded to pray that God will stitch together the hearts of these women, that He will, as the Psalmist says, "heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds" (Ps. 147:3).

If you have a heart for this kind of ministry, InterAct provides training for volunteers in many capacities.  Additionally, small groups can take on various kinds of special projects (like the totes project).  More information about InterAct and volunteering can be found at their website:

Pam Vashaw