North America

Rugs for Humanity

An ADRA Canada supporter has found a novel way of raising funds for the relief organization.

Clesha Felicien, for Canadian Adventist Messenger, and Adventist Review
<strong>Rugs for Humanity</strong>
Rugs on the line. [Photo: Canadian Adventist Messenger]

Her fingers grip firmly both ends of the purple cotton as she pulls the material in opposite directions to form a knot. This familiar motion has earned Sue Hummel almost CA$5,500 (about US$4,100) for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Canada. With a smile on her face, Hummel proudly holds up her completed rug with an ombré of violet, lavender, and white fabrics. 

“I have been making rugs for the past six years, and today I just completed my eighty-sixth rug,” she says. 

Hummel made her first rug in 2015 to furnish her home after her move to Nova Scotia, Canada. She made an additional rug for a friend, who eagerly shared the creation with her friends. Over the years, news of her designs spread around the local town through word of mouth. 

“When I am in the mood, I select the colors I want and start knotting,” she says. “But time and patience are required to get the product together.”

The rug-making process can take up to 36 hours. According to Sue, the preparation requires more time than the assembly. All of Sue’s projects begin with the T-shirts that are donated to her.

“I collect my materials like a painter collects tubes of paint,” Hummel says. “Each item has to be sorted by shade and color.”

Hummel cuts the sorted T-shirts into six-inch (15-centimeter) strips and gets rid of any seams and stitching. Then she makes the artistic choice of selecting various colors to design the rug. When all the materials are ready, Hummel puts on a podcast to listen to and starts knotting. An average-sized rug measures about two by one and a half feet (60 by 45 cm). When the rug is complete, Hummel goes to the local market to seek out a buyer.

“Going to the market is a good chance to talk to people and tell them about my rugs and the charity I’m raising money for,” she says.

ADRA is a nonprofit organization that provides health care and education in more than 100 countries. Donations like Hummel’s help provide individuals with access to clean water, school supplies, adequate food, and disaster relief. 

Hummel donates 100 percent of the profit directly to ADRA. She is working toward her goal of raising CA$6,000 (US$4,500) by the end of 2022. As long as her hands are willing, Hummel says, she will continue making rugs for charity.

“God designs; I just tie the knots,” she says. “I don’t plan on stopping. It’s an ongoing process.”

The original version of this story appeared in the November 2022 issue of Canadian Adventist Messenger.

Clesha Felicien, for Canadian Adventist Messenger, and Adventist Review