International Women's Day: Meet a Woman that Makes It Happen

International Women’s Day is on March 8th and this year the focus is on women who Make it Happen. I have so many inspiring women in my life, but when I think of a woman who makes things happen I think of Wendy Hagar. 

Four years ago our family was looking for a hands on way to give back and to teach our daughters about helping others. Two years earlier we had started our Birthdays that Give Back and it sounded like Sew On Fire could help with our own family mission to make a difference. We went together that first night to meet founder and angel in real life, Wendy Hagar. She made such an impression on my daughters that they have been going to Sew On Fire to volunteer on a regular basis ever since.

Wendy began Sew on Fire innocently in 2000 after deciding she was going to knit mitts for the winter which led to sewing gift bags for orphaned children and then committing to make 100 baby overalls through Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church. Within 2 weeks of starting Sew on Fire her home was turned into a mini manufacturing plant with 7 rooms stuffed to the ceiling with donated boxes full of hand knitted hats, mittens, blankets, candy, hair clips and more. 15 years later Sew on Fire is still going strong.

Sew On Fires purpose is Inspiring: 

Sew on Fire partners with 160 organizations and registered Canadian Charities to provide humanitarian aid and gift items with the purpose of sharing God’s love around the world. Donated and purchased items are checked sorted and repurposed into gift packages.

Our work empowers women in all countries to go to school or work without the disadvantage of not having necessary personal hygiene items.  We empower and help meet their needs in caring for their children.  We provide assistance to start up small businesses, provide initial supplies for making jewelry, provide material and set up sewing centres, or even making bricks.

Wendy Hagar and Sew On Fire’s accomplishments are even more Impressive: 

  • Started Sew on Fire in her house and is now spilling out of a 6,000sq foot warehouse
  • Sent over 200,000 bags to children in over 90 countries and 50 canadian cities 
  • 100% volunteer based 
  • 1,500 volunteer hours a month 
  •  Recipient of 2012 Burlington Citizen of the Year Award 
  •  Recipient of 2010 Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award 
  •  Recipient of 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award 
  • Recently sent 400 diaper bags to newly constructed birthing center in Iqaluit, NU. Each containing 6 outfits, diapers, blankets, baby shoes, shampoo, soap. 

What is even more incredible is the way Wendy treats each and every one of her volunteers. My girls are young and Wendy knew exactly what would engage them to want to help and volunteer weekly. She put them to work packaging candy bags, sorting colourful pencil crayons and dressing hundreds of Barbie dolls in matching outfits for little girls around the world.  Every week they ASK to help Wendy make a difference around the world.

Wendy knows how to touch everyones heart, to encourage others to give, to support and to volunteer and her work has helped thousands or women, children, babies and communities around the world. 

Wendy Hagar Knows How to Make it Happen. 

 Currently Sew on Fire is gathering 1000 new and used back packs to be filled with school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, books and shoes to be distributed to children in Jamaica. These bags will give them the opportunity to go to school, receive an education and improve their chances at a better life. Contact Wendy if you can help.

Then Celebrate with us!

Join Staples Canada to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 7th and 8th by visiting your local Staples store. Each store will be showcasing local entrepreneurs making a difference in their communities.

Enjoy and save at these events with a 10% savings coupon.

Remember Staples Canada has everything a business needs to succeed. Discover how Staples products and services can help support your business needs throughout these events.

Tweet with Us! 

Join us for #MoreBizWomen Chat at 1 pm EST Mar. 4th to celebrate #womeninbiz. Win biz memberships and $250 @StaplesCanada gift card #ad 

Join our tweet chat live using and you have the chance to win 5 Business Memberships, $250 and $100 Staples Gift Card!

About the Author:  Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.  Find more inspiring tips on her website and follow her on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther and Pinterest.



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