Very Few Gifts Last a Lifetime – This One Can

Posted on December 3, 2015 By

“When you sew, you have something that will last to show for your efforts.”
Elizabeth Travis Johnson

Pam Miller, RN, the director of nursing at Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), with headquarters in Eatontown, N.J., started and personally funds a sewing project for people in Haiti. To continue the project, Miller is asking that people donate portable electric sewing machines.

In 2009, Miller arrived in Haiti supplied with medicines, toiletries, and used clothing as part of a mobile medical team of doctors, nurses, and dentists. Miller realized that for religious reasons the women would only take skirts, not slacks.

The next year she and her friends made more than 180 skirts and shipped them to Haiti. When Miller returned to Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010, she not only took care of patients, but also made sure each woman received a skirt.

Giving out skirts was not the answer in keeping up with the need. Teaching the women to make their own skirts, however, might be. Miller shipped fabric, notions, supplies, and treadle sewing machines to Haiti and met with three people with the hope they would start a business.

One of the people, Madame Francois, went to school at Miller’s expense on the condition she would teach others to sew. Now Madame Francois is the sewing instructor for 12 students each year, earning $75.00 a month. Having outgrown the clinic, they meet in their own building every Saturday for five hours. At their graduation ceremony each March, students are given a sewing machine.

Initially, the machines had to be treadle. With more and more houses now equipped with electricity, Miller and her group Penny Miller’s Sewing Academy are seeking portable electric machines because they are easier to handle and ship. Miller is asking the public to donate portable sewing machines.

To donate a portable machine, email Lisa Gallicchio, director of community relations for PHHC, at or call 732-547-9886.

About Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services:
Since 1987, Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), 45 Main Street, Eatontown, N.J., has provided a wide range of medical and non-medical home health care services from pediatric to geriatric care throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PHHC is accredited by CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program), an accrediting organization for the home health care industry.

Preferred works collaboratively with physicians, hospitals, nursing homes and facilities to ensure a smooth transition to one’s home. In-house services include skilled nursing care for infants, children, adults, and seniors; personal care services, including bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, etc.; private duty nursing services; and at-home physical therapy, among others. All of the care can be provided in-house and is coordinated by registered nurses, with clinical supervision available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit Preferred at for more information.