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Dear Tom,

Back in 1997, LaQuetta’s mother (my sister) was an innocent bystander in a drive-by shooting. She was killed leaving behind 3 beautiful girls: 5-year-old (Mahogony) and a pair of 8-year-old twins (Jasmine & Jamese). They were placed with their Grandmother for 5 years until she became ill with Alzheimer’s and could no longer care for them.

LaQuetta stepped in at the age of 25 and took the girls in while she was working on her Masters and holding down two jobs. She even moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the school district they girls had been going to – in order to not uproot them from the friends they had made.

My niece spent her late 20’s and 30’s taking care of those three girls, eventually moving into a larger home as they became young women. They are all graduates of Clark Atlanta with successful careers in their chosen field.

LaQuetta’s mother was a seamstress who taught her how to sew at a very young age. She gave LaQuetta her first sewing for her 15th birthday and she used it all the time & always getting compliments on her creations.

When her mother died, she kept the really old-school machine my sister used. Sewing is her “me” time and it’s something she truly loves and enjoys doing .

A few years ago, she was using my basement for storage while she moved into her current home and all of her sewing equipment – accessories, fabrics, needles and all – were ruined in a huge flood. I think that a new sewing machine would put big smile in her heart.

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