The Benson Middle School sewing club is partnering with community members to make a positive impact on the lives of local cancer patients.
The Pins and Needles Sewing Club has partnered with community member Cecilia Valdez to make special pillows for cancer patients. Valdez started the project as a way to help her mother and other cancer patients by providing them with a little comfort before and after receiving chemotherapy.
“It was really uncomfortable for my mom to ride in a car. The seatbelt would rub on her port, and it made it very difficult,” said Valdez. “So I looked for ideas, and I found the pillows.”
The pillows are small with a velcro strap attached to the back that wrap around a car’s seatbelt. The pillows are designed to protect the port where patients receive their treatment and make for a more comfortable car ride for the passenger.
Pins and Needles Sewing Club Adviser Karanette Corey heard about Valdez’s project and offered her students the opportunity to get involved.
“I thought it would be a good way for my students to get involved to see their products being used and getting involved to help others,” said Corey. “I brought it to the kids and asked them if it was something they felt up to the challenge for, and they fell in love with the idea.”
The club meets weekly to sew and stuff pillows for cancer patients at local hospitals.
“It feels good to help because some people in my family have cancer,” said Kierana Tucker, a seventh grade student in the sewing club. “I’m happy that there are people helping others with cancer.”
The pillows are collected by Valdez and then donated to local cancer treatment centers. Valdez meets with the club weekly to help facilitate and bring any necessary supplies that have been donated by the community.
“It’s awesome how they’re so excited to help,” said Valdez. “They’re not professionals, but they do a great job.”
Corey said it’s heartwarming and inspiring to see her students so passionate about others and getting involved in the community.
“The sewing club started as an alternative way to get students excited about math, and it’s turned into something much bigger,” said Corey. “To see them understand that this project is going to help alleviate someone’s pain and to see them caring about someone outside the four walls of this school is inspiring.”
The sewing club has already made 100 pillows that have been donated to local patients, and they plan to continue their work. Corey said the students are now looking for ways to help sew items for children with cancer, like blankets, pillows and stuffed animals.
“It means a lot that there are students who want to help other people,” said Madison Bailey, a seventh grade student in the sewing club. “Hopefully this is something the community will see us do and get us out there, so more people will want to help too.”