Making pillowcases for a purpose

Imagine a child, alone in the hospital facing cancer treatment. Scary, right? Now imagine that little one waking up in the morning to a bright, handmade pillowcase covered with a pattern of beautiful fish, colorful flowers or funny frogs. It is perhaps a small comfort, but it’s enough to help a frightened child start the day with a smile. This is the goal of Churchville-Chili Middle School seventh-graders as they create pillowcases for the Golisano Children’s Hospital, through a program called Ryan’s Case for Smiles.

“Our students are thrilled to have the chance to use their talents to help other children,” said Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher Nancy Amory. “As part of their required class activities, we normally design and sew a cinch bag or beach bag. The project helps students develop reading, math and measurement skills, in addition to practicing creative collaboration and teamwork. It was not a huge leap for our kids to make simple adjustments and apply their efforts towards a new purpose — one that benefits children in our community.” 

By the end of the year, over 300 Churchville-Chili Middle School FACS students will have contributed their skills to the service project, resulting in an expected donation to the hospital of about 150 fabulous pillowcases made with love.

The concept for the project came from Amory’s collaboration with Golisano Children’s Hospital and the local representative for Ryan’s Case for Smiles, Debra Bartz; student interest, empathy and enthusiasm (with some advice and assistance from Jackie Lynn’s Fabric Center) propelled the idea forward. Ryan’s Case for Smiles is one the few volunteer organizations solely dedicated to helping kids feel better to heal better. 

Feature photo: Tyler Nguyen and Olufemi Akinpelu display their dynamically-patterned pillowcase.

This page: FACS students (l-r) Alyssa Benedetto, Laura Bunk, Madison Hauck and Julia Lennon with their cheerful pillowcases.

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