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Challenges, problems, and triumphs -- from a manufacturer's perspective.

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Sewing Smiles for Kids

Pillowcases and quilts for kids in hospitals.

by Staff Report (November 5, 2007)

Recently CLN has learned of two excellent programs that need your help. These aren't "vendor" efforts as described in recent "Vinny" columns, but they certainly need vendor – and retailer – assistance.

1. In an effort to make her son Ryan more comfortable during his chemotherapy stays, Cindy Kerr started making fun, colorful pillowcases. Hospital personnel, patients, and their families noticed, and a new charity, ConKerr Cancer, was born. Today 18,000+ pillow cases have been donated to hospitals in PA, NJ, CN, DE, OH, and FL.

Last month the project attracted the attention of Martha Stewart who had Cindy as a guest on her tv show. "The response to the show has been amazing," Cindy told CLN. "Over 300 inquiries from all over the U.S. and Canada."

Of course the project needs materials and money. Cindy said, "We are especially looking for fun cotton novelty fabric and bright prints. We use this for making the pillowcases for the oncology children and sewing with them at the hospital. We could also use sewing machines or someone to help offset the cost of our brochures. Most of all, we would just be happy to have the word spread about our mission so we can recruit more volunteers to make the pillowcases."

For more info, visit www.conkerrcancer.org, call 610-783-0445, or write ConKerr Cancer, 295 E. Swedesford, #396, Wayne, PA 19087.

(Comment: Not only is this a great project in which vendors can be involved, but sewing stores can help, too. Nineteen stores already are helping by serving as drop-off points for volunteers who have made pillowcases.)

2. Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City has a longstanding tradition of placing a homemade quilt or blanket on the bed of each child in the hospital on extended stays. Many kids take their quilt or blanket home with them. The hospital admits 12,000+ children per year and goes through at least 3,000 blankets a year.

For eight years in a row, Delta Air Line employees and their families and friends have made and donated the quilts and blankets – 1,249 quilts/blankets in 2007. Since the project began, 5,000+ quilts have been donated.

Yes, the cause needs fabric and cash donations. To learn more, call Cindy Atkinson at 801-744-4405 or Sylvia Haraldsen at 801-744-4419, or visit http://sewersdreamfabricoutlet.com/_wsn/page8.html.

(Comment: This is another project in which vendors and retailers can get involved. To read previous "Vinny" entries, click on the titles in the right-hand column.)

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