Betty was the leader of a local chapter of the American Sewing Guild for four years, from 2009-2012. ASG, a national organization with over 30,000 members. is composed of people who love to sew. Some chapters have committed time each week to making items of comfort, which they donate. Betty’s chapter is the CHCS—Creative Hands in Community Service. The patients of St. Mary have been the fortunate recipients of many of the items this chapter has sewn.
• Face Masks and Protective Gowns – Newly added during the COVID pandemic. These items were sent to caregivers on the front lines, wherever they might be. Many ASG members nationwide set aside current projects to make hundreds of thousands of these desperately needed items.
Their creative efforts for the patients included the following:
- Dignity Robes – worn by cancer patients as they receive radiation treatments
- Hair-loss Caps and Kerchiefs – (for those who have lost hair due to radiation)
- Heart Pockets – sewn onto the corner of afghans into which the blessing card is inserted
- Neck Roll Pillows – for general comfort and to support patients’ necks
- Bedside Pocket Pouches – which hold glasses, cell phones, computer tablets,nurses’ call button/TV control within easy reach
- Lap Activity Pads – used for physical therapy teaching, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and those who have suffered brain damage due to disease or accident
- Reading Glasses and Eyeglass Cases – protect donated glasses
- Wheelchair and Walker Bags – attached to these devices to keep needed items conveniently close
Every time a new item was suggested to us by the nurses, the volunteers, or the group themselves, they always said, “Yes, we’ll make those too!” During her four years in leadership, 4,070 items were sewn, and the members contributed 5,076 hours to make those items.
Whether it’s an item of comfort for their local hospital or making these essential items that travel halfway around the world, the members of the American Sewing Guild are constantly finding ways to put their sewing skills to work every day.