Creating smiles one stitch at a time

September 22, 2015

Since 2011, a group of nine women from Chatham and London have gathered regularly around their sewing machines, with one goal in mind – to give children in hospital a reason to smile. Knowing that hospitals can be scary places for kids, the women have been creating pillowcases in fun patterns and colours to help brighten rooms and lift spirits. 

Working as part of a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania called Case for Smiles, the women have personally sewn over 3000 pillowcases, and this week they travelled to Children’s Hospital  at London Health Sciences Centre to make a very special presentation – the ceremonial one millionth pillowcase donated by the organization to a child in hospital. 

Children’s Care Coordinator, Lisa Bugaliski said, “The contribution these women make to the hospital and to the children is immeasurable. They invest so much time and energy into these donations and I can see on the children’s faces just how much it means to them. It’s wonderful to see.” 

Seven year old Rebecca was the recipient of the special celebration pillowcase, one of several the ‘pillowcase ladies’ have given to her during her admissions to hospital. Rebecca’s mom, Karen, thanked the women for their generosity and for helping to give children such as Rebecca something that helps them feel like they’re at home rather than in hospital. 

“That little smile Rebecca showed us….that’s why we do this,” said group member Linda Henderson. “It just makes you feel good inside. Days like today inspire us to go home and sew like mad for these kids.”

Pillowcase ladies

The "Pillowcase Ladies": Front L to R, Ruby Preston, Linda Henderson. Rear L to R, Lynn Danby, Elaine LeGros, Margaret Rumble, Wilma Noordam, Wyn Groen.