Arts, Central New York, Community, Feature, holiday

Sewing Pillowcases for Veterans

People of all ages and skill sets sewed pillow case for veterans with Veteran's Day coming up. (c) Stefan Oliva 2017

By Stefan Oliva FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Elizabeth Van Iderstine, a member of the sewing guild, reached out to Clear Path for Veterans, a nonprofit organization in upstate New York to help members of the military and their families, and asked what they wanted her to sew for them. “Pillowcases,” they responded.

The Fayetteville Free Library held an event on November 10 where people of all ages could sew pillowcases for veterans before Veterans Day and show their support.

Part of the experience included writing a hopeful message on pillowcases to the veterans. “This will make them feel safe,” said Theresa White, a fifth grader, “and think that somebody’s supporting them in any way they can.”

Van Iderstine explained that all the materials and shipping expenses are being covered by donations. She has several family members who served, and she said this was her way of giving back. “I was brought up giving to other people,” Van Iderstine said. “My parents always reached out to help other people.”

She’s not the only one with a personal tie to veterans. Debora LeRoy-Elliott, the go-to sewing helper at the event, said seven generations of her family served in the Navy. “I was raised to be patriotic,” she said, “and to give back and be thankful for our fighting men and women to take care of our country.”

People are also working on pillowcases at home. Van Iderstine said she has 75 pillowcases, but doesn’t know when she’ll take them to Clear Path. She wants to ship them as soon as she can. It’s also unclear where Clear Path will ship them to.