A pillowcase is something that most of us take for granted each night when we go to bed. However, for hospitalized children, it can mean the world. It can be the difference between feeling uncomfortable in a hospital bed as opposed to feeling at home.
Trying to bring some of the comfort of home to the hospital is the inspiration behind Angel Pillowcases, a volunteer organization designed to bring happiness to children in need, as well as raise money for research at Children’s of Alabama for children battling cancer.
Grace Carroll and classmate Harry Arnold, seniors at The Altamont School in Birmingham, formed the organization in 2012 to benefit the young patients hospitalized at Children’s of Alabama, one pillowcase at a time. They included “angel” in their organization’s name because angels are a uniform symbol of comfort and compassion.
As a young girl, Carroll made pillowcases as soon as she learned how to sew and donated them to patients at Children’s of Alabama. The designs of the pillowcases range from bicycles and whales, to flowers and cupcakes, and are made in bright vivid patterns and colors.
Angel Pillowcases was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Banking on Youth grant competition from PNC Bank to assist in the purchase of fabric to make the pillowcases.
The pillowcases are exclusively made with Michael Miller Fabrics from New York and are now made through a partnership with local businesswoman, Ann Piper, and Piper’s husband, Doug Carpenter, who learned about the pillowcases and saw a way to help lower material and production costs while furthering their own initiative to help provide work for women in Haiti.
They created Theona’s Girls after discovering Theona on a mission trip to the Caribbean nation. A seamstress, she worked in Port au Prince, and fled to Terrier Rouge, a small rural town outside of Cap-Haitien following the devastating earthquake in Port au Prince in 2010.
Theona decided to teach other young women how to sew and to learn a trade. The women have no electricity and use machines that are operated manually. “Theona’s Girl’s mission is to provide women with hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their families with sustainable employment,” Piper says.
So the pillowcases not only help children with cancer at Children’s of Alabama, but they also provide work for women in Haiti.
Proceeds from each pillowcase go to the SEANstrong Fund at Children’s of Alabama for cancer research. This fund, known by the blue ribbons, as well as its inspiration, Sean Fredella, raises money for research for kids battling cancer.
The pillowcases are $25 each. All gifts are fully tax-deductible and go directly to Angel Pillowcases, a 501(c)3. To donate, please click the donate tab above.
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