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FHS club sews for ETCH patients

Several Farragut high School students have found an interesting way to give back to their community — sewing pillows and muslin dolls for patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The club affiliated with family and consumer sciences, Family Career Community Leaders of America, is a club that plans and participates in community service events.

FCCLA sponsor Lynsey Flatford said, “The club decided to do East Tennessee Children’s Hospital as one of their service projects, but instead of making it just one month, we have done it for three months in a row.

In November club members volunteered at ETCH’s main fundraising event, “Fantasy of Trees” making gingerbread houses for ETCH to sell. In January they decided to do something a little more hands-on.

“In January we decided our club was going to meet after class and sew lizards,” Flatford said.

“Children’s Hospital said, ‘We love these lizards, they are great, but could you guys do more? Could you do mini pillows in Children’s fabric because we think that might be easier for you and you might be able to do even more.’ So we did. We raised the money and bought the fabric and sewed little children’s pillows.”

But the project was not over yet.

“Then they asked us if we could sew some muslin dolls,” Flatford said.

“The lizards and the pillows they just gave to the children, but the muslin dolls — they are really plain, they don’t have any faces or hair or anything — they use to show the children where their IV is going to be and they let the child put an IV in the doll and they might show the where their stitches are going to be when they come out of surgery.

“The child gets to keep it, and the type of fabric it is made out of, they can color on. So they can color it. They can color a face on it and color clothes on it or however they want,” she added.

The students enjoy helping ETCH and are looking for new ways to continue the project.

“Every time we do something they say ‘What else can you do for us?’

“Like with the gingerbread houses. One of the things they asked us to do is make kits that they can sell at ‘Fantasy of Trees.’ Actually make gingerbread pieces that people can buy and take home to make their own gingerbread houses.

“So next year we are already planning how maybe our F-C-C-L-A club can meet after school and make these.

“We do it from scratch. It is not the kits you buy and it is not graham crackers. We actually make the dough, roll it out, cut it and put it together. The houses sold anywhere from $40 to $80 apiece,” she added.

The students have asked to be able to take their services a step further — they want to deliver the next batch of pillows to the children at ETCH themselves.

“I called and we had planned on that last snow day, we were going after school to deliver pillows. We were going to actually go into the rooks and hand the kids the pillows.

“We are going to reschedule it and the students are really eager. They are asking me every day when we can go do this,” Flatford said.

Each year in the spring FCCLA holds a “Students Taking Action with Recognition” competition based on the service projects the students have completed.

Last week, two FHS students, Morgan Hankins and Claudia Garza, won first-place.

“They competed with all the things we have done for Children’s Hospital. So they made a poster board and it had all the things we have done. The title of the competition was ‘Chapter Service Project Display’ and they won first-place.

“They get up in front of the judges and tell them what we did for the service projects.

“They will be going on to the state competition April 7-9 in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel,” Flatford said.


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