Pictured above are PTPI LA members John Paton and Joan Thompson, with staff social worker, Sonia, donating pillowcases to the Children's Welcome Center in February of 2013. The People Pillowcases project has been in existence since January, 2013; as of September 2015 we have delivered over 5000 pillowcases to the Children’s Welcome Center.
The “People Pillowcase Project” was born from the needs presented by the foster children at the Children’s Welcome Center at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. When the County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) removes a child from a family, there may not be an immediate foster family, group home or relative ready to take them in. They are then cared for at the Children’s Welcome Center (aged newborn to 11 years) or the Youth Welcome Center (aged 12 to 17) for one night, while the social worker seeks more stable living arrangements. More than 200 children stay overnight at the Center each month. We create cozy flannel pillowcases to be given to the foster children at the Center. At bedtime, a child can choose a pillowcase to sleep with and take along to their new home the next day. This becomes a treasured object for a child who has been separated from familiar possessions, like toys, clothes, and beds.
Fabric has been purchased with funds raised by our chapter, with donations, sales, and with several grants from our national PTPI organization. All sewing work is done by volunteers.
Joan Thompson, the coordinator of “People Pillowcases,” purchases the fabric when it goes on sale at the local fabric store, usually enough material for 50-80 pillowcases per shopping trip. The prints are of various juvenile designs and colors: cartoons, sports themes, trains, animals, flowers, etc. The fabric is then laundered, pressed, and cut to measure. The three required pieces of the pillowcase (body, cuff, trim) are then bundled together to form a “kit,” which is then given to a volunteer to sew into a finished pillowcase at home, according to sewing instructions. Some of us sew together at an occasional home “Pillowcase Party.”
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