Cases for Comfort helps kids at U. of Iowa hospital
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
A hospital stay, no matter how long, can be scary for anyone -- especially a child.
One Dubuque woman is trying to make those visits a little more comfortable with pillow cases.
Valorie Schmitt of Dubuque has started a group called Cases for Comfort, an organization which donates pillow cases to children staying in the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.
On Friday morning, dozens of people sat sewing away at pillow cases at St. Joseph the Worker in Dubuque.
Angie Flynn was one of those sewing. She said she has been sewing for about 6 years. This is her third year sewing with Cases for Comfort.
"You can take this great fabric, cut it up, and put it back together and make something out of it." Flynn said about sewing.
Cases for Comfort was started by Valorie Schmitt after her son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with leukemia at 13 years old.
"It was tough, it's life changing," Schmitt said. "You get the call and you go, 'No way.' You have no idea what is lying ahead."
Schmitt said while her son was sick, she took to sewing as a type of therapy. She began to make him pillow cases.
"When I was in the hospital there was really nothing that really made it like home." Mitchell Schmitt said Friday. "People would bring blankets and stuff, but the one thing I was missing was pillow cases."
Mitchell Schmitt was considered cancer-free in February of 2012. But his mother continued to make pillow cases.
"She decided, 'Why don't we just make some for everyone?'" Mitchell Schmitt said. "It turned into this huge thing where they make 500-plus pillow cases a year for the kids at the hospital."
"It makes you happy," Valorie Schmitt said. "But it's not us, it's about those kids."
Schmitt has been creating pillow cases for children at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital for six years. She said she hopes when the children receive their pillow cases, they forget they are sick, if only for a minute.
"When they put their head on that pillow, they know that we are praying for them," Schmitt said.
Pillow cases made through Cases for Comfort are delivered throughout the year to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Schmitt said the pillow cases are also donated to a hospital in the Des Moines area.
Cases for Comfort will continue making pillow cases at St. Joseph the Worker on Dodge Street in Dubuque on Saturday. Schmitt said between the two days, she expects to make 600 pillow cases.
Schmitt said Cases for Comfort also accepts cash donations as well as children's fabric.
To get involved with Cases for Comfort or to donate, contact Valorie Schmitt at (563) 599-9654.
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