Chicago woman working to collect 900 pillowcases for Mary Bridge
July 4, 2013 update: 169 pillowcases, and counting!
MultiCare Mary Bridge Childrenâ€™s Hospital may not be the most obvious charity of choice for a Chicago seamstress. But it was the Tacoma, Wash. hospital that first inspired Rhonda Buss to give back, so itâ€™s Mary Bridge driving her effort to collect 900 pillowcases to cheer sick children.
Staff members at Mary Bridge collect donated, homemade pillowcases year-round, with the goal of giving a bright, cheerful pillowcase to every patient who comes to the hospital.
The project spoke to Buss when she first learned of it at the 2013 Sewing & Stitchery Expo, a yearly consumer sewing show in Puyallup. This yearâ€™s attendees donated 4,596 pillowcases for Mary Bridge, inspiring Buss to join them.
â€śIâ€™ve been through this. Itâ€™s been kind of an ongoing saga throughout my adult life. I know when your body hurts, to be comfortable is such an important thing,â€ť said Buss. â€śAnd to have something bright and cheery, and not only that, the fact that somebody made it.â€ť
So Buss set a goal â€“ she would collect 900 pillowcases for young patients at Mary Bridge. And she wouldnâ€™t do it alone.
â€śNine hundred is a lot to do,â€ť says Buss. â€śSo I thought, Ă˘â‚¬ËśJust ask and see,â€™ because if everybody did one â€“ just one â€“ Iâ€™d have it done in a day.â€ť
She put the call for help on her blog, Rhondaâ€™s Creative Life, on March 12. Soon after, she had emails from people in Belgium, the Canary Islands, and around the U.S.
â€śYou never get anything if you donâ€™t ask for it,â€ť she said. â€śYou know I thought it would be kind of a neat thing to do to just bring people together from all parts of the world.â€ť
Buss says itâ€™s been exciting to watch the pillowcases arrive. She hopes to have 900 collected by the end of summer, and travel back to the Pacific Northwest to deliver them in person.
â€śItâ€™s not something I thought too much about and just decided it was something that was possible,â€ť she said. â€śYou just kind of take that big step and other things start happening that you never even expected.â€ť
Buss is a Chicago-based pilot who flies for a dog rescue charity. She also has a degree in fashion design, and spends her free time sewing, creating patterns, and writing about it on her blog: Rhondaâ€™s Creative Life.
Want to get involved? Download the pillowcase pattern here. Pillowcases must be made from machine-washable fabrics. Donations can be made year-round to the MultiCare Mary Bridge Childrenâ€™s Health Center lobby at 311 S. L St. in Tacoma, or the main lobby of MultiCare Mary Bridge Childrenâ€™s Hospital at 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
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