A group of Winnipeg students are using their sewing skills to give back this holiday season.
The high school students at Grant Park High School are crafting quilts using the clothing from people who have passed away, to give them as new blankets for their loved ones.
Trisha LaRose lost her husband two years ago. This year, she’s getting a new blanket made out of his shirts.
“I miss my husband dearly and my kids do too and it’s so nice to have that feeling of having him around you and the feeling of the nice embrace of his clothing,” she said.
Seeing her green and brown blanket created out of her husband’s dress shirts is emotional.
“My husband had all the same clothes for our entire relationship. He didn’t buy new clothes so these pieces hold very strong memories for us,” she said.
Kari-Lin Watt is the school’s sewing teacher. She has been amazed by the outpouring of support from her students.
“We would cut the clothes into squares and students would sew the quilt,” Watt said. “Then we would return it to the family so they had something to look forward to either Christmas morning or Hanukkah or whatever they happen to celebrate just in hopes to make their holiday a little brighter.”
Grade 12 student Brynn Wiens has been making the blankets.
“It means a lot. I love being able to make someone’s holiday a better time and an easier time. Even if they don’t have that loved one physically with them, they have something to hold on to,” she said.
The students spend their lunch hours volunteering to sew the keepsakes, inspiring Watt.
“The students are amazing, it’s completely voluntary,” Watt said. “It’s amazing that these strangers are so willing to let teenagers cut up some of these precious items. The students really pour their whole hearts in this project.”
It has inspired Watt to create her own ’12 days of Christmas’, as a giveaway for people in a Facebook page for people in the Elmwood and East Kildonan areas. Some images are pictures here: