“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi
I love that, don’t you?  And I love hearing stories of people who actually get out there and do it.  They have a dream, they see a need, they feel a calling, and they act.  It inspires me.  Take this story, for example.
Cindy Kerr’s son Ryan was diagnosed with a form of cancer, osteosarcoma at the age of 12.  Over the next five years, he faced 5 recurrences  of his cancer, 30 months of chemotherapy, 15 surgeries (including the amputation of his right leg), over 150 days of physical therapy and two broken bones in his healthy foot.  Yet, he never let it get him down.  He continued to have a positive attitude, to seek adventure, and to enjoy the life he’d been given up until the very end.  During his battle with cancer, his mother Cindy decided to make him some fun pillowcases to brighten up his hospital room and bring him some cheer.  Ryan loved it so much that she decided to make some more for the other children in the Oncology Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Thus, the pillowcase project, “A Case for Smiles” was born.
Since 2002, ConKerr has provided around 400,000 pillowcases to children with cancer.  The pillowcases are lovingly made and donated by thousands of volunteers from North America and South Africa.
According to their website,

“Our goal is to give a bright cheery pillowcase to every seriously ill child in North America by 2015.  In addition, we are expanding internationally with chapters in Canada & South Africa.”

A wonderful goal indeed.  This month, they are holding a challenge, Miles of Smiles, and encouraging anyone and everyone to sew, donate, and participate.  Last September, the campaign produced more than 43,000 pillowcases, which would cover 20 miles!  This year, they hope to exceed that number.
How does it work?
The website has detailed instructions for two methods {one really easy, one a little more challenging} of how to make the pillowcases.  Each one has a primary fabric and a border fabric, which should be bright and cheerful.   Once you sew as many pillowcases as you want, you drop them off at a local collection spot {you can find a close one online} or mail them in and the organization takes care of delivering them.
I don’t know about you, but Little Crafter and I want to be involved!  Yesterday, we bought fabric for five pillowcases…and my mom has already made and mailed five too!  Having a healthy, happy three-year-old makes me feel a particular interest in supporting, cheering, and encouraging children who are facing serious illnesses.  I’ll be posting more soon about our progress, and hopefully also a step by step tutorial for how to make these, either to donate or for the kids in your life…or both!
And today, I’m going to make sure to give thanks for my own healthy son while praying for those who will recieve these pillowcases.

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1 comment on ConKerr-ing

  1. Terry
    September 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM (4 years ago)

    What a great idea. I am definitely heading over to check out their site.


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