Crafts for a Cause becomes bigger than community service

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:33 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Among the busy halls of Quincy High School, silence echoes as students sew together tiny pillow, but these tiny pillows are making a giant impact.

Local National Honor Society students are exercising one of the groups’ pillars, service. However, their project became bigger than just community service.

Students at Quincy High School are crafting for a cause. A little pillow to help cancer patients going through chemotherapy make everyday things, like riding in a car, more comfortable.

National Honors Society Sponsor Karen Agrimonti said to these students it’s more than just the number of service hours collected, as many of them are far past the requirement.

“It is touching people, it is making a difference,” Agrimonti said. “These are going to patients who are going through something we all hope we don’t have to go through and I think it’s important that we let them know that as a community we’re thinking of them.”

At the end of October, Marshall Beatty was diagnosed with stage four large B cell lymphoma.

“Knowing that other people are putting together products and taking their own time just to make us comfortable means so much,” Beatty said. “Just that they think enough about other people it gives me hope.”

Beatty said she has wrestled with hope for the last six months.

“Hope means you know that there’s so many people out there caring. Hope that they’ll have a cure for this or a vaccine for this or whatever for cancer one day,” Beatty said. “There’s so many different kinds of hope. Hoping that I am going to be around to see grandkids and everything else. Hoping that since this is my last treatment, that on April 12 my birthday, they’re going to tell me I’m cancer free.”

A port for his chemotherapy was installed months ago and has the potential to stay for three years. That’s where the pillows come in. They attach to a seatbelt, a purse, or anything else to protect it.

“This is gonna provide a lot of comfort. Just knowing that the kids are doing this brings comfort also,” Beatty said. “This really is going to impact some people that are going through some of the toughest times.”

Marshall said acts like this from community members prove to him he’s not fighting this battle alone.

What started out as a NHS volunteer opportunity is now reaching students and community members outside of the group.

“I wanted to try and move it past, ‘I have to get these hours in’ to ‘I really think this project is making a difference’ and I want to do this project because ultimately that’s one of the pillars of National Honors Society, we’re trying to create service minded individuals,” Agrimonti said.

In the matter of 6 weeks, a group of about 30 students have made more than 150 port pillows, but senior Saya Geisendorfer has been involved since the beginning.

“I’m not actually required to do this at all,” Geisendorfer said. “I know I’m in Beta Club, and NHS and those volunteering organizations, but I have already fulfilled all of my hours. I’m just here I’m here just to help out.”

She said all she wanted to do was make a difference and do what she can to make an impact in the community.

“A lot of people are more motivated to do projects like these if they see other people doing them,” Geisendorfer said.

That’s why students outside of clubs are now joining in to help.

“For me it just makes my day better knowing that I could help other people,” Geisendorfer said. “It makes us feel like we’re making an impact.”

Agrimonti said since starting the project their production team continues to grow and community members have already started reaching out about ways they can help.

An anonymous donor funded the port pillow project.

Students expect to finish the port pillows by the end of the week. Once they’re done they will present their donation to QMG next week.

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