“T-Hugs” quilting project will bring comfort to local cancer patients

ONE OF the finished quilts made from donated cancer fundraiser T-shirts. The quilters waste no part of the T-shirts.

ONE OF the finished quilts made from donated cancer fundraiser T-shirts. The quilters waste no part of the T-shirts.

The St. Wilfrid’s Quilting for Others group in Woonsocket has taken on a project that is going to give cancer patients comfort and warmth by repurposing cancer benefit T-shirts to make quilts.
The quilts will be sent to the Avera Cancer Center in Mitchell, which will give them to cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy.
This project is called “T-Hugs” and was the brainchild of Mary Ackman of Letcher, who is a cancer survivor and works as the secretary at Sanborn Central School in Forestburg. She felt those cancer benefit T-shirts that we all have in our closets could be put to a better use than given away or used for every day wear. She asked Ruth Olinger, a member of the quilting group, if they would like to take on the project, which they gladly agreed to do.
Donated T-shirts are collected at drop-off sites in Woonsocket at Sanborn County Realty & Title and the Sanborn County Courthouse, in Mitchell at Dakota Physical Therapy and Hair Affair, at the Plankinton School and Sanborn Central School in Forestburg and at Mary’s home in Letcher. Volunteers at those sites get them to the quilting group, and the sewing begins.
Every part of the shirt is repurposed, and there is no waste of fabric. Only the logo on the front of the T-shirt is used for the quilt, which is fused to a backing to make it easier to work with. The back of the shirt, if it is free of any design, is used to make small dresses for African children.
If there is a logo on the back, it and the bottom front of the shirt are used to make a diaper, which is also sent overseas. The sleeves are used to make quilt squares for baby quilts, and the band around the neck is used for pillow stuffing in beds for animals at the humane society.
At this time the group has completed eight quilts and hopes to finish more with a continuous flow of shirt donations. They accept any size of the T-shirts and also appreciate monetary donations to help purchase fabric for backing, thread and batting.
Each patient will receive a quilt to use during treatment and will own it when they have completed treatment.
This is truly a worthwhile project, so dig through those closets and drawers, donate your cancer benefit T-shirts and turn them into T-Hugs.

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