Albany youths are 'sewing good deeds'

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- Carolyn Levy, who is known for teaching young girls in the area how to sew, has taken advantage of another community service project opportunity to help some area youths get acquainted with the thread and needle.

A group of six girls, ranging from 8 to 10 years old, made contributions last week to two separate departments at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

In the course of a week, during their "Sewing Good Deeds" camp, each girl made a cap and gown for premature babies in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and wheelchair bags for those in Phoebe's inpatient rehabilitation facility.

"(Phoebe Marketing Service line account executive) Dona Lyn Goodpasture takes sewing lessons with (Levy), and she (Levy) came out to see what we needed," said Suzanne Perrine, volunteer services coordinator with the hospital, on how the effort came together.

There to receive the wheelchair bag donation was Sharon Scott, nurse manager for inpatient rehab at Phoebe, who said the bags will be used primarily to store patient information.

"This is an awesome part of our program," Scott said. "This helps us with communication with patients and families. This is something I've been wanting to receive for several months.

"To have (this kind of) community support is awesome."

There were six bags donated, as well as six sets of caps and gowns.

"These are my senior sewers, and they have never worked so hard," Levy said.

Levy has been in Albany for three years, and in that time she's been running summer camps for young girls wishing to learn how to sew. The camps are a week long, and have a different theme each week.

"I never took on a challenge like this," she said. "These girls are a much more mature group of seamstresses. I wouldn't do this with any other group."

On the first day of camp, Levy explained what the project was for that week. Once the campers found out what they were doing, they couldn't pick up their sewing needles fast enough.

"They were thrilled," Levy said. "They couldn't believe it when they bounced into the studio and I told them what they were doing that week.

"They are proud, and I am proud."

Levy said she plans to start a class with adults already sewing to make products similar to what the Sewing Good Deeds campers donated.

This is at least the second time Levy has been involved in a community service project. In November 2009, as part of her Kids Can Sew class, she supervised a group of girls that made close to 200 14-inch by 14-inch pillows for troops serving overseas.