University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Pillowcase Project Seeks Volunteers and Donations

Burlington--Volunteers are needed to help with a University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H community sewing project designed to provide support to military kids by letting them know that someone cares.

The goal of the Pillowcase Project is to produce 300 pillowcases from kid-themed fabrics to include in the Hero Packs that military youths will receive prior to their parent or guardian's deployment next spring with the Vermont Air National Guard as a way to help them stay connected. All kids will be able to choose their own pillowcase when they pick up their Hero Packs at a Yellow Ribbon event, the pre-deployment information session for military families held prior to each big deployment.

Community volunteers, both adults and youths, are invited to join Vermont 4-H'ers at four sites in October to help sew the pillowcases. 

Sewers should bring their own sewing machine and shears along with an iron, if possible. Fabric, thread and other supplies will be provided. 

Non-sewers also are needed to help cut material for the pillowcases as well as to turn, press and package them.

Volunteers may participate for part or the entire session. Everyone should bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages will be provided.

Anyone planning to help should contact Martha Manning, 4-H educator and Pillowcase Project coordinator, by Oct. 6 at (800) 639-2130 (toll-free in Vermont) or (802) 524-6501, ext. 449, or by e-mail at If requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, please call Manning by Oct. 5.

Sewers also may work at home and drop off completed pillowcases at any UVM Extension office before Oct. 29. For instructions, log onto and click on "Project Pillowcase" or call the phone number above.

Sewing sites and dates include:

Oct. 8:

Arlington--Burdett Commons, 3854 State Route 7A; 1-4 p.m.

Oct. 13:

Essex Junction--Grace United Methodist Church, 130 Maple St.; 12-3 p.m.

Fairfield-- Bent Northrop Public Library, 164 Park St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Rutland--UVM Extension Office, Howe Business Center, 1 Scale Ave.; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  If planning to help out at this site, please contact Rita Charlton at (800) 281-6977 (toll-free in Vermont) or (802) 773-3349, ext. 276, for additional information.

Donations of cotton or cotton flannel fabric with designs, motifs and bold colors that appeal to kids are urgently needed. While there is no maximum on the total yardage, each piece needs to be at least one yard. Fabric may be dropped off at any UVM Extension office in the state by Oct. 5 or brought to one of the sites if volunteering for the day.

Vermonters also may make a monetary donation for project supplies by sending a check, made payable to "4-H Gift Account," to Sarah Kleinman, State 4-H Program Director, UVM Extension 4-H Office, 655 Spear St., Burlington, VT 05405. Please send by Oct. 6 and mark for the "Pillowcase Project."