Local group sews smiles for sick kids

A hospital is a very scary place for a kid.
When Cindy Kerr’s son, Ryan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, she wanted to brighten up his hospital room, so she began making pillowcases. She soon realized the difference these brightly colored pillowcases were making in Ryan’s attitude and recovery, so she began making pillowcases for the other children staying in the Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Cindy’s pillowcase making idea took off and before she knew it, she had created the national non-profit organization ConKerr Cancer.

A chapter of ConKerr Cancer serving Toledo and Mercy Children’s hospitals has been started by Catawba Island resident Linda Peiffer. After reading about ConKerr Cancer in Family Circle magazine, Peiffer felt compelled to start making pillowcases for children with serious illnesses as well. Since then Peiffer has become the regional coordinator for Toledo/Northwest Ohio.
ConKerr Cancer’s mission is “helping children feel special while battling life changing illnesses.” Volunteers sew pillowcases for the children and bring them to designated drop off points where ConKerr volunteers pick them up and deliver them to the hospital’s pediatric wards.
So far, 150 pillowcases have been delivered to the two Toledo hospitals. The need is great between the two facilities as they can easily use 125 cases per month.
The pillowcases delivered so far have been made by just a handful of volunteers. Peiffer said a network of volunteers is desperately needed to sew the pillowcases, which is a very simple project requiring only basic sewing skills.
The Chapter has set up numerous locations throughout Northwest Ohio to drop off the pillowcases making it convenient for the sewers. In the Port Clinton area, The Nautical Needle, Cottage Creation & Design in Oak Harbor and Corso’s in Sandusky are official drop-off points.
If you sew and would like to help these hospitalized children, call Peiffer at 419-491-4722 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Pillowcase Construction

3/4 yard of fabric* for pillowcase
1/3 yard of fabric for border of pillowcase

Sewing Instructions:
• Cut the body of the case 26 1/2″ x 40 1/2″ and the border 10 1/2″ x 40 1/2″
• Fold the border in half lengthwise, with the wrong sides together, and press.
• Place the right side of the border on the right side of the body of the case. Stitch together using a 1/2″ seam allowance
• Place right sides of the pillowcase together. Stitch down the side and across the bottom. Turn to the right side and press.
• Please finish seams so the pillowcases will not fray
• Wash the fabric for the protection of the children
• Place each pillowcase in a one-gallon ziplock bag
• Pillowcases must be dropped off at a designated drop off site or mailed to 1314 N. Orchard Beach Drive, Port Cliinton, OH 43452, Do not deliver directly to the hospitals. For a complete list of drop off locations go to and click on “Chapters.”

* Use cheery, colorful and fun fabrics for kids. Remember many patients are adolescent boys and girls — pillowcases appropriate to teenagers are always needed. Cotton or flannel only; no glittery fabrics.

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