Some sixth graders at Collegiate School in Richmond say recess is their favorite class. But it's not for the reason you may think. They use recess to provide some relief.
Students pick up more than books inside of the Collegiate Middle School library.
They pick up needles, thread, and fabric, too.
"You either hand sew or use one of the three sewing machines," said Sarah Kate Gentry.
Gentry, 12, and her classmates create colorful little pillows during their 25-minute recess. They also share colorful conversation while doing it.
"We like to talk about, like, summer and stuff, and, like, the gossip and stuff," said Sarah Carrington, also 12.
However, the pillows are more than just "something to do" for these students.
"Sewing pillows for people who may be, like, in hospitals and are having a tough time," said Connor Romanosky, also 12.
The project is called Sew for SOS, and it is the brainchild of Luke Tyson, 12, who came up with the idea six weeks ago while recuperating from a broken arm. He faced a possible surgery, so he started thinking-
"If I think this is tough, imagine what all the kids whose parents are getting divorced or struggling with cancer, imagine what they're going through," Tyson said.
So, he turned his passion for sewing into a purpose.
"Hey, I can sew these miniature pillows with kind words inside and send them to people that need a little more happiness in their lives," he said.
What started as a project with a few friends has expanded into more than 25 helpers, orders for at least 250 pillows, and even a website, complete with a director of technology.
"They can request a pillow through our website and submit it," said Deven Pandya, 11, the site's director of technology.
"I thought it would be pretty significant, but I never thought that it would be that big," said Romanosky.
With several requests coming in each day, Sew for SOS is big, and getting bigger -- making a difference one stitch at a time.
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