Junior Brenda Canseco adjusts her sewing machine as she assembles two sections of a T-shirt into a pair of pants for the Clothes for Haiti Ministry at Stagg High School in Palos Hills on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Stagg High School junior Brenda Canseco spent her morning fashion class Tuesday turning a T-shirt into a brand new pair of pants for a Haitian child.
Students in class with Canseco in Palos Hills began transforming T-shirts into pants, sun dresses and diapers. When finished, the clothes will be sent to help hundreds of Haitian children who are in dire need of clothing.
“It’s really good to give back,” said Canseco, as she fed the shirt into her sewing machine. “You look at [Haiti] and it gives you a better outlook on things. It helps you not take things for granted.
”The clothing Canseco and her classmates made will be donated to the St. Helene orphanage and surrounding camps in Haiti as part of the Clothes for Haiti ministry, sponsored by St. Dennis Church in Lockport.
“We want to give them a sense of hope and dignity,” said Christen Mazura-Morris, who coordinates the Clothes for Haiti ministry.
Mazura-Morris taught at Sandburg High School for four years before moving on to Joliet Junior College. She also supervises student teachers for Illinois State University.
She thought the clothing project would be a perfect fit for a high school fashion class.
“These kids are helping kids around the world,” Mazura-Morris said. “They have the skills that they’re learning in class.
”Marcea Reuther, who teaches the class, said she always incorporates a service component into her classes.
“One of the things we also want to teach is giving back,” Reuther said.
Previous classes have made hats for children at Children’s Memorial Hospital, she said.
Mazura-Morris is supervising a student teacher at Stagg this semester and approached Reuther about the service project.
“It’s not hard,” Reuther said. “Even if you’re a beginner sewer, you can do it
.”Parishioners at St. Dennis have donated the T-shirts, but Mazura-Morris encouraged members of the Stagg community to contribute as well.
She also would like to see the program expand.
“I would like to reach out to any school that has a fashion program,” she said.
BY BOB RAKOW Sun-Times Media