Photo Credit: Steve Kuchera

Story originally published by Duluth News Tribune.

An eighth-grade class from Hermantown, Minnesota, took on a new project and it's benefiting a cause much bigger than their family consumer science sewing class.

Students are typically required to make a pillow during the 12-week course that teaches basic sewing techniques, but when teacher Lauri Annoni saw designs for a different kind of pillow online, she knew she wanted to present it to her class. Loving the idea, her students "took it and ran with it," Lauri said to the Duluth News Tribune.

The doll-sized pillows the class began making resembled a piece of child's play, however, they actually are for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. "Port pillows" are small pillows that fit in between a seat belt and the area a patient is receiving chemo through to prevent pain and discomfort when riding in vehicles. Once finished, the students donated 70 custom pillows to St. Luke's hospital.

"We're really excited to help because sometimes it's hard for kids to find somewhere where we can do something," said 13-year-old Addy Gray. "It was really cool to be able to help make port pillows for people."

The pillows, dressed in fabrics including Vikings, Packers, and Star Wars themes, each came with a personal message from the students. "Thinking of you while you recover," read the note. "Made with love from Hermantown 8th-Grade Sewing Class."

Lauri's class has come to value sewing in a whole new way, and has vowed to make more if the hospital runs out. Despite the project being part of the school's curriculum, the message doesn't change: you're never too young to lend a helping hand.

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