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Sewing class makes a community impact

toddlers hugging handmade bears
Over the past five years, Patti Wenzel’s Fashion Technology students have made and donated 50 teddy bears to WELS Lutherans for Life pregnancy medical center. Children visiting the center (like the little girls pictured above) love receiving something soft and comforting to cuddle.

At Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS), Milwaukee, Wis., Patti Wenzel has cultivated a comfortable classroom environment that supports students as they learn to express themselves—all while using their God-given skills to benefit the local community. Wenzel explains, “One of the things we like to do at WLHS is tie what the students are doing in class to what they can do to glorify God in their lives away from school.”

Most recently, the Fashion Technology 2 students sewed teddy bears for the WELS Lutherans for Life pregnancy medical center. This annual tradition began about five years ago, when Wenzel was looking for a project for the students to complete prior to their final apparel projects. She says, “I wanted to show the students that their God-given skill of sewing can be used to help others—either by making things needed by charitable organizations, making repairs to clothing for friends, or even designing banners and vestments for area congregations.”

Rachel Greiner, program director at WELS Lutherans for Life, describes how the last delivery of bears impacted families at the clinic: “The timing was perfect! The bears came in on a Tuesday when the clinic was abuzz with our Loving Parents parenting class. Our team lined up the bears and let the kids each pick one. It was clear they were excited. There were smiles all around.”

Students appreciate the opportunity to help others. “I enjoy the fact that people are going to enjoy and appreciate the things I make with my God-given abilities,” says McKayla Kruichak, a sophomore in Wenzel’s class. “I really appreciate when I get opportunities to . . . give back with my friends and peers.”

Wenzel’s class has also made baby buntings and blankets for the pregnancy center as well as banners and church-year paraments for area churches.

Author: Forward in Christ
Volume: 110, Number 1
Issue: January 2023

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