The craft of caring

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Two groups of Portales High School students have banded together to help local cancer patients’ struggle with the disease a little bit easier.

According to Debbie Stenstrom, Family Career and Community Leaders of America teacher at PHS, students in her Clothing Construction and Costume Design class have taken the initiative to work on a community service project to help others. The students have been making caps for patients on chemotherapy who have lost their hair. The chemo caps will be donated to the new cancer center in Clovis, said Stenstrom.

“These (caps) will keep the patients warm in the winter,” said Stenstrom.
Stenstrom, who was approached by the ASTRA organization who had the original idea for the project, she said. The ASTRA, which is a student organization affiliated with Altrusa, did not have the sewing experience, but helped the FCCLA class out by donating the patterns and some material, said Stenstrom.

“It was a joint project with their idea and our skill,” said Bill Strong, co-teacher with Stenstrom.

The caps come in a variety of styles and sizes that will work for older patients and younger patients, said Stenstrom. Each of the students in the class were required to make one cap. A few of the students chose to make more than one, said Stenstrom.

“I think they enjoyed it,” said Stenstrom.

Sophomore Yvette Navarrete, is one of the students who chose to make more caps than were required. Feeling that she would never complete the project if it was for herself, she said doing it for others motivated her. Navarrete said she felt proud to be a part of the project.

“It’s a nice experiment, you’re proud of yourself for helping people in need,” said Navarrete.

Fellow student Allison Powell, also a sophomore, agreed with Naverrete about feeling good for helping others. Powell says she enjoyed making the caps and would make more if there was another opportunity to do so, she said.

Both girls agreed that they would stop anyone they saw wearing their caps, and talk to them, they said.

“I would ask them if they were comfortable,” said Navarrete.