Sewn together with a smile: Introduction to Family Consumer Sciences holds Mending Clinic

Mending clothes and healing hearts. Freshman MJ Miller works on sewing some clothes during the Mending Clinic.
Mending clothes and healing hearts. Freshman MJ Miller works on sewing some clothes during the Mending Clinic.
Courtesy of Betsy Cron

During the week of April 8-12, students who are a part of Betsy Cron’s introduction to Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) spent time mending and fixing up clothes brought in by staff members. 

“The staff knew that the mending needed to be repairs that could be completed by hand sewing,” Cron said. “They needed to make sure the items were marked with names and classroom numbers.  When it was completed the student who repaired it would return it to them.” 

What started as a part of a clothing care unit, soon became something bigger. 

“Students enjoyed the mending portion of our clothing care unit so much they asked if they could bring in their own clothing to mend,” Cron said. “It started the idea for the week long mending clinic for faculty and staff.”

Freshman MJ Miller was one of the students who helped with the clinic. During the week, she learned important life lessons and an appreciation for her FCS class. 

“The inside of this shirt doesn’t have to be perfectly pretty, it just has to stay together,” Miller said. “It was a really fun and insightful experience, and I’m so thankful to be in a class that has these opportunities to learn and to grow, not just in math and science but in real life skills that you’ll actually use.” 

Although most of the week ran smoothly, there were some challenges the workers faced. One important factor was making sure all work was secure. 

“The main one [challenge] was having to go over other people’s work that wasn’t very sturdy and make sure it was secure,” Miller said. 

Members of the faculty were helpful in getting the clinic started, as well as helping students learn valuable lessons. 

“Staff members were helpful in bringing us a random assortment of items to repair, it made the students problem solve, as well as strengthen their mending skills,” Cron said. 

Physics and chemistry teacher Robin DeShong was one of the teachers who brought in clothes for students to mend. 

“They did excellent. Top notch,” DeShong said. “It was great to get some little stuff done. Sewing is a life skill. To sew your own [clothes] will save you some money in the end.”

For Cron, her greatest resource was those she worked closest with each day.

“My students were the greatest resource – their desire to extend the hand sewing unit, by sewing for others,” Cron said. 

For Miller, her greatest source of inspiration was her teacher, Cron. 

“She gave me the opportunity to help, learn and teach other kids how to repair certain types of issues,” Miller said. 

The Mending Clinic meant a lot to Cron. Overall, she feels it was a positive experience. 

“It was a really positive class experience, the students and staff both really enjoyed it,” Cron said. “It makes me really happy that they really enjoyed learning a new skill, one that I learned in elementary school. I hope to do it annually with the Intro to FCS classes.”

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