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Stitching for Self-Determination

At Vinfen’s Rockland Day Habilitation (RDH) program, handmade hats, scarves, and other wearables abound thanks to the hard work and dedication of Developmental Specialist Charlotte Southern and the RDH Sewing Club.

An avid sewer herself, Charlotte wanted to present a group activity to the members of RDH that was different than the arts and crafts and cooking groups they typically engaged in, and allowed the opportunity for developing a new skill. When she brought the idea up at the program, several individuals immediately voiced their interest.

Shortly thereafter, Charlotte brought in her sewing machine and donated all the materials necessary to get the group off the ground. Kelly and Karen were two of the club’s first and most enthusiastic members. They started the process by deciding what items they wanted to create, and then set off to work.

“Charlotte instructed the ladies about safety when using a sewing machine and how to safely feed materials into the machine. She demonstrated the steps they each needed to follow to make their chosen items. With Charlotte’s assistance, Kelly and Karen both worked independently, and helped each other to make the items they wanted,” said RDH Program Director Katie Stronach.

The projects Kelly and Karen chose to complete- including hats, scarves, a tote bag, and even a poncho- provided them a wonderful opportunity to put their voice and choice to work to create final products they could be proud of. Both women wore the items they’d sewn all through the chilly Northeastern winter.

“I liked that I had a hat and scarf that I made on my own,” Kelly said. “The sewing group made me happy.”

Kelly said of her own experience, “I made a poncho, a hat, a scarf, and a bag. I liked the sewing group because I can wear all my items when I get cold. I can’t wait to do it again.”

In appreciation for Charlotte’s tutelage, Kelly and Karen both nominated Charlotte for a staff “snap,” or appreciation, award during their February community meeting.

To learn more about Vinfen’s day services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, visit day-services/.

One Response

  1. Georgette carlson
    Georgette carlson July 5, 2017 at 1:57 am |

    Proud of you.

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