A lesson in sewing – and giving – as West Seattle Timebank teams with local teacher and students

(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

If you are a certain age, you might remember when sewing was taught in schools. (Usually just girls, though.) That time is long past – but this art classroom at White Center Heights Elementary revived the art of sewing, with the help of their teacher and the West Seattle Timebank.

For the past month, Shoshanna Cohen‘s fourth- and fifth-graders have been sewing stuffed animals. Cohen says even she didn’t know how to sew before launching the project. The kids wanted to make the toys as holiday gifts, two each – one to donate, one to take home for someone in their own family.

Basic school funding doesn’t cover much, so Cohen had to be extra-scrappy to make this happen. She got the materials crowdfunded through Donors Choose (a website particularly popular with teachers). And she got the help from Timebank members because she is one herself.

Timebank leader Tamsen Spengler (above) was one of the volunteers there when we visited one of Cohen’s classes at WCH Elementary as they wrapped up the project last Friday, before leaving for winter break. She’s also who told us about it, so we could share the story with you.

This class wants to get their stuffed animals to kids in detention – Cohen is still researching where and how they can do that. Her other class is donating to young patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

They’re giving – and they’re receiving. “These kids are amazing,” Cohen enthused. She also had praise for the Timebank members, saying she wished she could have their help all the time. While we were talking to her, a steady stream of students came up to her, asking for guidance, and/or a bit of validation. We even got a question: “Does this look like pepperoni?” A boy held up circles of felt, about the right color and size.

We said it did. What occurred to us is, it looked a lot like love.

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Timebank)

P.S. Signing up for the West Seattle Timebank just might get you the chance to be part of an adventure like this. Here’s how.

1 Reply to "A lesson in sewing - and giving - as West Seattle Timebank teams with local teacher and students"

  • Denise Quarles December 26, 2018 (12:46 pm)

    Great work, Shoshanna! I love that kids are learning sewing and using their skills to give to others!

Sorry, comment time is over.