PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is not your traditional sewing circle.
Teenage sisters, Kathryn and Kelsie Bissert, and their four cousins have stitched together more than 500 one-of-a-kind purses in six years.
“This one is made of a piece of fabric for the belt around it, and the jeans,” says Kathryn, holding up a purse made from a pair of jeans.
Other material is donated.
“It’s something that we do to get together and have fun,” she adds. “But we’re still working for a good cause.”
Their charity, “Kids and a Cause,” has raised more than $19,000 for Pittsburgh’s Hillman Cancer Center.
It’s a project that hits very close to home. Each of the teenage volunteers has friends or family members who were treated at Hillman.
“This is a way for all of us to just get together, and you know, we’re all having fun while we’re doing it,” says Penn State freshman Katie Derrick. “But I think, when we’re all here, we’re realizing just how much we’re helping people. And it’s really important to us, and it makes us feel really good.”
“I want to major in biomedical research because of the work that I’ve done here,” Chartiers Valley High School senior Heidi Schmidt. “And I want to do cancer research because of this. So I think it’s important. We all have our own reasons why it’s important to us.”
A Keystone Oaks guidance counselor nominated Kathryn for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
When the White House responded, she says, “I was shocked, but I was really happy at the same time, that all of our hard work was getting noticed.”
Each member of the “sewing circle” shares a common thread.
“If it wasn’t for them,” the recipient says, “I wouldn’t have gotten the award.”
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