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Sewing to mend the soul
dresses pic1
Major Debi Shrum of the Turlock Salvation Army Corp is almost toppled over by the number of dresses donated by Pitman High fashion class students. - photo by BROOKE BORBA / The Journal

To celebrate the first day of spring, students of Pitman High's home economics fashion class collaborated with the Kiwanis Club of Turlock for the 11th year in row to donate hand-made dresses to the Salvation Army. On Friday afternoon, the students presented their creations to Major Debi Shrum of the Turlock Salvation Army.

The Kiwanis Club of Turlock bought material from Cloth and Quilts, a local material shop owned by Susan Bowers, to donate to the school for the project. The Salvation Army will distribute the dresses to low-income families during the spring season.

“It costs the club about $100 to buy all the material,” said Burt Gilpin, a member of the Kiwanis Club. “Really, it is a cheap project if you think about it. Susan is real great to us, and she gave us a great deal.”

The class made 30 dresses to donate this year.

“We’ve been doing this for 11 years, and it serves two purposes. It is a class project and the students learn what it’s like to give to someone in need,” said Pitman home economics teacher Anne Cornell. “They really take ownership on this one compared to other projects.”

Shrum was excited to meet with the kids who created the dresses and thanked them for their participation.

“This is a wonderful program,” she said. “It's too bad they are the only school that really does this. Thirty dresses typically last a week. If more people did this, it would give people a sense of what volunteering is. As a younger sister, it is trying not getting a new dress to show off.”

“It definitely feels good to give to the community,” said Pitman senior Mike Penney. “It was nice to do something that children need. I hope they enjoy the dresses.”