Group of Martinsville Sewers Help Kids In Low-Income Families Get Ready For The New School Year

      Martinsville, VA-- If you've been out in the stores lately, you can tell it's a busy time for retailers and parents. It's back-to-school shopping time, and if you are parent you know buying new clothes for the new school year can get quite costly.

      That's why a group of sewers from our area are using their skills to help out. The Sewing Studio in Martinsville put a group together to sew outfits for kids whose parents can't afford to buy new clothes for school. They said it's all about boosting self esteem and putting some smiles on the kids' faces.

      Sisters Dorothy Boger and Brenda Feeny said they have a big love of sewing. They've dedicated their life to it. They opened up the The Sewing Studio more than 20 years ago.

      "I have always loved to sew. It's my passion. It's my addiction. Fabric, patterns... the whole thing," said Feeny, owner of The Sewing Studio.

      It's more than just a hobby, they've now found a new reason to get on that sewing machine.

      "It's just important for everybody to look their best and feel their best,"said Boger, who works at the studio.

      That's why Feeny started a group that sews outfits for little girls who may otherwise not feel their best on the first day of school. It's called Dress a Graduate.

      "There's a lot of children whose parents just don't have the extra money to spend for it," Feeny said.

      The project became popular quickly with sewers from Roanoke and North Carolina joining in. The group of 20 women have been sewing away since April for the project. So far they've sewn 140 dresses. They'll be donated to Henry County schools, and administrators will distribute them to elementary schoolers in need.

      "Having good self esteem starts with being proud of how you look. Little girls want something special for school, so I hope it will have a big impact. I hope it will make them feel like they're special," Feeney said.

      The Sewing Studio plans to make this an ongoing project. They've already started thinking about sewing holiday dresses and clothes for winter.