This year’s American Sewing Guild’s (ASG) national community service project is to make pillowcases for the Ronald McDonald Room, which provides a temporary home-away-from-home for families of ill or injured children receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital in Edinburg.

During a recent meeting, beginners and advanced sewers from the Rio Grande Valley chapter assembled to make novelty pillow covers aimed at comforting hospitalized children.

The ASG community service project is conducted in conjunction with Ronald McDonald House’s goal to support efforts to improve the health and well-being of children and families staying at the hospital. ASG members hope that having a few comforts reminding them of home will ease the stress of being in a strange, and often frightening, place.

The Ronald McDonald Room is located in the hospital, steps away from a pediatric or intensive care unit, and offers a place of refuge to families in the hospital where their child is staying because of illness or injury. Remaining close to their children allows parents to better communicate with the medical team and allows children a chance to heal with less separation anxiety.

“It’s something special,” Dianne Parry, president of ASG’s Valley chapter, said. “These (pillow covers) will make the children’s hospital stay feel more like home. They can choose whichever pillowcase they like and take it with them after they’re released.”

“If we can use our sewing skills to bring a little bit of happiness and give back to the community,” said Pam Wenzel, secretary of the local chapter, “then we are fortunate and blessed to be part of it.”

The American Sewing Guild was started in the 1970s in order to keep the tradition of sewing alive and valued as a part of American culture. Guild members can increase their confidence, expand their sewing skills, enjoy the annual conference and take advantage of discounts.

The ASG was incorporated in March of 1993 as a nonprofit organization and now has over 20,000 members, with nearly 1,000 neighborhood groups and 135 chapters across the nation.

Members of ASG get together for informal meetings, usually once a month. Some specialize in programs around one topic, such as embroidery, and others cover all sewing topics.

“On Sept. 19, we will welcome national award-winning pattern designer and TV sewing personality Patty Dunn, who is scheduled to arrive for a special presentation and workshop,” Parry said. “Registration will begin after August 1.”

To find out more about the American Sewing Guild, visit their web site at or contact Dianne Parry at