Orlando Sentinel Blog – Hunter’s Creek, April 2008

It has been a year in the making, but this local student feels the project is well worth it. Lazer Kpansky from Freedom High School is organizing a very special event to benefit Give Kids The World, and now he needs our help.

Lazer learned to make pillows in the 7th grade, it was during a shopping trip for his latest creation that he ran into Margaret Thorton, the woman in charge of the Wish Pillow program at Give Kids The World Village. This special program is one of many provided for terminally ill children during their week here in Central Florida. The pillows are given to the child of honor and are filled with “happiness”, “laughter” and most important “love”. Each pillow has a pocket that holds the child’s wishes. Give Kids The World awards 200-250 pillows each week on average.

Lazer decided to take his passion for pillow design and make it into a grand benefit for the Give Kids The World organization. On Saturday, April 26th , Lazer with the help of over 250 volunteers will attempt to make 1,200 pillows in 12 hours. Lazer has spoken with experts in the manufacturing process, and after making several pillow adjustments, he’s broken down each step and laid the pieces out in an assembly line format to most efficiently make each pillow. His team of volunteers will each be responsible for one step in the process.

This is where Lazer needs our help! After securing a location, receiving donations of materials and refreshments for volunteers, Lazer just needs his volunteers! He’s asking for 52 people to work each four hour shift starting at 8am and ending at 8pm. The shift are from 8am –Noon, Noon-4pm, and 4pm – 8pm. Volunteers will be cutting fabric, ironing, pinning hems, sewing straight stitches, stuffing and trimming the pillows. Volunteers with sewing skills AND machines they can bring along for the day are desperately needed, and any volunteer with good quality scissors for cutting fabric are asked to bring them along.

In a time when the media is focusing so much attention on the crime committed by young people around us, it is refreshing to talk to teens like Lazer. By becoming a positive influence on others within the community, teens learn to become a part of that community. Lazer told me he’s doing this because, “I believe if you learn to give your time as a youth, you will continue it into your adult life.”

The reward so far for Lazer are the skills he’s learned in the process. The leadership, organization and problem solving skills are some he’ll take with him for the rest of his life. “I think the best reward will be when I hand over the pillows to Margaret and know there will be enough pillows for the weeks to come,” said Lazer. “Watching the kids faces light up as they get the pillows and knowing our community pulled together to make them will be so cool.”

Please consider donating your time for this very worth project. If you have any questions, or you’d like to volunteer, please send your name, contact information and desired shift time directly to Lazer at pillowman007 @ bellsouth . net. This is a fantastic project for high schoolers looking for additional community service hours for the Birght Futures Scholarship – so remember to bring your volunteer forms with you for Lazer to sign. Let’s see what 250 + community members can complete in one day!

Give Kids The World Pillow Project

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

52 Volunteers needed for EACH SHIFT

Shifts: 8am – Noon; Noon – 4pm; 4pm – 8pm

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