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Stitching for a cause

Sewing Club
Charles Minshew/KBIA
Sewing club member Jeannie Sanchez, of Columbia, sews a velcro strip into a pair of athletic shorts at Zede's Sewing Shop on Friday, March 2, 2012. The shorts will be sent to wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

When wounded veterans return from combat, some face challenges doing things most of us take for granted. KBIA’s Charles Minshew has this story on  a sewing group in Columbia is working to  make things a little easier.

A small group of women cut, stitch and sew at Zede’s sewing shop in Columbia. They’re adapting athletic shorts for wounded veterans who are amputees. Tracy Della Vecchia is founder of the group, Marine Parents, a national group based in Columbia. 

"The ultimate goal is to give the seriously injured and wounded Marines the opportunity to dress themselves. The more independent they are the easier it is for them to heal and begin a process of living what their new normal life is."

To adapt the shorts, the sewers cut both sides and add Velcro strips so the shorts can easily be put on and removed. The volunteers then send the adapted clothing to vets at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Sewing Club member Dee Bauer says she wanted to help people she regards as heroes.

I have a soft spot in my heart for veterans. As a nurse, I worked at the VA hospital and retired out of the VA hospital. So, maybe that’s my connection. But, I just have an allegiance for this country and am just really proud of our veterans.

Della Vecchia says the group is currently working on 20 pairs of shorts. Officials at the medical center have asked for 40 more.