Ursuline Academy Graduate, Girl Scout Troop 1432 Member Starts Pillow Project


Shelly Hagan and many sewing volunteers helped make 80 pillowcases for patients in need. Photo / Courtesy of Shelly Hagan

Shelly Hagan, graduate of Ursuline Academy and member of Girl Scout Troop 1432, could have never imagined that her volunteer work at Baylor Hospital would turn into something so much more.

Hagan started volunteering at Baylor’s Plano location when she was in eighth grade. At the time she was interested in the medical field and liked volunteering at the hospital. During her sophomore year, she started thinking about her Gold Award project and went to the head of volunteer services to inquire about projects they could use help with. Hagan was told that there was a woman who used to make pillowcases for stomach surgery patients. Hagan thought the pillow project was a great idea.

The pillowcases, Hagan explains, are custom made to fit a special, small pillow used by these patients post-surgery. They are especially helpful to patients while they are coughing.

“To begin I got in contact with two local parish sewing groups. St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton donated lots of fabric for my project. St. Mark’s Sewing Club invited me to attend their weekly sewing session where they taught me how to sew the pillowcases, as well as sewing some on their own,” Hagan said.

The road to Gold wasn’t easy for Hagan. Before the project she had never used a sewing machine.

The most challenging part of the project was raising money. She held two garage sales to raise the funds for two sewing machines, one of which was donated to the St. Mark’s Sewing Club. With the remaining money from the sale she purchased all her thread and needles and other supplies. In six months, Hagan and a few other women completed 80 pillowcases.

But the story doesn’t end there. During her senior year Hagan started the Sewing for Others club at Ursuline which was a continuation of her Gold Award Project.

Hagan is now a freshman at the University of Missouri studying Journalism and Business.

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