Students in a Family and Consumer Sciences class at Chilton County High School sew Beads of Courage Bead Bags on Friday for children with cancer.
Students in a Family and Consumer Sciences class at Chilton County High School sew Beads of Courage Bead Bags on Friday for children with cancer.

Archived Story

Students make bead bags for cancer patients

Published 3:49pm Monday, November 11, 2013

Students in Cami Johnson’s Family and Consumer Sciences class at Chilton County High School are channeling their newfound sewing skills into a project to help cancer patients.

Last week, Johnson and 27 of her students started making Beads of Courage bags to give to children undergoing cancer treatments at Children’s.

“What happens is every time a child receives a treatment, they get a little bead for being brave,” Johnson said. “When they get [one of] these bags, they can put their beads in it, and it is used kind of as a conversation starter when people come to visit them so that they aren’t just focused on their illness.”

The students’ bag project is also part of their community service efforts through Family Career and Community Leaders of America.

Johnson said she and FCCLA president Raegan Knight’s mother, Sheila Knight, came up with the idea of Johnson’s students making bags.

“I was talking to Sheila about different volunteer things we could do with FCCLA,” Johnson said. “I thought this was perfect because we’re going through our sewing unit now, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for the kids to have.”

Students chose a variety of fabrics with different designs and colors that would appeal to boys and girls.

Johnson said another parent of one of her students provided Beads of Courage Bead Bag labels for the front of the bags.

Senior Jordan Harvley said making the bags had taught him patience in learning how to use a sewing machine and humility in helping people during difficult times.

“I think it’s very encouraging for the children because it gives them an opportunity to take their mind off the cancer and the negativity of it,” Harvley said. “It just makes your heart feel good. You’re just trying to comfort somebody in their time of need.”

Johnson said if someone is not able to hand-deliver the bags to patients at Children’s, she would mail them to Beads of Courage Inc. in Tuscon, Ariz.

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