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Clanton girl impacting cancer with ‘Pillow Fight for a Cure’

Claire Ellen Jolley with one of her custom made pillowcases for “Pillow Fight for a Cure,” which benefits the American Cancer Society. (Contributed photo)

Claire Ellen Jolley with one of her custom made pillowcases for “Pillow Fight for a Cure,” which benefits the American Cancer Society. (Contributed photo)

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Reporter

Claire Ellen Jolley started sewing when her Girl Scout troop partnered with Chilton County Relay for Life Queens to sew pillowcases for cancer patients that reside at Hope Lodge in Birmingham.

She enjoyed this project so much that she decided she wanted to start sewing her own pillowcases. This past May her grandmother, whom she calls granna, bought her a sewing machine as an end of the school year gift.

Since then, Jolley has made around 36 pillowcases for people wanting interesting and unique designs such as animals, high school initials and teams, Alabama and Auburn football and really any other design one could want.

“My favorite is probably one that I did for the Hope Lodge that had dogs all over it,” Jolley said. The pillowcases cost $12, but the most remarkable part is that $2 of every pillowcase purchased goes towards the American Cancer Society.

One of her many interesting and unique pillow case designs. (Contributed photo)

One of her many interesting and unique pillow case designs. (Contributed photo)

“I just like helping out my community and especially cancer patients,” Jolley said. “My great grandmother passed away from cancer before I was born and going to see the patients at the Hope Lodge just made me want to do something for them.”

Claire Ellen Jolley’s mom, Amy Jolley is the Children’s Ministry Director at Church of Christ in Clanton and said she is very proud of her daughter.

“It’s great, in our Girl Scout troop we’ve tried to push community service,” Amy Jolley said. “Her learning how to do for others and basically manage her own business is so important for her. She even runs her own bank account.”

Claire Ellen spends about 15 minutes sewing each pillowcase herself and takes custom orders.

“I do whatever people want, I just go buy the fabric they want and sew it together,” Claire Ellen said. “I include a tag with my name and Pillow Fight for a Cure.”

She also works with other organizations donating pillowcases to the Chilton County Humane Society auction, Our Helping Hands of Bama Car and Bike Show and she also offers her pillowcases for half price to any person that donates their hair to cancer patients.

Plans are also in place for her to donate 41 pillowcases to the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham and they are looking for any sponsors that want to help purchase fabric for this big project.

Claire Ellen said that she just likes sewing and that’s what makes it so enjoyable.

“It’s a great feeling to make an impact on such a big cause because I honestly just love to help other people,” she said.

If you are interested in supporting the cause and purchasing your own pillowcase visit her Facebook group “Pillow Fight for a Cure.” Here you can see samples of fabric and designs that she has done for others. If you’d like to order one just comment with what you would like her to make and she’ll get it done, or call 389-5253.