Tulsa sewing bee helping troops in Iraq

Friday, August 20th 2004, 10:41 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa woman is offering US troops support in special ways. It is hot in Iraq. Daily temperatures are regularly above 100 degrees. Our troops deal with that heat every day.

New on 6 reporter Rick Wells found a group of women who've found a way to help, they're sewing for the soldiers.

This is a new Friday group at the Center for individuals with Physical challenges and it's kind of a sewing bee. Lou Purdy: "They stopped the class they had on Friday to volunteer to help me."

They heard she was making these cooling scarves for the troops and wanted to help. Mildred West: "I had a crochet class in there and this is more fun."

Lou Purdy got the idea of making these from something she saw on the Internet, she likes to sew, it was something she could do. "It has the camouflage fabric and watering crystals inside." The crystals are the kind you put in house plants to keep them moist, the crystals absorb water and stay wet. “ya fill 'em, sew a line, then more crystals and you do that 8 times on 'em."

So they pass the scarves around the table 'til all eight segments get done. Their goal is 100 scarves. Cheryl Dale: “We started last Friday it'll be every Friday 'til we're done."

Lou Purdy's oldest grandson is in the Army. He’s been to Iraq and will go back again. Doing something for the troops is what this group is all about, but there's more. And they are working together, beyond their physical challenges to accomplish something, so they pass and they mark and they fill.

The bottle neck is one cranky sewing machine. Lou Purdy: "Sewing machine is like a touchy old man. You just gotta treat it with tender loving care and bop it up side of the head every now and then to get their attention."

Its slow going but they're having fun so who cares how long it takes. The ladies are already thinking up other projects to work on and create. To undertake those projects they really could use a couple of more sewing machines. If you have one you'd like to give them, call The Center at 918-584-8607.