My name is Laura Coffren; I am a retired teacher and Vice Principal from Southern Maryland after 31 years. My husband and I had bought a house in Surfside Beach with the intentions of retiring down here. I did not think I would be teaching again but by a chance encounter I teaching again.
I am currently the Family and Consumer Science Teacher at St. James HS in Murrells Inlet, SC., and the adviser for the FCCLA – Family Career and Community Leaders of America.
Each year our chapter, “Sewsassy”, adopts a community service project. Last year we partnered up with Operation Ward 57
and the Freeman Project
to provide free, one of a kind, Amputee Teddy Bears to children of wounded warriors. Each bear is handmade and customized with their parent’s specific amputation(s) and their service uniform. No one else in the U.S makes these bears and to date we have completed 90 of the 93+ ongoing orders. These Amputee Bears comfort the children and teach them that disabilities don’t change a person on the inside.
Our chapter is a small group of 5-10 young ladies who work very hard to produce these bears and every bear that is made becomes very personal to them, taking time to learn about the individual soldier and the children whom the bear will go to. One memorable soldier was the “Muzzy” bear. He lost both legs and his sight so he asked for no eyes on his bear. Each bear requires them to carefully take apart an actual uniform and then use this uniform to construct each bear. The bears go through a quality control “hug and love” test before sending them off. Please watch the video belowhttps://www.facebook.com/messages/lovzbieber
My passion is sewing and I love getting my students involved in sewing not only for themselves but for others. We have a small group of students who are involved in FCCLA – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. I want them to understand how they can impact their community and become leaders that make a difference.
Each year our chapter, “Sewsassy”, adopts a community service project. So far we have had several meaningful opportunities to be involved in a variety of projects:
- Every year we sew as many as 50 Christmas Stockings for our school sponsored Angel Tree for the less fortunate children in our community and then we encourage the students and faculty at school to fill them. We also had an opportunity to make stockings for a group of soldiers overseas which the St. James HS faculty filled for them.
- We have made baby bonnets for newborn children and presented them to a local hospital.
- We made a pink out quilt, raffled it off and were able to give $565.00 to Relay for Life.
- We have made over 100 cloth teddy bears for the local and county police department so they can give them out to children who are in a difficult or stressful situation.
Check out your local FCCLA for more information.