K-State professor starts “Sewing For Soldiers Project,” sending holiday care packages for troops overseas

Education 21st Century

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Jess Martin is an anatomy professor at Kansas State University, now adding seamstress to her resume this holiday season, for what she’s calling the “Sewing for Soldiers Project.”

It’s a way to help spread some holiday cheer to soldiers fighting over seas during the pandemic.

“The ones who are over there, who are by themselves,” Martin said. “They can’t see their family, they can’t really spend anytime with their friends because of the restrictions.”

Because of these coronavirus restrictions happening all over the world, Jess wanted to help.

She enlisted her friends who know a thing or two about sewing, and together they started working to sew hundreds of homemade stockings, blankets, and face masks with lots of love.

“The feeling of joy that it brings is just wonderful,” said Ronna Tyson, a seamstress for the project.

And a message of gratitude to our heroes during the holiday season.

“They’re not forgotten. We really appreciate what they’re doing, the sacrifice they’re making,” said Sandie Anderson, another seamstress. “We just want to make their Christmas just a little bit brighter.”

Jess is even getting her students involved, encouraging them to make holiday cards for soldiers like her cousin Kevin Frey, who was the inspiration for the entire project.

Frey is a Captain in the Army, currently serving overseas in Germany, with his wife Kathryn and their two-year-old daughter Woodleigh by his side.

A family who’s seeing first hand the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on other soldiers, and knows how appreciative the soldiers will be for the homemade items.

“Months have gone by and they still haven’t really gotten to see their families back home. A lot of them had to leave their wife, their spouse, and kids in the states,” said Kevin’s wife, Kathryn. “They didn’t come to Germany too so it’s been really hard on people.”

Jess said she doesn’t want it to stop when the holidays are over though.

She hopes the “Sewing for Soldiers Project” becomes a year round thing to make sure our heroes are always feeling loved.

“Even though they’re nine thousand miles away, we know what they’re sacrificing,” Martin said.

A message Jess and her friends are sending to troops, one stitch at a time.

All of this is going to be a surprise for the soldiers. Jess is going to get everything shipped off this week and her cousin and his first sergeant are going to dress up like Santa and give out all the goodies to the soldiers on Christmas morning.

If you want to help Jess continue the Sewing For Soldiers Project, click here.

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