2010 Newpaper Article to Announce the Original Project

Chardon mother, daughter ‘sewport’ troops

Shown is a pillowcase made by the Chardon mother-daughter team that works to “Sewport our Troops” by sending hand-made pillowcases to overseas troops.

After a long, rough day of work, what better way to end the day by resting your head on a pillow with a nice, comfortable pillowcase?

And who has a longer, rougher day than a soldier?

That’s the thinking behind Sewport Our Troops, which is a mother-daughter team from Chardon that provides handmade pillowcases at no cost to troops overseas.

Pat Rullo, 56, and her mother Jo Rullo, 81, started the project back in May and have since made and sent about 300 pillowcases overseas, Pat said while calling in from Arizona.

The two began quilting and sewing two years ago after Jo fell at work and was severely injured to the point where doctors told her she was not expected to live.

“Miracles occurred and she survived,” Pat said.

Following the injury, Jo was unable to work, so the two started taking quilting classes to keep her busy and positive, and they quickly discovered that they enjoyed making pillowcases.

“We decided to do something worthwhile for others as a way of expressing our thanks and joy for her life,” Pat said. “It was easy to look to our troops for inspiration as our soldiers willingly lay their lives on the line every single day so that we can sleep safely at night.”

In May, they had a garage sale during which they garnered more than $600, which they then took to a fabric store and spent all the money. The rest is history.

The two do not make any money from the pillowcases, The money then goes into buying products and shipping to soldiers overseas, Pat said.

Despite only doing the project for six months, Pat said “The response has been extremely exciting for us,” she said. “It’s still a young project so we are trying to build our website, hand out postcards and hopefully do some craft and gift shows over the holidays.”

It only takes the two about 30 minutes to sew a pillowcase, which is made with a pocket to stuff candy in. But that doesn’t take into account the amount of time it takes them to go to the store, purchase fabric, wash it, press it and cut it before starting to make it, Pat said.

She said the overall goal of the project is to support the troops.

“This is not a moneymaking venture and it’s been something positive for my mom to do with her days,” she said. “At the end of a rough day our troops appreciate a special pillowcase to sleep on, and we are happy to help.”


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