LAS VEGAS – When wounded soldiers begin their recovery in hospitals after combat, they're typically limited to hospital gowns when it comes to clothing.
The Las Vegas Sew Girls want to change that.
"If they don't have clothing that can accommodate them during their healing process, it can lower their self-esteem," said Emily Karczewski, vice president of the Las Vegas Sew Girls.
For the past five years, this Las Vegas non-profit group of women has made life easier for soldiers in hospitals by sewing and stitching together clothing that's more adaptable for service members who have lost limbs or require medical devices. They do it on the first and third Wednesday of each month in a little sewing room at Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Las Vegas.
"We take T-shirts, boxer shorts, walking shorts, and take them apart, redo them with velcro enclosing so that the wounded can get out of it easily and the medical people can open them up, do what they need to do for medical attention, and put them back," said Karczewski.
The clothing that they stitch together is then sent to the Colorado facilities of Sew Much Comfort, the national non-profit that works in conjunction with the Las Vegas Sew Girls, which then sends the clothing to military hospitals nationally and abroad.
"We acknowledge that we help in a way that very few people can," said Karczewski. "The sewing that we do is not complicated, but there aren't many of us left that know how to sew."
To date, the Las Vegas Sew Girls have stitched together nearly 4,000 pieces of adaptive clothing for soldiers. And for those looking to donate to the non-profit, the organization does things the old-fashioned way. Instead of a website, you can contact the group directly at (702) 260-1621.