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Freshman's pillowcase project wins spirit award


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Erin Kirby, a freshman at OCHS, shows off one of her custom-made pillowcases.Erin Kirby, a freshman at Oregon City High School, was presented with an engraved bronze medallion to recognize her selection as a distinguished finalist in the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, at an assembly on Thursday, Feb. 28.

She was honored for raising $3,000 to support her Pillowcases for Patients program, for which she has sewn and distributed more than 400 custom pillowcases to comfort children fighting life-threatening illnesses around the world.

Erin, whose inspiration was her own experience with a traumatic brain injury, began her project less than a year ago after creating a Facebook site to increase awareness and collect donations.  

She has sent pillowcases all over the world, including South Africa, England, New Zealand and all across the United States. She started out looking for patients to give pillowcases to, and now it is by request only.

Patients will request what they want to be on their pillowcases, and Erin said sometimes it is hard to find the fabric, but she searches all over to try and get the design they have requested.  

Before her accident, Erin was a three-sport athlete, participating in soccer, basketball and lacrosse; her wish is to be an oncologist pediatrics nurse.

For more information on the rest of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit spirit.prudential.com.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.