Colourful pillowcases bring smiles to pediatric patients

News / Patient Care
By John Pereira

An international charitable organization marked a big milestone at Kingston General Hospital last week. Liz Withers from Ryan’s Case for Smiles visited the KGH Pediatrics Department to celebrate the donation of the organization’s millionth pillowcase to hospitals across the Canada and United States.

The charity has 120 chapters that focus on creating and donating handmade pillowcases to children who are admitted to hospital. The pillowcases provide colour for the child’s hospital room and also can be comforting for a child who is going through a difficult time. The Kingston chapter has been up and running for about nine months and has already donated 245 pillowcases to KGH.

“These cases help children feel more comfortable, welcome and make their hospital room more cheerful and a little more like home,” says Kerri-Lee Bisonette, Manager of Pediatrics. “The feedback from families and our patients has been one of gratitude. It’s fantastic to see how they bring a smile to the child’s face.”

Withers, who started the Kingston chapter following her retirement, heard of the organization and thought of it as a way to combine her sewing hobby with a desire to give back to her community.

“I’ve worked in retail, a greenhouse and a warehouse and I can safely say this is the most fun ‘job’ I have ever had in my life,” says Withers. “It’s hard to describe the feeling I get when I donate these pillow cases, but if I can provide a smile to a child that needs it, there is nothing better.”

She says she can make about four pillowcases an hour and is looking for more volunteers to help make them. Anyone who is interested volunteering or donating to the organization can visit