For most students completing citizenship projects for 4-H, the fact that they were able to successfully finish the task makes them feel good about themselves.
Hannah Fordyce, however, has completed a citizenship project that will help others feel better about themselves as well.
Fordyce, 11, created 12 hand-sewn turbans for area cancer patients to wear, and donated the colorful accessories to the Storm Lake branch of the American Cancer Society earlier this week.
The turbans are one of the biggest contributions to the local Cancer Society's "Look Good... Feel Better" program, designed to boost the self-esteem of cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment to fight cancer. Not only will Fordyce's turbans help alleviate appearance-related side effects of the cancer treatments, but Jean Anderson, the Survivorship Coordinator of the Storm Lake ACS, said the free headwear would help defray expenses for people desiring those items as well.
"We don't have a lot of these turbans on hand for people right now, so a gift like this really does make difference," Anderson said. "This was something that was really needed, and we're really happy about this gift to us."
Fordyce, who has been in the 4-H program for two years, made chair covers for kindergarten students in Alta last year, and then decided to take the citizenship project a step further this year by creating her own patterns, cutting the fabric and sewing the turbans together by herself.
While the endeavor was time-consuming for Hannah, her mother, Gretchen Miller, said her daughter grew in a positive way from the experience.
"I'm really proud of her," Miller said. "She did all of the work and put a lot into this, and it's all going to a good cause, so that made all of the work even more worthwhile. I'm just really proud of what she's been able to do with this."
The endeavor had extra significance for the family, as Hannah's grandmother and Miller's father both passed away due to cancer complications. Those complications also provided a way for Hannah and MIller to learn about the ACS and the many programs it offers, leading to the gift of the turbans.
Miller said she and her daughter may start making even more turbans in the future as a longterm project, and will donate the items to the local ACS.
For more information about the turbans or the "Look Good... Feel Better" program, contact the Storm Lake American