On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, fashion students at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) will make brightly colored and kid-friendly patterned pillowcases to benefit local foster youth. The Spring Charity Sew will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at West City Campus in Point Loma (3249 Fordham St, San Diego, CA 92110).
SDCE offers residents two free fashion and textile career training programs including a 24-week Clothing Construction certificate and a 50-week Sewn Products Business certificate. SDCE’s spring fashion program will donate the personalized bedding materials to New Alternatives Family Visitation Center. The institution has partnered with local charities for more than 5 years including, Rady Children’s Hospital, Ryan’s Case for Smiles and New Alternatives Inc.
“Sewing is a gift,” said Tammie Pontsler, SDCE Faculty. “When students learn how to make their own products it is empowering and then to share it with others is a big part of why we do this.”
Bill Barnard, 41, enrolled in SDCE’s fashion program after his two daughters Hayden (age 8), and Zoey (age 6), were persistently asking for princess costumes. “I’m a girl dad and I am showing my girl’s that their father is learning how to sew,” he said. “I want to teach them that they can do anything they put their mind too, no matter their gender. They can change a tire, play sports, and sew.”
Prior to serving in the United States Navy in San Diego, Barnard grew up with a single mother in New Hampshire and knows firsthand the importance of philanthropy. “I’m excited to put what we are learning into action and give back to the community with the Charity Sew,” he said. “Pillowcases are simple, but we are showing these kids that people care about them, they are loved, and that they matter.”
After serving 23 years in the military, Senior Chief Barnard will retire this fall, with plans to complete a Clothing Construction certificate at SDCE and to expand his parent advocacy business, Dad Involved, which mentors fathers on how to be engaged with their kids’ interests.
SDCE is the noncredit division of the San Diego Community College District which includes San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar colleges. After certification completion at SDCE, students are ready for entry-level employment or can transition to San Diego Mesa College with up to four college credits earned toward an Associate Degree in Fashion.