LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Middletown's St. Mary's Center, with its new facility on Aiken Road, has been able to take its mission further by teaching those with intellectual challenges job skills -- like making pizza boxes and eventually pizzas in the Papa John's room, or operating a restaurant-grade dishwasher.

Every Tuesday morning, the students do a different kind of work, enabling those who are used to getting help become the helpers.

Stitch by stitch, they're showing compassion for those who need it by making pillow cases for cancer patients at Kosair Children's Hospital.

Volunteer sewing instructor Cindy Grossholz started the project two years ago. The avid seamstress wanted to give back for what the St. Mary's Center has done for her daughter Sonja.

"This community is overlooked as a source of help. Well, we can help, and they love helping. I started using fabric from my stash. And, we started making pillow cases for each individual participate here at St. Mary's," Grossholz says.

It took off from there. In addition to the Kosair pillow cases, there have been sun dresses for children at an orphanage in Belize.

It hasn't just been about what these folks are doing for others, it's also what this effort has done for them.

"In the beginning, when we had to piece the fabric together, pin them, nobody could pin independently,' Grossholz said. “Well, as you saw this morning, we've got 5 or 6 that can pin independently now. And, we even have a couple that can use the sewing machine on their own."

It's given Sonja Grossholz the chance to pass on her expertise to others. "I show them like how to do the pin -- pin up and pin down. My mother taught me that," says Sonja.

This effort is about to get a big boost, as the word is getting out as to what is going on here. In fact, a company in Missouri is donating four more sewing machines, as well as a long list of supplies.

That should all arrive within the next month, but where things go from there is anyone's guess.

However, as long as there's a need, these folks and their endless supply of energy and compassion will be there to fill it.

For now, the effort itself has a big need for donations of cotton fabric. If you'd like to help, call 502-254-7298 or email

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.