Thirteen-year-old Minnah Stein lives by her family’s motto, “You make a living by what you get and a life by what you give.”
Every year, for the holidays, the Steins adopt a family, and Minnah helps pick out the gifts for the children.
For her seventh birthday, Minnah asked friends and family to give her cash instead of presents so she could make a donation to the World Wildlife Fund.
When Minnah was 10, her aunts, Materesa Lewis and Nena Hakmati, taught her how to sew clothing for her doll.
Then, last year, she began taking lessons every other Saturday with sewing instructor Anna Avery at Say It With Stitches.
“I find it really fun and enjoy creating things myself as opposed to buying them,” Minnah says. “I feel like they are more special when you make them and they have value.”
When Minnah realized her newfound craft could be used to help others, she jumped at the chance. After reading in December about The Pinheads, a group of women impacted by cancer, in the Observer, Minnah reached out in February to the Center for Building Hope to see how she could be involved.
Since that time, Minnah has sewn and donated dozens of pillows to Center for Building Hope. For her batmitzvah July 6, she asked guests to give her fabric for her projects. She calls sewing pillows a “happy accident.” Her first attempt to sew a cloth doll ended up looking like a stingray.
Minnah’s next project is to design and sew 24 pillows for boys and girls at Healing Hearts Camp, who have lost someone to cancer, as part of the family connections programs at Center for Building Hope.
Although it is difficult for the Pine View eighth-grader to find time to sew as much she would like during the school year, she calls it a “labor of love.”
Minnah is also currently learning to quilt so that she can contribute to Restore Innocence, a non-profit that aids victims of child trafficking. Avery and other women across the country all contribute to a quilt that is given to a victim of human trafficking.
“I like giving back and sharing with those people who probably do not have something like that,” Minnah says. “I just have always thought it would be great to help those less fortunate than me.”
Contact Yaryna Klimchak a firstname.lastname@example.org.
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