Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sew Much Comfort Helps Wounded Warriors

Ginger of Sew Much Comfort took the time to chat with Holly Wheat, eMOM's Ft. Leonard Wood Military Liaison and founder of Help the 4th Recon. This article is a result of their conversation.

We know you'll find Sew Much Comfort a worthy cause and we hope you'll take the time to check them out and help when and if possible.

Sew Much Comfort’s Mission: To provide custom-made adaptive clothing, free of charge, to our injured service members which aides in their recovery, provides a tangible reminder of our gratitude for their sacrifice and gives them an added measure of comfort and freedom as they recover from their injuries and return to everyday life. Adaptive clothing accommodates their medical devices and situations, provides ease of use, increases personal independence and minimizes the visual impact of their medical condition.

Ginger Dosedal is the founder of Sew Much Comfort (SMC). Her inspiration was her son, Mike, who is now 15 years old. He is a survivor of a rare pediatric cancer. Ginger says that he is the only survivor in his protocol that they are aware of, at this time. Mike was diagnosed with Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of three. The tumor was behind his right thigh and spread through his lymph system into his abdomen into his diaphragm. The radiation and chemotherapy that was necessary to save his life left him with orthopedic issues. His right hip and femur do not grow. Yearly, Mike must undergo orthopedic procedures to lengthen or correct his leg and hip. After the first lengthening, Ginger had to learn to sew to create clothing that Mike could wear over his external fixator.

How did this develop into Sew Much Comfort? Ginger’s husband is in the Air Force. When Mike was 11 years old, his father was stationed in Washington, D.C., so Mike’s physical therapy was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During Mike’s time there, he befriended wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. At the tender age of 11, Mike noticed that these wounded warriors did not have adaptive clothing to fit over their own external fixators or that would simply adapt to their medical needs. Due to this, many of these troops were stuck being able to wear nothing but hospital gowns. Mike asked Ginger to sew adaptive clothing for these wounded warriors. Thus, Sew Much Comfort was the idea of an 11 year old boy who saw past his own struggle and desired to help others. Truly, he should be an inspiration to all of us.

In December 2004, Ginger had provided a few adaptive clothing pieces and saw how well these were received. She contacted her friend, Michelle Cuppy, to help her create the organization. Michelle now serves as President/CEO. “We began with a small group of ten women in my mother-in-law’s house in Minnesota and the organization has grown and blossomed astronomically since this time. It is amazing to see the outpouring of support for the wounded service members,” says Ginger.

Though SMC does not know an exact number of wounded troops who have been helped due to HIPAA regulations, over 75,000 individual pieces of clothing have been distributed since the organization’s beginnings in December 2004. SMC sends the clothing to the hospitals and the hospitals distribute directly to the service members.

Ginger says, “I have a prayer that I recite every day when I go into our distribution facility here in Ohio. ‘Lord, let there be a day when this is not necessary!’ I guess you could say that is our goal. We want to support the troops to the best of our ability, but we all pray for the day when all our troops will come home safely and do not need the clothing anymore.

“We want to serve as many wounded troops as possible. We want them to know that America is supporting them, that America recognizes their injuries are serious and life-altering. For many of the wounded, their clothing is cut off on the battlefield. The SMC clothing may be the first item they receive which reminds them people back home are thinking of them. It’s a very practical way to provide this tangible support. Every item is adapted by hand which means that every volunteer puts a bit of themselves into each piece of clothing. Their love and dedication shows in how much time and attention to detail they provide.”

At this time, SMC has over 1,500 volunteers. “It is absolutely amazing the outpouring of support from Americans for the wounded troops,” Ginger comments. “Everyone wants to help in some way! The talent, time and love that goes into each stitch is truly humbling. The seamstresses are incredibly dedicated, ingenious and creative. They pour love and prayers into every item they provide—and the wounded troops recognize and appreciate this!” If you or someone you know is an experienced seamstress, you can sign up to help at

If you can’t sew, there are many alternative ways you can help out. SMC is in need of high quality t-shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve, as well as sweatshirts, preferably in solids or with sports logos. These are mainly needed in sizes L and XL. Also needed are long basketball-style shorts in sizes L, XL, and XXL. Ginger says that these are the high demand items that troops love to wear, that bolsters their morale. To make tax deductible financial contributions, they can be sent to:

Michelle Cuppy
Sew Much Comfort
13805 Frontier Lane
Burnsville, MN 55337

The monies received provide supplies to volunteer seamstresses and covers shipping costs, along with the operating cost involved with running our Distribution Center in Ohio. Through your generosity our service members can be affected in a positive, supportive, encouraging and beneficial way.

Approximately forty injured service members return to the States each week. Sew Much Comfort struggles to find resources to meet these demands while continuing to help service members currently in recovery. SMC distributes over 1,200 clothing items and comfort accessories each month to over 60 combat medical units, hospital wards, clinics, and military medical facilities in the United States, Landsthul (Germany) and Combat Medical Units in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Please consider becoming a volunteer today!

For troops in need of the adaptive clothing, please e-mail Ginger or Jeanne at

Ginger’s son, Mike Dosedal. He is wearing his leg fixator and adaptive clothing in this picture.


Help support our troops this holiday season. Participate in one of our many projects or register with eMOM and sign up to correspond with service members one-on-one. Learn more about sending holiday mail to our troops.

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