Stacy’s Social Life – Sewing

Writing, Video Production and Photography By Tony Spiker

The three tenets of the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities are that people should live independently, work for competitive wages, and have an active social life. Stacy Bachtel lives on her own with the help of her assistant Alicia Yocom. She works at Starbucks, greatly increasing the efficiency and customer service of that store, and she participates in the Special Olympics through golf and bowling. However, Stacy also loves to give of herself to the community.

Before Scott Harrington found employment for her at Starbucks, she would spend her time at a bookstore, working for free, dusting shelves and cleaning the store. Two days a week she volunteers at head start, helping the instructor with meals, and again cleaning. As I get to know Stacy more and more a large portion of her life is about giving to others.

One of Stacy’s hobbies is sewing, and she has found a way to give of herself even in that. Each week she goes to the house of a friend of her mothers, Pat Love. They sit in front of a sewing machine and work for an hour on projects that she almost invariably gives away to others. This week they were working on a table runner.

Pat takes the time to cut out the shapes that will make up the patterns, and Stacy sews them together. “Stacy, to me, seems mechanical, not mathematical. She can’t visualize the patterns that we are working on, but she is very good at using the machine and understanding that.”

It usually takes the five to six hours of total work to finish a project, which inevitably becomes a present for someone in her family.

A few month back Pat ran across an advertisement in a sewing magazine that was asking for dresses for underprivileged African girls. True to Stacy’s nature she wanted to help and worked on six dresses that were later given away to those in need. “Stacy really liked that because she was doing something for someone,” said Pat.

Much like in golf, Stacy’s work with sewing reaps rewards in her life. Not only does she receive the gratification of making something for someone else, she also develops more intrinsic qualities. “I hope it’s given her some self confidence. That’s one of the things that I have tried to instill in her, the idea that ‘yea, I can do this,’ Pat says. She is very proud of her projects. That’s one thing that is really nice about her; she loves to give. For her, its not what she gets, it’s what she gives that she enjoys.”