As ALSM team members we are very grateful for the wonderful opportunities we have to get to know the residents who reside in our communities. That is an aspect of most team members days that they will tell you brings them the most joy. Getting to know the people that we serve, the lives that ALSM touches. We recently had the opportunity to spend time with a few ALSM residents who enjoy filling their days with handmade gifts of love that they donate to make others lives better.
Caring for the Youngest and Most in Need
Mrs. Lucille Lilly is an 88 year-old resident of the Hillcrest apartments on the Hickory Commons campus. She welcomed us to spend time with her as she was knitting beautiful baby blankets. We are glad we visited with her that morning because the finished blankets were picked up later that day, destined to be given to local newborns in need. Mrs. Lilly donates blankets each year to Birthright and Catholic Charities.
We also learned that knitting is not her only passion: Lucille is a licensed amateur radio operator. She and her husband were very active and enjoyed communication “over the horizon” via short wave radio. What an interesting lady!
As we visited, Lucille shared why she makes and donates her quilts. “You don’t always just do for yourself. I like to help other people. We need to broaden our horizons and give of ourselves.” Lucille certainly reaches out and touches the lives of many little ones.
Prayer Quilts Sewn and Given With Love
Marilyn Shaw and Mary Hardy have happily set themselves up in one of a quilting room at The Oaks at Pleasant Gap. There they assemble prayer quilts. Marilyn was a member of a prayer quilting club in San Francisco. When she moved to her new home in The Oaks (her 52nd move!), she brought with her a template for constructing the quilts, materials for making them, and a poem that she had written to express how much they mean to her. The ladies construct each quilt and attach strings to the quilt. They then ask other residents, team members, and guests at The Oaks to say a prayer and tie a knot in the strings on the quilt.
The ladies construct each quilt and attach strings to the quilt. They then ask other residents, team members, and guests at The Oaks to say a prayer and tie a knot in the strings on the quilt.
The day we visited the quilt room, they were finishing a prayer quilt for a fellow resident at The Oaks, one whose health was failing. When they presented him with his quilt, it came with prayers that had been offered for him from residents and team members of The Oaks. Even a few of us visitors were able to be a part of this special ministry. What a wonderful, comforting gift, full of love, this gentleman received! He has not been their only recipient. The ladies have donated quilts and prayers for both the older adults and children in the ALSM Generations Together program in Altoona. The participants were thrilled to receive these gifts and were happy to take such a treasure home with them.
The quilts not only brighten someone’s day but they brighten their soul.