Community Stories

Volunteer and her Quilting Group Sew Quilts for Seniors

May 21, 2024

Quilts for seniors

After 66-year-old Judie Nance retired, she knew that she wanted to use some of her time giving back and making new friends. Then she stumbled upon a quilting group at her local senior center and discovered the perfect solution.

Judie has been volunteering with Heart2Heart since 2022, when she learned about the organization through her church. She has volunteered at different care centers, assisting with Bingo, games, karaoke, and just visiting with the residents. She saw how lonely some of them were.

After finding her quilting circle, she asked the other ladies what they thought of donating some of their quilts to seniors living in care centers. They loved the idea. They set to work on creating even more beautiful quilts, this time for seniors.

“Sometimes they’re a little smaller than a twin size so they can cuddle with it or lay it on top of them in their wheelchair,” Judie said. “We use multicolored fabric so it’s very colorful. If it’s for a gentleman, maybe something to do with fishing or hunting, something a guy would like.”

Others have lots of flowers, but they try to make them bright and cheery, and then they bring the lot to various care centers, lay them all out and let the seniors pick which one they like the best.

“Once we went to this assisted living place and it was one woman’s birthday,” Judie said. “The quilt that we gave her matched her dress that she was wearing that day. Most of the same designs and everything! That was something. She was so happy to get it.”

It is so rewarding to see the seniors’ reactions to the gifts, she said.

“There was a guy once, and he said ‘No, I don’t want one.’ We said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘I don’t have any money.’ And we said, ‘No! It’s for you! It’s a gift!” He couldn’t believe we would give him one for free as a gift.”

The group also makes “memory care quilts.” 

“These are fidget quilts,” Judie said. “It’s a small quilt with little gadgets on it to keep your hands busy. Like zippers, buttons, even little plush animals that they can squeeze. It helps to keep their hands and minds busy.”

At the beginning of April, Judie and her quilting group donated between 20 and 30 new quilts. Over the years, she estimates they have donated more than 150 quilts. The group has also made quilts for foster children, underprivileged kids, preschool classes for naptime, and other groups.

Each quilt takes at least 5 hours to make – for the small ones – but it is a very rewarding process. Seniors at care facilities spend so much of their time sitting or lying down, so they appreciate the quilts helping them to stay warm, cozy, and to feel loved and remembered, Judie said.

“Oh, we’ve had tears and so much gratitude,” Judie said. “We just love to see their reactions and the tears in their eyes. It makes you want to cry. It makes you feel good that you could brighten someone’s day, give them something to smile about and to live another day.”

Create your own homemade project to give to lonely seniors or see details below to become a volunteer.

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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