The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 3, 2013

Comfort Pillows

Volunteers make more than 4,000 pillows for Hospice clients

ASHTABULA — Hospice of Western Reserve volunteers have gathered twice a year for the past 15 years to stuff and stitch comfort pillows for their clients.

Monday, the group reached a milestone — making more then 4,000 pillows.

“To date, we made 3,876,” said Sandra Brown, a Hospice volunteer for 30 years, who organizes the marathon sewing activities at her Columbus Avenue home. “After today, we will have made 4,056”

The pillows, which are all the same shape, but different colors from donated material, are for Hospice clients who are often time bedridden. The clients often use the pillows to relieve pressure points on their heels, backs or under elbows.

Brown’s husband, Arnold, joins the group and makes the cords for the pillows.

“It’s a way we can help; every client gets a pillow,” said Sue Legg, Ashtabula County volunteer service manager.

Ashtabula County boasts about 115 Hospice volunteers.

The pillow project is a united effort. Some cut; some stuff; those skilled with needle and thread sew. Various prints are featured on the pillows.

Volunteer Barbara Magalotti of Ashtabula said she’s a stuffer.

“I’ve been doing it for three to four years,” she said.

Cynthia Heath of Ashtabula manned the sewing machine.

“(Hospice) is a wonderful organization,” she said. “I’m happy to do something to help.”

Malvina Schwartfigure of Harpersfield Township agreed. There’s always a need for comfort pillows, she said.

Sandra Brown said volunteering for Hospice is “not all gloom and doom,” it’s very rewarding.

Fran Smith of Ashtabula agreed.

Ashtabula resident Doris Farello, who has been a volunteer for 31 years, said she just loves “being with the families we serve.”

Hospice clients sometimes treat their Hospice pillows like children do with a favorite stuffed animal. Sometimes families keep them as a remembrance.

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