Local seniors enjoy pillow program for its second year

BUCKHANNON — A project placing a new pillow and handmade pillow cases in the hands of area seniors just wrapped up its second year.

It all began over a year ago when the Heavner Grove CEOS donated material and pillow cases to the Upshur County Family Resource Network which then passed it on to Phyllis Sembello, a volunteer at the Upshur County Senior Center who serves on the Upshur County Family Resource Network board.

“I gave it to the Quilters at Heart Quilt Guild and they made the pillow cases – beautiful, multi-colored pillow cases — washed and ironed them,” she said.

Sembello, who is also the senior center representative from her church, the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, said, the church purchased pillows and the senior center then presented the 32 pillow cases and brand new pillows to people who were experiencing hardships, she said.

“Last year, was the first year and we did 32,” she said. “They were a big hit.”

“It was a such a good project and Heavner Grove CEOS was so willing that they took the whole project on, the pillow cases and the pillows, this year,” Sembello said. “It’s a little project that grew. The beautiful part I think is there were approximately five different agencies that collaborated.”

Last year, Sembello said that a person’s family had passed their pillow cases had to be thrown away due to being soiled.

“When the nurse gave them the new pillow cases and pillows, the lady just hugged it and cried,” she said. “She was so grateful. It smelled good, it was pretty. To lose a family member and to have something you can physically touch it means something.”

Sembello shared the story at the senior center.

“Commissioner Buddy Brady looked at me and said they will remember that for a long time and they will,” she said. “Hopefully they will treasure their pillow cases.”

This year, Sembello said the senior center planned to include hygiene products.

Sarah Campbell, executive director of the Upshur County Senior Center, said the second year just wrapped up. “They have gone over very well and our clients are excited,” Campbell added.


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