Brent Jones

Group turns scraps into hope, help for hundreds

May 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

‘This lets them know someone cares’ by BETH ALTENA  Estelle Fessenden doesn’t know exactly how many people have received quilts stitched by a group she set in place. Pieces of the Heart was an idea she had and a group she started in 2001, sewing a little love into quilts given to those in need. Organized from her home not far from Rockford Ambulance offices on Ten Mile and Shaner Avenue, last year alone the group gave out over 600 quilts. The 15 members of the quilting group were gathered together Wednesday, April 25 for a thank-you luncheon offered by Rockford Ambulance staff in appreciation for their donations. Since members of the group mostly work from their own homes, it was a special treat to get together all in once place. Ambulance staff, including Roger Morgan, were thrilled to praise the efforts of the members and thank them for their generosity. “It started out with the Women’s Resource Center and branched out,” Fessenden said. While working at a fabric store, which has since closed, Fessenden said she thought to put an excess of scrap fabric to good use. At the resource center, the small quilts went to kids who are at a tough time in their lives and who may have arrived at the shelter with nothing but the clothes on their backs. More than a decade later, the group has donated quilts to medical first responders such as Rockford Ambulance, to veterans, to the elderly, to neonatal units and to dialysis patients. Over the years they have provided comfort, caring and something to hang on to for thousands of men, women and children. Rockford Ambulance Paramedic Brent Jones was there to thank the volunteer group, and said following the luncheon he was going to take one of the quilts to an elderly woman who had suffered from a brain tumor. “We like to keep an eye on her and check in with her,” he said. He described how much such a simple gesture can mean to someone. “You should see the looks on the faces of the people we give them to,” he said. “We like to take them to people in nursing homes. Sometimes they are put in there and no one comes […]