Waltonwood Residents Sew Pillows for Homeless Shelters

Cary, NC – Residents at Waltonwood Cary Parkway have a variety of skills they have amassed over the years and they are putting them to good use in a new project to make pillows for a local homeless shelter.

Pillows For Those Who Need Them

Over the past weeks, residents at Waltonwood, a senior living community, have been using their sewing skills to make pillows for a homeless shelter in Raleigh. For residents who do not know how to sew, resident Carmella Mamo has been teaching them, building on her experience that goes back to her five decades of experience sewing in New York factories.

“Wow, unbelievable! I can’t believe we did this! I’m so proud!” Mamo said.

LaQuita Dunn, Waltonwood’s life enrichment director, said she develops these projects as part of a vision to work with men and women who are retired and no longer working.

“With these jobs and projects, it gives them a sense of service,” Dunn said. “They’re all like little mini-philanthropists, whether it’s this or even making baked goods and traveling around to give them out.”

With this project, Dunn said she got in contact with the Raleigh shelter through her church ministry. These shelters run out of supplies so Dunn thought this would be a good project and the residents have agreed.

“They wanted to help and love working to make something a person can really use,” Dunn said.

And the other residents agree.

“This is going to be so special for these men and women, I’m glad to do this!” said resident Carolyn Lane.

“I’m glad to help the men; I hope they can use them!” said resident George Brooks.

Bring Back Memories

Many of the residents participating in the pillow project had experience with sewing and Dunn said it brought back memories.

“It brought back warm memories of things they loved to do,” she said.

And Dunn said many of the residents brought a substantial repertoire to their work making the pillows.

“One woman was a seamstress for 70 years, making everything from clothes to curtains to quilts,” she said. “Many of these residents thought they had lost their skill but it came right back.”

Waltonwood Cary Parkway is located at 750 SE Cary Pkwy.

Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Waltonwood Cary Parkway.