Traverse City Record-Eagle

Body & Soul

May 11, 2013

Senior Focus: Creating 'covers of love'


“Some of the participants in Stitches of Kindness had never sewn before, some were accomplished quilters, but every quilt was beautiful and their generosity of time and talent was amazing,” Alessio said. “The list of people besides Necia was wonderful and long. I was just happy to become a provider of stuff.”

At one point when her mother broke her hip, an EMS vehicle was called. Her mother was not only in a lot of pain, it was cold outside.

“I will always remember her saying, ‘I am so cold,’” recalled Alessio. “And so I thought, giving a quilt out to children and adults that are injured … that they can keep while they are moving around the hospital and can take home with them, would be a source of comfort and a way for all of us to say that we care.”

As a result, the quilts created at the Senior Center in Interlochen were donated to the Green Lake Township EMS and Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department. They are given for comfort and warmth to those patients being taken to the hospital.

Stitches of Kindness didn’t stop in Interlochen. The program is now in the Senior Center Network’s satellite location in Acme at Hope Village.

Stitches of Kindness participants are also making hospice quilts, have quilts ready to go to Goodwill Inn for families starting life over and are donating quilts to North Flight and other EMS units.

Alessio is willing to support any group that will help keep her tradition strong. Recently, a group of women along with Alessio created 22 lap quilts for veterans in just one weekend.

“There are different steps to making a quilt, so even if you can’t sew, maybe you can cut material, sort material into colors that go together or iron — whatever your skill level is, it’s put to use,” Neumann emphasized. “We find a part of the quilt that matches your ability.”

Alessio contends, “One action, one kindness at a time stitches a community together and creates a place where we all want to live.”

The quilters meet on Thursdays at both the Interlochen (1 p.m.) and Acme (2 p.m.) locations. For more information, call Sharon Neumann at 620-3750 or email her at



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