Submitted by: Rebecca Duke
Nominee: Katie Faiola
(I know these stories are typically about associates, but Katie is such an inspiration and an embodiment of the Juniper culture, that I had to share her story even though she is actually a resident.) When Katie, now aged 93, moved to Juniper Village at Lebanon, she wanted to be able to continue sewing on her own sewing machine. She had been a seamstress and sewing is still her passion. Soon after she moved in, her family brought in her sewing machine, which we set up in the Garden Room, and she’s been sewing non-stop ever since! With a little help from Becky in the Connections Department, she has made everything from quilts to pillowcases. On September 17, 2015, the one-millionth pillowcase for kids in hospitals across the U.S. was presented at Hershey Medical Center. Katie has made dozens of these “Cases For Smiles” in the past year, and she’s still cranking them out!
But that is just one of the charities that Katie has helped with her sewing. She has made some personal sized quilts, which were included in our Quarter Auction for Arthritis. She also entered a block in the Lebanon Fair, and although she didn’t win a prize, it will be made into a larger quilt and auctioned off at next year’s fair to raise money for the 4H Club. She also made two pillowcases for one of our interns, Yomarys, who supplied all of the material. It was a wonderful goodbye present when her internship came to an end.
Katie’s newest project is making “Mug Rugs” for the Lebanon Quilters Guild. These were featured at the Quilt Show at the Lebanon Expo in November. Katie was featured in the Lebanon Daily News for her contributions to the pillowcase campaign, and she was honored at the Lebanon Quilters Guild with a standing ovation for her efforts. But the smile on Katie’s face when she completes a project, usually saying, “I think this one is the prettiest one yet!”, is all the feedback we need!
Katie also makes table runners for the different seasons that we use many places at Juniper Village, and she made a beautiful wall-hanging last Christmas. Staff, residents and visitors can participate in an upcoming fundraiser for the American Heart Association, which will feature some of Katie’s pillowcases and will support the Juniper Village Heart Walk Team. Even though Katie can be seen at her sewing machine nearly every day for hours at a time, she won’t run out of projects or charities to support any time soon! The possibilities are endless, so keep sewing, Katie!
We now have a few more ladies who recently moved in and who like to sew. One is already helping with hand-sewing, which she loves to do. Another lady just brought in her embroidery machine, so we are hoping for some exciting projects ahead!