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No-Sew Pillows for Giving

March 17, 2017
Audience
Adult
Children / Family
Community Members
Older Adults / Seniors
Young Adult
Budget
$51-100
Advance Planning

We decided to make heart-shaped fleece pillows to give to each person living in the special needs wing of a local nursing home.

We determined how much fleece to buy, then filed a program proposal and budget. Once we had the fleece, library staff cut it into 12-inch squares. We wanted children of all ages to be able to participate in our collaborative good deed, so we prepared partially tied hearts ahead of time for them to stuff during the workshops.

Marketing

We marketed our program as a collaborative good deed for 2017 Random Acts of Kindness Week in February and asked the public for help making our goal of 137 pillows. The event was promoted as a feel-good program, and we told everyone where the pillows were going. We also promoted it in our regular weekly news in the local paper, on the local access channel, on the radio and in house. 

We had a nice response and made our goal after two workshops.

Budget Details

We spent about $100 on fleece. A smaller version of this program (making fewer pillows) could be done for less money.

Day-of-event Activity

Our program room was set up with chairs and tables in a square so participants could all see each other.

Only one staff member stayed in the program room with workshop attendees, with another staff member stopping by to take photos.

The craft is simple for adults, and we had already prepared partially made hearts for children to stuff. This turned out to be a great idea.

Program Execution

At the workshops, attendees were given instructions, scissors, stuffing and squares to make the pillows. (View pillow instructions under Attachments at right.) Making no-sew hearts is really easy for adults, but the craft is not so easy for children. To make it easier for children to feel a part of our collaborative good deed, library staff volunteered their own time to cut and partially tie hearts that children could stuff at the workshops. This turned out great not only for the children who showed up at the events but for staff who wanted to participate but couldn’t attend the workshops. Everyone interested got to take part and feel that they were doing something nice for others.

Those who attended the program expressed gratitude to the library for giving them the opportunity to participate in a collaborative good deed. The staff at the nursing home were especially happy to receive enough pillows for each person in the special needs wing.

The staff members who presented the pillows felt gratified to have been able to participate in this feel-good program. It was a win/win all over the place.

Advice

No-sew pillows are fun to make and can be done as a take-home craft program, too. My advice is to be prepared with partially complete pillows. Little hands and arthritic hands, too, would like to be able to participate, so let them do the stuffing. When staff and customers know that they will be doing a good deed, you'll get volunteers to do prep work.

Short Title
No-Sew Pillows

If you’re looking for a program that makes everyone feel good, this is it. The Bedford (Ind.) Public Library presented two workshops where attendees cut, tied and stuffed 137 no-sew pillows for donation to the special needs wing of a local nursing home. The library made it possible for even young children to participate. 

Program Date
Sun, 2017-02-12
  • Pile of heart pillows with one bigger example
    Pile of heart pillows with one bigger example
  • Kids pick out colors for their pillows
    Kids pick out colors for their pillows
  • Staff with bag of pillows
    Staff with bag of pillows
  • Senior works on one of the pillows
    Senior works on one of the pillows
Summary

An Indiana library gathered residents of all ages with this simple Random Acts of Kindness Week activity.