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‘Quilting’ a Legacy in Pennsylvania Hospice


Teen participants in an art program at the Ayuda Community Center, an outreach ministry of Spirit & Truth Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Philadelphia, Pa., helped patients at Sacred Heart Home create a legacy quilt that will go on permanent display. Sacred Heart is a hospice facility for cancer patients.

From left, Julie, Gloria, Adianez, Faith, Anthony, Abigail, and Virginia.

Michaelanne Harriman

Michaelanne Harriman, community arts director at Ayuda, explained how the quilt was made: On Thursday mornings the teens in this summer program would talk to the patients, asking a series of prepared questions, such as “If you could go back in time, what would you change about yourself as a teenager? What was your favorite childhood memory? How have your views on life changed? What do you want to be remembered for most?”

The teens, either on their own or with a patient who could help, then created a series of 42 mat board squares. Some of the squares depict answers to the questions, while others display a pattern as in a regular quilt. For example, one square reads, “Once a man, twice a child”; another says, “Whatever God gave you, take advantage of it.”

All of the squares were wired together to make the legacy ‘quilt’ for the home. The materials were purchased with a donation from Sacred Heart.

Faith, age 21, a college intern, said, “I learned so much about community arts and how it’s possible to apply my artwork toward making a difference.”

Adianez, age 13, was changed by her experiences. “Before I came to Sacred Heart, I was a fairly selfish person,” she said, “but after meeting Virginia, I felt like I should stop thinking only about myself and more about others.”

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