Manor Moments

Life Lessons – One Stitch at a Time

July 2017
Cornwall Manor resident Barb Tonzi gives instructions on attaching a button
Cornwall Manor resident Barb Tonzi (red shirt) gives instructions on attaching a button.

Many of our residents will tell you that there is not enough time in their day to attend all the activities, events and get-togethers on the Cornwall Manor calendar. But, no matter how busy residents are, they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

Cornwall Manor’s “Sew4U” group mends pieces of clothing belonging to personal care and health center residents. Many Sew4U members are also involved in other groups available at Cornwall Manor like “Knit for Kids,” Stitchers, or the Cornwall Manor Society Crafters.

Being part of these groups provides fellowship among common interests as well as a valuable service to the Lebanon community. Since 1999, Knit for Kids has been knitting sweaters for Guidepost/World Vision, baby blankets and hats for Lebanon’s Women in Crisis and Wellspan/Good Samaritan Hospital’s New Beginnings Maternity Center. The Stitchers group recently made 44 seat belt covers for mastectomy patients that were presented to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in August. The Cornwall Manor Society Crafters sell their handmade craft items and those proceeds benefit Cornwall Manor’s personal care and health center residents.

When the local Cornwall Girl Scout troop was looking for volunteers to teach fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade girls basic sewing principles, our residents jumped on the opportunity. It was a perfect match since many of our residents have years of sewing experience, were Girl Scouts at one time in their own life and enjoy the opportunity to help others.

Resident Patricia Walter shows Girl Scout Eliani Cruz how to thread a needle
Patricia Walter, Cornwall Manor resident (left), shows Girl Scout Eliani Cruz how to thread a needle.

During the first sewing session in the Cornwall Manor Activity Room, residents gave each Girl Scout a small sewing kit (consisting of a needle, thread, thimble, button and piece of fabric) and 9 residents provided one-on-one instruction to teach 20 girls how to thread a needle, different ways to knot string, several different stitching techniques and fastening a button. For the second get together, the girls brought an item from home that had a hole in the elbow or was missing a button. Using the skills they learned during the first session, the girls mended their own items.

At the last session, the girls earned a fun patch for learning a new skill and they sewed it right onto their scout vest or sash – signifying an accomplishment of acquiring valuable skills that would be useful to them throughout their lives. Cornwall Manor residents and the Girl Scouts celebrated with cookies and punch. The residents and girl scouts enjoyed their time together so much that the girls decided to take on an additional service project at Cornwall Manor by caroling in the Health Center. We look forward to more intergenerational opportunities with the Girl Scouts in the future.