Atlantic County Students Make Pillows for Hospice Patients

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NORTHFIELD, N.J. -

Students at Northfield Community School had one last assignment to complete before heading home for summer vacation. This assignment wasn’t meant to boost their final grades, but to uplift the spirits of those who need it most.

“The students [who] are located right across the street from our offices here in Northfield did this wonderful thing, and made these beautiful pillows that we will provide to our patients as a way to help comfort them through their time with us,” said Margie Barham, the volunteer coordinator at Heartland Hospice.

Over 20 students made the 40 heart-shaped pillows for patients at Heartland Hospice, a company that provides care to sick patients in South Jersey.

“It started off with pictures that we colored with sentiments attached to them," said Fay Crooks, a reading specialist at Northfield Community School who encouraged her students to participate. "We started about three years ago and it just kind of grew into the From the Hearts Project.” 

This year they took it a step further and worked right down to the last week of school to finish the pillows.

 "I  have a passion for doing things for others without expecting anything in return," said Crooks. "I want to teach that to the kids as well.” 

“With the young people, death and dying isn’t something that they usually think about. So, this is something that connects that and gives them the ability to make a difference,” said Barham.

“I don’t want to go through that situation [and] I don’t want people to feel bad," said Valeria Montoya, a seventh grader at Northfield Community School who helped work on the pillows. "I want to help them not to feel alone and [feel] bad about themselves." 

"I want to help them feel good,” said Montoya.

“Dying isn't such a happy thing, but you can make somebody happy in their final days by doing something like this,” said Barham.

The school hopes to get more students involved next year to provide even more smiles to patients during their time of need. 


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