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Marcy Third Graders Make and Deliver Comfort Pillows for Hospice Patients

student sews pillow With the season of giving in full swing, students in Ms. Tucci’s third grade class at Marcy Elementary School are once again doing their part to give back by creating comfort pillows for hospice patients.

All of the students in Ms. Tucci’s class were tasked with bringing in material to create a Santa sack as part of a classroom project. With the leftover material, each student learned to sew two or three comfort pillows of different sizes. Students sewed and stuffed the pillows the week of Dec. 10-13, and tags were then attached to each one that say, “Made with love.”

Pillows were also made by a fifth grade student who was so inspired by the project in previous years that she sewed her own pillows at home and brought them in to be donated.

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, Ms. Tucci’s class visited Hospice & Palliative Care’s Siegenthaler Center to drop off the pillows for hospice patients. Judy Tastor, children’s services coordinator for Hospice & Palliative Care, talked to the students about the services that the facility provides, and gave students the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the end of life. She also read them a story about a bear who reaches the end of his life, and gave each of the students their own stuffed bear to take home to be their “feeling bear.”

students pose for photo with pillows Following story time, students then had the opportunity to visit with some of the hospice patients and sing Christmas carols.

The project teaches students the importance of the services that Hospice & Palliative Care provides, and gives them an opportunity to give back to those who are receiving end-of-life care. Ms. Tucci began doing the project with her students after her father, who was receiving comfort care at the Siegenthaler Center, passed away in 2005.

Over the years, family members and nurses of hospice patients have contacted Ms. Tucci to let her know how important the pillows were for their loved ones, and some have personally visited her class to thank the students for making them. For example, on Dec. 19, a woman named Mrs. Kogut visited Ms. Tucci’s classroom to thank the students for making the comfort pillows. Ten years ago, the same woman called Ms. Tucci to thank her for the pillows, because they helped to make her last moments with her husband more comforting. Mrs. Kogut brought in a large teddy bear and read a book to the class called “Bear Stays Up For Christmas,” and she talked to the students about how special it is that they’re taking the time to provide comfort to others.

Ms. Tucci will be retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, but she hopes to continue this project in the future.

Click here to view photos of students sewing comfort pillows.

Click here to view photos of students delivering the comfort pillows.