In the early fall of 2022, FPC Dallas Ministry Assistant Martha Ingrum received an email via our website:
My name is Adrian Perez, and I am reaching out because your church donated a [pillow] to Children’s Medical in Dallas. My son was admitted to the hospital in January of this year with liver failure. During his stay, he was given a yellow pillow. The pillow is yellow with cats imprinted though out the material. The reason for the email is because I cannot find any place that sells that material. His pillow has seen better days and I would like to replace it, he takes that pillow everywhere….
Did we by any chance have another of these pillows or know where he might find the fabric so he could have another one made?
Martha wrote back immediately asking for a photo so she could enlist the help of our Presbyterian Women.
The photo he sent was of a faded yellow pillow covered in a charming cat design – including Bengals, blues, tabbies, and Siamese – that had clearly become a source of safety, security, warmth, and home. Martha came to learn that, as the pillow began to show a bit of wear, Adrian had offered others, but Kaiden wouldn’t even take a glance at the bright, fluffy, new pillows placed before him. His sweet yellow pillow, the feel of the worn-but-soft fabric, the smell of home, and the faded cats, were all a part of his path, an emotional safety net as he spent days and weeks in a hospital bed. At a loss, Adrian turned over the little yellow pillow to see a small tag that read:
Made by Loving Hands
First Presbyterian Church
Despite the efforts of Martha and the members of the Presbyterian Women’s sewing group, no spare fabric was to be found. But that didn’t deter Martha. She got online and was able to source the exact yellow fabric with silly little cats! She was delighted by the find and shared the good news with Adrian immediately.
Adrian asked if our Presbyterian Women’s group could build the new pillow – to which they agreed with no hesitation. On February 23, 2023 – a year after Kaiden’s journey with his sweet yellow pillow began – he was gifted a second purrrfect, Kaiden-approved pillow made by the same loving hands as the first.
Presbyterian Women’s Projects’ small acts of kindness change lives. Week in and week out, stitch by stitch, they gather to create gifts of love whose impacts resonate down the years.
At the beginning of March, our communications team received a message from a woman named Sharon Belcher. In 1970, the parents of 5-year-old Sharon were told their daughter wouldn’t make it past age 40 or ever be able to have children. The following year, at the age of just six, Sharon was scheduled to have open heart surgery at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. While in the hospital, Sharon received a cat-shaped pillow that was crafted and donated by our devoted Presbyterian Women “Projects” group. Sharon wrote:
I have kept it for 52 years now. The acts we perform that we consider small can sometimes be the biggest acts others receive. My thank you is 52 years late but I wanted to thank your congregation for my stuffed cat that I received at 6 years old in a scary situation. God bless you all!
Sharon is now 58 years old, has two children, and has been married for 39 years. She exclaims, “God is good!”
Presbyterian Women Projects began some 60 years ago when the women of the church met to roll bandages for lepers. It has become the longest-running mission at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. In 2004, the Catherine McAuley Center proudly recognized Projects as the year’s “Outstanding Volunteer Group.” Today, a dedicated group of women gather on the fourth Tuesday of each month to cut, sew, and stuff finger puppets and pillows. These items have been delivered to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Haiti, India, and South Africa.
Thank you to our Presbyterian Women. The voice of God can be heard in the hearts of those who receive the fruits of their service.
If you’d like to volunteer for this mission, Presbyterian Women Projects is open and welcome to all. Volunteers are needed to stuff, sew, cut, or create pillows and puppets and no experience is required. If you can’t make the meeting time, working on this project from your own home is an option!
PW Projects: Pillows for Patients
4th Tuesday of Every Month.
Bring a sack lunch.
Questions? Reach out to group facilitator Jody Morgan at email@example.com. And if you’d like to learn more about Kaiden’s story, you may do so here https://cota.org/campaigns/COTAforKaidensJourney/blog/our-story.