Germantown Home resident Gerald Botch was looking for a way to honor his late mother, a seamstress, after she passed away from breast cancer in May.
As a nod to her sewing abilities, he created a hand-crafted jean quilt made from donated jeans that he auctioned off at the nursing home on Oct. 30.
The silent auction generated over $1,000 in donations that went to the American Breast Cancer Society.
Stephen Gift, a sub-contractor with the NewCourtland network’s nursing home, was the winner bidder and donated the quilt back to the nursing home after the auction. The quilt is now on display on the wall.
Gift says he hopes the quilt can inspire other residents.
Inspiration behind the quilt
After watching his mother battle breast cancer for three and a half years, Botch was looking for a way to give back.
With the help of his occupational therapist, Heath Jones, and his recreational therapy assistant, Rick Dorsey, Botch cut up patches of the donated jeans and sewed the quilt together over the course of four months.
Brenda Decker, an administrator at the nursing home, says the project was therapeutic for Botch.
“It was therapeutic in the physical activity of sewing and putting pieces together, and it was probably therapeutic in thinking of her and the memories,” Decker says.
For his part, Botch says he had a good time making the 90-patch quilt.
“I got to have fun and it’s going to a good cause, so I’m happy because I just wanted to give back a little,” says Botch.
Th project has also given Botch more confidence, according to Dorsey.
“He’s grown as far as his exposure and his outwardness since the quilt has been made because he feels as though he’s contributed to the campaign to defeat cancer. He feels more a part of [the community] because he has his handprint on something significant,” says Dorsey.
The amount donated surpassed the expectations of the staff and Botch.
And the project has given Botch some hope for future projects.
“I had fun making it, I’m tempted to make another one,” he says.