Pillowcases for patients

For over a decade now, the Common Thread Ministry has been sewing butterfly pillowcases to give to Lower Cape Fear Life Care patients.

For over a decade now, the Common Thread Ministry at Pine Valley United Methodist Church has been sewing butterfly pillowcases to give to Lower Cape Fear Life Care patients.

It started in 2009 when Jeanne Scott had the idea to sew a butterfly pillowcase for her friend who was dealing with cancer.

She never wanted to show up to visits with her friend empty handed but she knew a stereotypical bouquet of flowers wouldn’t last. She wanted to give her friend something meaningful, full of hope, and something that would remain with her for the rest of her life.

Butterfly pillowcase pattern
Butterfly pillowcase pattern

Scott liked to sew, and she had a butterfly pattern laying around her house that she hadn’t used yet.

“I just bought it cause I liked it,” Scott said.

So, she made her friend a butterfly pillowcase.

Soon, her friend moved into the Lower Cape Fear Life Care Center and she took her pillowcase with her. She eventually ended up passing away on that very pillowcase.

Scott said because her friend expressed to her how much she loved the pillowcase and how much it meant to her, it inspired her to start making them for other people.

Now when new patients walk into their room at the Lower Cape Fear Life Care Center, they don’t just see stark white sheets with a stark white pillowcase. They see a beautiful, colorful butterfly pillowcase.

Inside the pillowcase, the ladies of the Common Thread Ministry sew in a piece of scripture.

The scripture, Psalm 4:8 reads, “I will lie down and sleep in peace. For you, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Scott says they frequently get thank you notes from families who have had a loved one go through the Life Care Center.

“That was something we never expected,” Scott said. “And when they started coming in we thought, ‘Well this does mean something to the families.’”

Through those thank you notes, the ministry has learned what the families are doing with the pillowcases after their loved one passes.

“They’re using the pillowcases on the bed where their husband slept. Or they smell them. They don’t wash them and they continue to smell them. And it smells like their loved one. Or they put it in the casket with their loved one,” Scott said.

Receiving those thank you notes has made the ministry feel as though what they are doing is driven by God.

One of the many thank you notes Common Thread Ministry received for their pillowcases.
One of the many thank you notes Common Thread Ministry received for their pillowcases.

In 2017 the ministry even won a “Health Care Hero” award from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal for what they do.

When asked if Scott feels like a health care hero, her response was “No, no, no. We like to sew, we like to make things, we like to keep our fingers busy. And it just turned out to be something that others appreciated.”

Scott acknowledges that what they do is “a simple thing, but it’s massive.”

For more information on the Lower Cape Fear Life Care Center, visit their website here.


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