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Quotes & Stories

Patchwork is a bridge that provides a place of common learning, sharing and celebration through inter-generational, multicultural, economically diverse programs that help us experience how connected we all are with one another. We learn that not only are the poor and the rich bound together in God’s redemption plan, but that the human community is intricately woven together with the entire creation.

- Rev. Nelia Kimbrough, founding member of Patchwork Central


Here is a place where people know that, at times, the intensity of belief varies in proportion to the intensity of doubt and know too that they may be accepted despite their doubt. Here is a place where people accept that the external world, the society that constantly blares its material messages on billboards, radio, and TV, may not contribute to good physical or emotional health and that we may need to live somewhat apart from the world in order to act meaningfully in that world. In many ways, Patchwork offers a refuge from the vacuity of modern life, the emptiness that hovers just behind the glitz and the resumes, the estrangement from the earth and from one another. Here people can feel others’ presence.
- Bill Hemminger, UE Professor, Patchwork Board and Community Member, volunteer


I happened onto Patchwork Central thru my job with Matthew 25 Aids Service. Every Tuesday since March, 2004, the Matthew 25 clinic arrives at Patchwork to see patients, using the space that once held a health clinic that has since outgrown Patchwork. As the moths went by I ventured down the halls to the heart of Patchwork. I would see the halls fill up after 2 o’clock with children. You could hear the laughter and excitement coming from these children. On my breaks, I could get close to this welcoming noise. I started speaking to the after school staff and asking questions. I then inquired about the pancake breakfast and art sale that was advertised on the bulletin board. After attending that first pancake fundraiser I saw more of what Patchwork is about. Needless to say, I have become hooked on Patchwork.
The dedicated staff of the after school program amazes me. I have observed the guidance that they give to the children. The children are received with open hearts and open arms. What a great place to come to after school instead of an empty home where parents have to be at work. I have seen the nurturing given to a child recently when a child was emotionally hurt from an outside adult. Children are given guidance with homework, use of computers and positive role models for life. 
The art program is amazing. The children are receiving self-worth thru the company they create themselves. They produce the art and sell it. They gain self-confidence, self-esteem and life skills thru running the company they have created. The guidance, love, support and encouragement with so many facets of their lives are received daily. Patchwork is a place that is so worthy of support from the outside community.

- Judy Cavins Nurse, Matthew 25 AIDS clinic

To our Patchwork Family,
We want to say thank you. In a relatively short time you have made a big difference in our family. Our granddaughter is much more confident and self assured. Her request for Christmas was for clay. With her father in prison since she was a year old and the loss of her mother in an accident she has been lonely. You filled that gap with love, direction and open hearts. She is creating so much more often and with confidence in her skill. We are at a loss for words to thank you enough.
--Grandparents of a child attending Arts & Smarts, Spring 2010

I began coming to Patchwork when I was six years old. That was sixteen years ago. During those sixteen years I came to Patchwork almost every day. There was not a day that went by that Patchwork and the people there did not have an impact on my life. I remember the music program and how the songs we sang were not just entertaining but life affirming. Imagine walking into the building and being greeted by ten to twenty kids singing, “I am a promise. I am a possibility. I’m a great big bundle of potentiality…” From the beginning of my time at Patchwork I was encouraged, inspired, loved, and lifted up. There was no doubt of my future success, because my foundation was built on moments like these.
--Paula Adams, Arts & Smarts Program Assistant and Past Program Participant, Fall 2009

Patchwork connects. It connects people with people, people with the Divine, people with working bicycles, people with their own creative impulses, and people with food.
I witnessed children connecting with the garden as their food source as they harvested potatoes, blackberries, and beets during Art Garden weeks I and II. One particular day the children had harvested beets from the garden and boiled them to eat as part of snack. During snack time, I was sitting beside a child who had eaten everything except for three lingering slices of red beet that she admitted she was kind of scared to try. As I jokingly told her I could hold her hand if that would help, she laughed and bravely took a bite of a beet slice. She chewed thoughtfully, swallowed, and pronounced it good!
While perhaps a seemingly insignificant connection between one child and a beet slice, I see tremendous good coming out of this sort of connection. Imagine if everyone learned to love beets. Next it would be collards and okra and garden tomatoes! Gardens would pop up everywhere, taking over back yards, filling cupboards that used to store pre-packaged crackers and cookies with fresh garden produce. This connection could improve local health, and growing beets in local gardens would reduce our dependence on food shipped from the average 1,300 miles away. The point of this beet fantasy is not to make change sound easy, but to illustrate that connection, personal connection, has the potential to bring wholeness and healing to a world that so often thrives on division.
--Tori Yoder, Summer Intern, 2009