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The Art of Giving

The art of givingSometimes the best medicine isn’t medicine at all—it’s an act of kindness, an extra dose of thoughtfulness or a humble gift. Last week, several Weiss volunteers and members of the community joined together to engage in all of the above. By participating in the first-ever arts and crafts workshop, they created unique offerings for Weiss patients.

Jenny Ruan, a Senior Center intern studying hospital administration at the University of Illinois, ran the event. She coached participants in a variety of projects that included wall hangings, felt frog thermometers, accessorized canvas bags, picture frames and origami.

Origami is the reason why Gladys signed up to participate in the workshop. “Origami is really relaxing and peaceful,” she says.

Ruan taught the group how to make origami cranes from small strips of paper. “I’ve never done this before,” she admits. “I guess I’m a little nervous.”

No need. Gladys assures her, “I don’t care what she thinks; she’s doing a great job.”

Seniors participate in an art workshop at the WISE Senior Center last week. Seniors participate in an art workshop at the WISE Senior Center last week.

The felt frog thermometers were a big hit among many of the participants. (And by the way, the thermometers themselves gauge room—not body—temperatures.) Marcia held up her finished thermometer, saying, “Who wouldn’t want one of these? They are great.”

A person walking by noticed the picture frames and asked what they were for. Without missing a beat, Bonnie Lee answers, “Those are so people can frame their hospital bills.”

 “It will be fun to give these out,” Betty says. “Patients can either keep them or give them to their loved ones.”

Creating art at Weiss Seniors have a great time creating art for others at Weiss.

For the participating artists, the greatest joy came in the creating and the giving. The workshop received two enthusiastic thumbs up from all the participants. Senior Services Coordinator Abby Lochotzki organized the event. She says, “Oh yes, we will do this again.”

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