Piece Makers: When quarantine hits…improvise!

August 30, 2021
Picking up the pieces in a pandemic.
By Lori Bender - American House

The pandemic hit and not only were lives altered, but habits changed as well. Dining with friends meant calling someone while eating in separate homes. Group activities took a backseat to indoor hobbies, emptying store shelves of simple games. Toughest to find were jigsaw puzzles. That beloved endeavor that gives hours of pleasure to so many.

The Piece Makers at American House Village felt the pinch more than most. Led by Carol S., Carol P. and Marge, this is a group of approximately six residents and their four-legged friend, Toby, who call themselves the “Piece Makers” – a play on words as they “pieced” together puzzles to create permanent works of art. Prior to the pandemic, they created beautiful puzzles; glazed, mounted and sold them with proceeds going to charity. With the lockdown order, some of the Piece Makers sequestered themselves, pulled out sewing machines and got to work making masks. The art room, however, remained quiet. Not only was the group missing out on their social and charitable puzzle-making sessions, but they were also finding it difficult to get ahold of puzzles.

Lucky for the Piece Makers, a family connected to the community heard about their philanthropic efforts and stepped in to help. Their kind donations brought in new puzzles, and as word got out, puzzles from a number of anonymous sources began showing up at the community. “Some very kind angels got us back in business,” says Carol S.

With CDC guidelines for social interaction loosening, the group is busy once again building puzzles and selling them at the community. Those not sold are showcased on the new shelves in the art room. They’re also being circulated in Borrow a Puzzle, the group’s latest endeavor in which residents sign out a finished piece to hang in their apartment. According to Carol S., “These rotating galleries really make it fun for us to have our friends vying to show off our work!”

In preparation for the vendor show on Saturday, November 13, decisions are being made on their next charity and production is ramping up. With more residents pitching in, the Puzzle Nook at American House Village is once again a lively place, with residents laughing, catching up and getting puppy kisses from Toby.

American House offers a variety of activities for residents to explore, and the Piece Makers certainly do their share, finding ways to bring joy with the good works they do. Every chapter of their story has a new twist, and we can’t wait to see what the next will bring.

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. Our seniors have amazing stories that hold a wealth of wisdom. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

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