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Syracuse Sparkers Reach Out

Local Team Members Join Forces to Help Their Community
  -- By Jen Mueller, SparkPeople Community Leader
We love to hear stories about our members reaching out to their communities, and the Syracuse Sparkers are no exception! A group of about 10 core SparkTeam members have been busy raising money for various charitable organizations, and their latest endeavor was to create a baby quilt to be judged at the New York State Fair. At the end of the fair, their quilt will be donated to a local charity. When we asked the group how this idea came about, here’s what one member, Kris (KRISLEEB) had to say:

“Part of the Arts & Crafts competition [at the fair] is a section called 'You Be the Judge.' This is a group of baby quilts that are made by participants and voted on by the public (instead of being juried) during the first three days of the fair. At the end of the Fair, the quilts are donated to a charity. This year they are being donated to the local neonatal unit. Five of us jumped right on the idea, so we decided to work together to create the quilt. The rest of the group hadn’t sewn much before, but the poor little babies that need our love cried out to them to participate however they could. I have entered this contest before so they looked to me to design the quilt. I wanted to include something that could be tied back to SparkPeople, so I based the overall design on the SparkPeople 'Spark,' and the label on the back reads: Lovingly stitched by Syracuse Sparkers, Sparkpeople.com.

"We went shopping together at a local store to pick out fabrics. The quilting team was Leslie (YARELL), Rebecca(HISIRISHGEM), Mary (SUSIEQS61), Lois (LOISNEEDSHELP) and myself (KRISLEEB), but several other team members that don’t live close-by rooted us on in our endeavor. It took four sessions together at my house to pick it out, cut, and sew the quilt. We are already planning our quilt for next year and are talking about the possibility of getting together more often to just make quilts to donate. We found that it was nice to just get together and talk while we do something constructive. It was very helpful to our mental health, which in turn leads to better physical health.”



When these members first decided to get active in their SparkTeam, they started with some easy challenges to keep people motivated and involved. From there they discovered that many of the Team members had something in common: The desire to help others. So they decided to participate in a charity walk for the Make a Wish foundation. Six members participated, and together they raised $700 for this worthy cause! During the walk, the Team members wore SparkPeople T-shirts and handed out flyers about SparkPeople to anyone who asked what their shirts meant. "To use our health and exercise to do good in our community goes FAR beyond anything I could have comprehended," said Team member Rebecca (HISIRISHGEM). Their next walk raised money for AIDS Youth Education, and now they’re planning to do the Breast Cancer walk in October.



Kris also had this to say about the group: “The Syracuse Sparkers are a very caring bunch of people. They LOVE a challenge but they also love sharing their lives. I think it’s easy to talk to people when you don’t have to explain the geography. For instance, one member shared a personal accomplishment of riding her bike across a busy local intersection. We all knew what kind of triumph it was! I would honestly say that the Syracuse Sparkers are a bunch of really good friends, not just Team members.”

"My local SparkTeam has been a blessing and HUGE encouragement for me," says Rebecca. "My mindset has changed from feeling an inability to lose the weight to nothing will happen if I don't try. I'm in other groups and am PROUD to be a part of SparkPeople. Can I say this group has become a lifesaver for me?" Congratulations to the Syracuse Sparkers for all of their accomplishments and what they have done to serve their Community! Hopefully this will inspire other local teams to do the same.

Interested in joining your local SparkTeam? Click here to find a Team in your area!