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Motivation Articles  ›  Inspiring Stories

Syracuse Sparkers Reach Out

Local Team Members Join Forces to Help Their Community

-- By Jen Mueller, SparkPeople Community Leader
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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.
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and advanced health & fitness specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • Your quilt is beautiful! What a wonderful way to get to know each other and share with your community! - 4/26/2014 8:36:40 AM
  • Totally love the quilt. Congratulations all of you. You are an answer to those babies in neonatal care unit. - 7/7/2013 3:31:15 PM
  • Congratulations Syracuse Sparkers. What you are doing for others is just fantastic. Keep up the good works! Pat yourself on the back too as you deserve it! - 1/9/2013 12:50:16 PM
  • That is a beautiful quilt! Great job!

    Thank you for helping others while you are helping yourselves!!!! - 6/6/2012 5:43:46 PM
  • I LOVE the quilt!!! Awesome job! - 1/12/2012 2:57:50 PM
  • As a Syracuse native, I'm so happy to read a story like this! Good job ladies! - 8/17/2011 1:46:17 PM
  • Beautiful quilt. What an awesome job! - 4/28/2011 9:21:06 AM
  • Gorgeous quilt! Syracuse Sparkers are really making a difference in the world with all of their charitable endeavors! - 4/22/2011 3:44:39 PM
  • Bravo for all of you! Syracuse wouldn't by any chance be Syracuse Kansas would it? I lived in Tribune Kansas for over a decade, and am now in Oakley. Just thought I'd check and see. Keep up the great work! Please let me know by visiting my spark page sometime. Would love to hear from you.

    ~Diane~ - 5/29/2010 1:33:49 PM
  • LUCI2010
    Great quilt! and wonderful ongoing project -- thanks! - 5/4/2010 3:00:53 PM
  • Wonderful! Imagination is powerful! - 4/21/2009 9:50:58 AM
  • SPARKLESSENCE
    That's a really beautiful quilt! The design is as lovely as it is clever - congratulations to you for all your fine work, Syracuse Sparkers!! - 4/21/2009 7:44:33 AM
  • JWRIGHT9
    I think 'Wallah' might be spelled 'Voila'. It's french and it means something like
    "there you are" - 8/17/2008 12:31:34 PM
  • Congratulations on the AWESOME quilt...absolutel
    y love it!!! And for a great cause too...Keep at it Syracuse Sparkers!!! - 8/15/2008 5:42:32 PM
  • I think what your team is doing is AMAZING! A truly great & noble way to Spread the Spark! How wonderful that your group has challenged itself to not only achieve personal goals, but philanthropic ones as well! You are a tremendous inspiration! Keep up your amazing work!! - 8/15/2008 12:29:01 PM