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Jack Day's $17,000 donation buoys local nonprofit organization, backs quilting room

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Jack Day, middle, donated $17,000 to the Gresham Senior Center to purchase a new quilting machine. After the Gresham Senior Center weathered a difficult start to the new year — limping out of 2020 and the pandemic without reserve funds and mounting expenses — an incredible private donation has buoyed spirits within the nonprofit organization.

Jack Day, a member of the Senior Center, donated $17,000 for a new quilting machine. The donation offsets what the center had to divert from the quilting room due to canceled fundraisers that normally paid utilities and rent.

When Day heard the dream of purchasing a new machine had been diverted, he stepped in to make a difference.

"The machine they have is old and antiquated," Day said. "My hope is the quilting machine will allow the ladies of the sewing room the opportunity to continue their love of quilting for others."

Day has been visiting the Gresham Senior Center, 600 N.E. Eighth St., since his wife died in 2018. The group has provided him with opportunities to socialize and play cards, go on exciting excursions, and stay connected with his community.

His donation will allow the Senior Center to purchase a better quilting machine than was originally planned, one with with a computerized component to allow for more complicating stitches and patterns. It will also improve services, which include stitching quilts for customers and selling completed pieces. The new machine should be in place later this spring.

"We cannot do anything without community support," said Midge Nasiatka, who manages the quilting room.

In addition to the donation for a new quilting machine, a flood of private support is keeping the Senior Center afloat. In the last month, they have received $8,000 from 50 donations, and Gresham Ford is working to teach them how to better market their quilts for sale.

Multnomah County also continues to support the Senior Center to ensure they aren't forced from their lease. The county is paying the group's rent through June.

"The response from the community has been really good," said Paul Nasiatka, president of the Senior Center.


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