Pieced Together With LoveBlock Number: 107
“PIECED TOGETHER WITH LOVE”
Three Generations of Quality Care
By Ginger Todd
Both residents and workers at East Court Group Care Home, a co-ed group home serving adults 18 and over with developmental disabilities, proudly looked upon the newly installed quilt block displayed on their building. On Wednesday afternoon, November 30, 2011, all were gathered in excitement over the new addition of color and meaning to their home
In 1964, Mrs. Maggie Bailey purchased a house on East Court Street and turned it into a family care home. Her daughter, Louise Church, bought the home seven years later and the facility was converted into a licensed, nine-bed group home for developmentally disabled adults. Louise, fondly known as “Mama Church,” continued for 37 years to love and care for her residents, and established more homes for developmentally disabled adults throughout McDowell County. Although known as East Court Group Care, a sign was never put up, as Mama Church wanted it to be a “home” rather than a business.
During these years, Mama Church raised five daughters of her own, Susan, Robin, Michele, Baleigh, and Tabby, along with the nine other “special siblings.” Over the course of time, all five daughters have operated the home in some capacity. Mama Church retired in 2008 and sold the home and its business to two of her daughters, Robin Gagnon and Tabby Hill. This made them the third generation of owners, with Tabby’s daughter Hunter being the fourth growing up in the business.
What dedication East Court Group Care Home has given the County through the years. It is licensed by the State of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services Division of Facility Services, and is fully recognized by the community as a reputable group home provider. It has a high standard of care that is trusted and assured, and provides quality assistance and various day programs that care for exceptional individuals. One client has resided in the home since 1975, and every resident is regarded as family.
The daughters of Louise Church had discussed for some time how to do something special for their mother, and decided a quilt block and its story would be a thoughtful, memorable way to honor her. Although she had five children of her own, she had been a mother to so many, piecing each one together with love.
Block #107 of the McDowell Quilt Trail is quite an interesting block of bright and cheerful colors, and akin to its name, “Pieced Together With Love,” represents a puzzle with its different, unique pieces. The 3’X3’ block faces South and was painted and installed on point by volunteer Mike Lucas. The four corners of the block contain nine connecting puzzle pieces of varied colors, representing the nine residents of the home.
In the center of the block on a background of blue, are five hearts in shades of pink and red, representing the five daughters of Mama Church. To carry out the theme, each heart holds a puzzle piece within it. The hearts surround a yellow five-point star in the block’s center, representative of Mama Church, as well as the five-star high quality of care the group home has provided over the years to adults with both physical and mental disabilities. Jill Lucas, chairperson of the McDowell Quilt Trail Committee, presented Mama Church with a Certificate of Authenticity, her five daughters and residents by her side.