Testimonials

YOU Magazine – Pillow Fight Helps Kids

Reprinted from YOU Magazine, April, 2010

Janna Zimmerman founded The Great Pillow Fight initiative in May 2005. She wanted children staying at local family violence centers to be more comfortable, so she and her two daughters began the giving project.

The Zimmerman ladies sew fun, bright-colored cases for travel pillows and give them to children staying at area centers. To date, they’ve stitched more than 3000 pillowcases and gifted the completed pillows to shelters in Green Bay, Shawano, Marinette/Menomonie and Wisconsin Rapids.

Zimmerman also seeks community support. Purchase a pillow and case for a child – the proceeds from each sales will fund another three to give. Donate 100 percent cotton, kid-friendly fabric or donate travel size pillow forms. Or take to the sewing machine and make pillow-cases. For more information, call (920) 639-2445.

Golden House – Pillow Fight Testimonial

At the Golden House we serve hundreds of children each year. When children come into shelter it can be overwhelming and frightening for them. They are taken from a familiar environment and brought to a new unfamiliar place. Due to safety concerns, many of them are unable to bring along their favorite toys or other comfort items. For this reason, the advocates provide a book, blanket, stuffed animal and pillow to each child who comes into shelter.

Over the past years Pillow Fight Against Domestic Violence and Janna Zimmerman have provided us with handmade pillows for each of these children. Each pillow has different and special kid friendly fabric, and the children usually pick one that matches their individual personality. Comfort items give the children a sense of ownership and control of something that is otherwise completely out of their hands. We have found that the pillows help the children who are not sleeping through the night to sleep in peace. One little guy who was overwhelmed by the change picked out his pillow and blanket, snuggled up and fell asleep on the floor in the office. We greatly appreciate the pillows that Janna’s group has provided and hope that they are able to continue to provide them for families who join us in the future.

Thank you so much,

Jodi Nuthals-Mikulsky
Family Advocate Golden House

Family Center – Pillow Fight Testimonial

Your donation really helps our efforts to provide the families at the Family Center with the safety and resources they need to live a better tomorrow.

We really appreciate you giving more to these families…and in turn, a better future for the children.

Arline Hillestad, Executive Director
Family Center, Inc.

Family Center – Pillow Fight Testimonial

Thank You! We are loving the pillows!

The holiday season can be hard on those who are in need of relief due to domestic abuse issues. Your donation means so much to those families who struggle with this matter.

We have much gratitude for making this chilly season more bearable for the families who need our support. Thank you for touching their lives.

Family Center, Inc.

Family Center – Pillow Fight Testimonial

When I deliver the pillows I attach a note that reads “This pillow was made by members of the community and it is yours to keep.” Since most families don’t arrive with many personal items, the kids are excited to have something of their own.

Besides making them feel more comfortable in our shelter, the pillows also help me to break the ice and gives me the opportunity to build that relationship where we can talk about what is happening in their family. The pillows are truly special. Thank you for them and for allowing me to be the “giver of the pillows”.

Jill Scheidegger
Children and Youth Services Coordinator
Family Center Inc.

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune – Pillow Fight Testimonial

Helen Zimmerman decided to fight domestic violence with a pillow.

Reprinted from the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, April 17, 2008

Helen, 68, Wisconsin Rapids, has donated 389 pillows with child-themed cases to The Family Center shelter in Wisconsin Rapids since “The Great Pillow Fight Against Domestic Violence” began locally 3 ½ years ago.

Her daughter-in-law, Janna Zimmerman of Green Bay, started the program and has provided about 1300 pillows to domestic abuse shelters in Green Bay, Shawano and Menonomie. Helen’s sister-in-law, JoAnne Zimmerman, Denver, also initiated a drive and has given more than 150 pillows in her area.

Helen provides fabric and pillows for those who sew for her. “Even my granddaughters make pillowcases for me” she said.

All the pillowcases made in the area stay here, and they help children overcome the trauma that comes with seeking shelter from domestic violence. ‘The majority (of children), when they come in, often don’t have anything of their own,” said Arline Hillestad, executive director at the center. “The thing children look to comfort themselves, they often have to leave behind.” Children pick out their own pillows. “The pillow is a small thing, but it’s a big thing in making them feel welcome and (having) something of their own.” Arline said. That security lets the children know, “Things are going to be OK. I’m in a good place,” she said.

Helen appreciates fabric and monetary donations. “I purchase the pillows-that’s my biggest expense,” she said. A mother of two and grandmother of three, Helen said her heart goes out to the children whose lives are affected by domestic violence. She hopes the bright pillows provide comfort. ‘Not all grandchildren go to bed clean and loved,” she said.