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Kansas City-area artists gift quilts for kindness to nurses on frontlines

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Posted at 7:05 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 23:34:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kim Newton believes quilts are magical. The Kansas City-area fabric artist shared some of that magic with Saint Luke's Health System nurses, nominated by their peers for extraordinary acts of kindness.

Nikki Beard, director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives for St. Luke's, said they simply asked, "How do you feel about your coworker?"

"In just one month, we got over 140 nominations," Beard said.

Jackie Burns, Lakeisha Lewis and Kristen Stacy were all the surprise honorees.

Newton donated three of her new line of Alexis Quilts, one for each winner, as part of her Amplify program. She told 41 Action News the program is designed to honor those who might need a pick me up – recognizing the unique challenges of the medical community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Saint Luke's Kindness Project is part of its annual partnership with SevenDays, an effort created by Mindy Corporon after the deaths of her father William Corporon and her son Reat Underwood.

Stacy said for her, nursing isn't just a job, it's a calling. And being acknowledged with the same love she sets out to show patients and her team every day is special.

"I was a frontline caregiver for COVID patients," Stacy, a nurse at Saint Luke's East, said. "The sickest, sick, sick ones and lost a lot of patients and it was a really difficult time for me and for a lot of my peers also."

Newton said she decided to donate because a lot of sacrifices are being made that not everyone knows about.

"I don't know that we always think about that, and so I wanted to provide quilts, which I think are pretty magical and are opportunities for people to provide comfort and take care of themselves," Newton said.

Even Stacy's mother was touched by the gesture.

"It's her heart that's so beautiful," Susan Pontius told 41 Action News. "So I love to see her get recognized for that. When I see her, I see a little bit of what was important to me when I worked with patients and other nurses. It makes me feel good that that carries on through generations."

To nominate an amazing person you know to win a quilt, or to purchase one yourself, visit the Alexis Quilts website.

During the pandemic, 41 Action News wants to spotlight people, organizations and companies helping the community. To share these stories, use #WeSeeYouKSHB on social media.