Dominga Marquez: Knitting Hobbyist from The New Jewish Home Senior Housing Helps Others Despite Setback
By Pat Kiernan
Published 7:18 AM ET MAR. 04, 2019
Things don’t come as easily as they once did for Dominga Marquez. The 76-year-old suffered a stroke four years ago – she collapsed on her way to church.
“I didn’t know what was happening, where I was, and then I was very scared,” Marquez recalled.
With intense physical therapy, Marquez slowly regained her speech and her strength.
And although certainly frustrated at times, her spirit was never broken.
“I think that, changing my way of thinking is that – you can never be your old person, you have to be a new person. A different person that can do all the things, but not the same you did before,” Marquez said.
Among the many things Marquez was eager to get back to? Knitting and crocheting – two of her longtime hobbies.
Because her right side is paralyzed, she had to figure out a new way to approach the crafts.
With the help of a loom and a hair tie Marquez was soon back doing what she loved.
“It made me so happy because I like to crochet so much, it suits me, and I can spend hours crocheting,” Marquez said.
It wasn’t long before Marquez, who is a resident of the long-term care facility The New Jewish Home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, found a way to use her hobby to help others.
She runs the facility’s “Hand in Hand Committee.”
Along with a group of other residents, shes creates handmade items like scarves, hats, and paintings to sell, all for a good cause.
Over the years, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for charities like Doctors Without Borders, New York Cares, and Operation Smile.
To those working at the residential facility, it’s no surprise Marquez is leading this effort.
“Despite any challenges she’s faced in her life, she’s always found a way to look at the good, and at what she can do, not what she can’t do,” said Bridget Zimmermann, Assistant Administrator at The New Jewish Home Senior Housing facilites.
And for Marquez, that’s continuing to help organizations in any way she can.
“I feel good when I can give to somebody. And here, knowing that we could help those causes, were important,” Marquez said.
For weaving her hobby together with a way to give back — despite some setbacks — Dominga Marquez is our New Yorker of the Week.