Lilli Gross of Eldorado spends a lot of time in her basement sewing and tying quilts. Last winter, Gross completed 100 quilts for Lutheran World Relief, which is a nonprofit organization specializing in international development.
She also sent 35 quilts to a homeless shelter and a women's shelter in Des Moines where her pastor's daughter works. That's not all, Gross also makes and helps fill these school bags.
"She is so full of life and energy and willing to share so many of her talents," said St. Peter Lutheran Church Pastor Ginny Olson.
Lilli Gross is originally from Romania. During World War II, her family was forced to leave and lived in Poland for five years. She said as the war got closer, her family went by wagon train from Poland to Germany. About 20 miles from Berlin, the family was forced to take cover in the woods for two weeks.
"I had a little brother. He was only five months old, and his baby buggy couldn't carry much so we had to share one blanket, so during that time I think back I wish I had an extra blanket to cover up," said Gross.
Gross was 10 years old at the time that experience is what inspired her many years later to give-away most of the blankets she sews.
Gross's family moved to the U.S. in 19-52, and her mother-in-law taught her to quilt more than four decades ago.
Pastor Ginny Olson said Gross has a big heart and is a good example for others.
"Makes us understand the world is greater than Eldorado or greater than the U.S.," said Gross.
Besides making her own quilts, Lilli Gross also finishes quilts for other people. They make the tops, and she puts them together. It all keeps her very busy.
"As long as the good Lord lets me, I will do it," said Gross.
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