You never know how a bagel can change your life. A few weeks ago I was in line waiting for a bagel and began chatting with the man in front of me. He was telling me all about an organization that has become a huge part of his life. Here’s how it started:
In August, 2000, Linda Arye was placing an order for a client at the Philadelphia Design Center when she noticed a room full of trash bags filled with discontinued designer fabrics ready to be thrown away. Linda wanted to find a way to use the fabric so it would not go to waste. Then she remembered that when her daughter had been hospitalized as a child she was not allowed to bring her stuffed animal to the hospital for comfort. Quilts, however, were acceptable. At that moment Linda decided to use the fabric to make quilts for children in hospitals. She could then comfort a few children and save the fabric from a landfill.
Her friends thought she was a little crazy then, but eleven years and more than 100,000 patchwork quilts later, Quilts for Kids continues to brighten the days of children worldwide. Each of the patchwork quilts is still made by a volunteer. Much of the fabric is still donated.
After partnering with the Children’s Miracle Network, the organization has given quilts to sick children throughout the country. After hurricane Katrina hundreds of quilts were sent to New Orleans. Through a partnership with Lutheran World Relief, many of the heavyweight fabrics that were donated have become blankets for orphaned children in developing countries.
In addition to funding to pay for shipping and materials, Quilts for Kids is in need of fabric, funding and quilters. If you want to brighten a child’s day, here’s how you can help:
If you are a quilter, you can use your brightly colored kid-friendly fabric to create patchwork quilts of your own. Please keep in mind that the quilts to be sewn and quilted on a machine with lots of machine quilting so they hold up to all the washings they go through at the hospitals. If you would like to quilt and need kid-friendly fabric, simply request a kit and they will send one to you.
If you don’t sew but still want to help you can adopt a quilt. A financial donation of any sort will go toward shipping quilts to children at children’s hospitals across the country.
Are you in need of new bedding for your own home? Consider purchasing it from Calico Corners because they donate a portion of their proceeds from every custom bedding purchase to Quilts for Kids. Calico Corners has been a great supporter of the Quilts for Kids organization.
Quilts for Kids is also thankful to Downy for generously creating the Downy Touch of Comfort program. Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy is the very dedicated spokesperson for The Downy Touch of Comfort Program and raising awareness of Quilts for Kids. To date, the program has enabled Quilts for Kids to create over 10,000 quilt kits to send to volunteer quilters across the country.
Why knew that by craving a bagel I would get to learn all about this amazing organization. When I told my children about the man I had met and about Quilts for Kids, they decided to start saving their quarters so they too can brighten a child’s day.
To learn more about Quilts for Kids or to find your local chapter, go to www.QuiltsforKids.org.