In August 2000, while placing an order for an interior design client at the Philadelphia Design Center, Linda Arye of Yardley noticed more than 20 industrial-size trash bags filled with discontinued designer fabric that were to be thrown away. Linda thought that there should be a way to reuse that material. It occurred to her that the fabric could be used to make crib-sized patchwork quilts that could be given to seriously ill children, making their hospital stay a bit less traumatic. That experience led to the creation of Quilts for Kids, Inc., a nonprofit corporation with a mission of transforming discontinued fabrics into quilts that comfort children with cancer, AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, as well as battered and abused children. And the benefits are two-fold the quilts bring love and comfort to children in need, and space is saved in our landfills when the discontinued fabrics are recycled to make the quilts.
Students from Abington, PA visit St. Christopher's
in Philadelphia to donate their quilts.
Quilts for Kids now has a volunteer network that encompasses quilting groups and individuals from all walks of life. Not for professional sewers only, the organization focuses on getting preteens and teens involved in the making and gifting of quilts through their schools or community service programs. By making a quilt, these young volunteers can experience what it is like to give something of themselves to a child who needs them. It helps them realize that their life is good and that they can make a difference. Whenever possible, the completed quilts are delivered personally. When the quilter and recipient meet, it is an experience neither will forget.
Quilts for Kids has recently expanded their mission due to the tragic events that took place on September 11. The organization has been gifted red, white and blue fabric from all the major fabric houses throughout the country, and with this fabric it is their intention to make flag quilts that will be given to the families of those who perished in the tragedy. This is an opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of the families left behind; it is a chance to both unite communities and help those most in need.
If you would like to help, whether you sew or not, you can join others and be a part of Quilts for Kids. For non-sewers, the "adopt a box" program lets you simply send in a donation to cover part of the estimated $5,800 cost of shipping out boxes of fabric throughout North America. If you are interested in helping in any way, or have any questions, email Quilts for Kids at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.quiltsforkids.org.