The Quilted Life with Carolyn — Charitable giving

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Charitable Quilting - DIY Style 3

Welcome back for another installment in our Charitable Quilting Series! This week, we’re not highlighting a specific organization.

So far, our featured organizations have been US-based, and because we have a lot of international members of the Quilter’s Mart community, we thought we were due for something that could work for all readers!

Pursuing some of these avenues may require a bit more legwork on your end than donating directly to an established quilting charity, but you may also discover that you find it extra rewarding because you’re a bit more personally involved in the donation process.

What are you getting at, Carolyn? This is all so vague! Okay, okay. Let me lay it out for you: I’m thinking you could make a quilt (or two? Or a dozen?) and hand deliver it yourself!

But where? How do I find someone who would benefit from a fabric-and-batting-and-love-filled hug? Here are my ideas! I’ll admit -some of them are stolen from reader comments on previous posts!

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

As I mentioned in another post, one of the Quilter’s Mart team’s own babies was a preemie and stayed in the NICU for 10 days. She is my niece, and it was incredibly hard to watch her and her loving parents go through those scary 10 days. Watching it will never compare to living it, of course, and from what I’ve heard from her parents, receiving a handmade quilt would have meant the world to them during that scary time.

A NICU stay postpones the joy of having a newborn while you live with the worst fear imaginable. Making a tiny quilt for a NICU baby may not take you very long, but the impact it has on the family who receives that comfort and support will last forever.

Consider donating a quilt to a NICU near you. If you do, please be mindful of allergens such as pet hair, as NICUs may turn away your donation if they have allergens that may be harmful to the fragile babies.

Homeless Shelter

If you’re inspired by our last post and would like to donate to the homeless community in your area, look up where the local homeless shelters are, contact them, and ask if you can bring them some quilts!

Alternatively, you can do exactly as Rosemary did, and bring the quilts out into the community yourself and donate them directly to the homeless. This will give you a chance to connect directly with the recipients. We only ask that if you decide to donate directly, that you do so safely.

Foster Children

Children in foster care are often in need of basic items, but the most basic thing they need is love. You can give a little bit of that to them through a donation of a quilt!

I’m not sure how foster care is structured in other countries. And even in the US, it varies state by state. But I do know that here in Oregon, the Department of Human Services handles foster care arrangements. I imagine there are similar agencies where you are!

 

Baby in NICU

Peregrine Rose, 10 days in NICU 2013

I recommend looking into the structure of arranging care for children in need where you live, and then contacting some local agencies to find out how you can donate your quilts to envelop those sweet children in love.

Women’s Shelters

Women who are survivors of abuse are similarly in need of tender love and care. There are countless organizations that help these women leave abusive situations, recover, and restart.

Seek one out in your area, and wrap those women up to give them strength.

Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash

 

Local Police Department

This one is definitely one that I hadn’t thought of until I read a reader comment. The idea is that you can donate quilts for officers to keep in their cars to wrap around folks who have been in a car accident, or who need to be comforted on-scene for other reasons.

For this one, I’d suggest calling up the non-emergency line for your local police department and asking them if you can bring some quilts by.

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There you go, friends! I hope some of those ideas have inspired you. Please do always call ahead before you go visit to drop off a donation, regardless of where you are donating. You may even want to call before you start a project to make sure that there aren’t any guidelines to think about that would keep them from accepting your quilt.

Did I miss any? Where else have you donated quilts in the past?

Charitable Quilting - Quilting for a Cause 2

Welcome to episode 3 of the Charitable Quilting Series!

In keeping with the steady flow of holidays here in the US this time of year, last week was Giving Tuesday. It is a recent, unofficial addition to the holiday calendar, intended to counteract the consume consume consume attitude that comes along with purchasing gifts and crazy sales and discounts that get us all worked into a buying frenzy this time of year.

The message behind Giving Tuesday is to stop shopping for a moment and give to a cause that is important to you. It can be donated time, money, or service - doesn’t matter! I personally think Giving Tuesday is a much-needed reprieve from looking inward at your own wants and needs to looking outward at the needs of others, especially those less fortunate.

This week's post is extra special because we are featuring a charity founded by one of our Quilter’s Mart Blog readers! Rosemary Phalon mentioned her charity Quilting for a Cause in a comment in one of my early posts, and I’ve been looking forward to highlighting her organization ever since.

 

Quilting for a Cause

Rosemary found herself with an inherited fabric stash from her mother-in-law, and with a stash bigger than she needed for herself (a problem a lot of us can relate to, right, fellow fabric hoarders?!), she was inspired to make quilts for the homeless community in New York City.

Although Quilting for a Cause is a relatively young organization, they’ve already made a huge impact! In the two years they’ve been in operation, they have already donated 1,279 quilts. Amazing!

If you would like to support the efforts of Rosemary and her team of volunteers, here are some ways you can do so!

Become a Volunteer

Maybe you’re already in the New York or New Jersey area, and you have an afternoon to spare at Quilting for a Cause’s Pequannock, New Jersey location. Or perhaps you’re passing through the area and can incorporate a few hours of volunteering while you’re there. If so, don't worry - you do not have to be a pro-quilter to join in. Any skill level is welcomed, as long as you're ready to help!

Click here for details about how to join in.

Quilting Volunteers

 

Donate Supplies

Calling all Fabric Hoarders! Anyone sitting on a pile of fabric that you just don’t know what to do with? *raises hand*

From fabric, to batting, to thread, to sewing machines - it takes supplies to make the quilts! Maybe you have something you'd like to contribute.

Click here to contact Rosemary and her team about how you can donate your supplies.

Quilting Donations

 

Donate

If you don’t have plans to be in the Northeast anytime soon, and shipping out material donations is not in the cards, you can still support Rosemary and her mission to help the homeless community by making monetary donations.

Click here to donate to Quilting for a Cause.

This time of year, New York City is a cold, often snowy, place. I can’t imagine the chill one must feel deep in their bones when they’re living on the streets. Members of the homeless community have little to call their own, and owning a beautiful - and more importantly, warm - handmade quilt could be a life-changer for them.

Wrapping themselves in warmth from a stranger is a reminder that they are seen, and that someone out there thinks they matter. What a meaningful thing, to show your fellow human that they matter. Because of course they do. Of course they matter.

We admire you, Rosemary. Thank you for doing such important work.

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