The Quilted Life with Carolyn — Charitable giving

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Charitable Quilting - Project Linus 0

Hi there! It is time for our second installment in the Charitable Quilting Series.

Thanksgiving was last week here in The States and, once again, the holiday season has inspired me. I have so much to be grateful for at all times of the year, and one of the things that tops my list is the health and safety of my children.

For that reason, organizations which care for children are near and dear to my heart. This one, Project Linus, focuses on children who are in the hospital, in shelters, or in the care of social service agencies. As a mother, their mission speaks to me:

“Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’”

QM Family had a NICU baby in Spring 2013

 

In the spirit of their mission, Project Linus has donated over 7 million blankets since 1995. Yes, you read that right - seven million!!!

7 million young people have been touched by the kindness of strangers who have a gift to give, just like you and I. A number that big is hard to fathom. Especially when you consider what receiving a quilt like that would mean to just one child - it could be a life-changing gift!

Multiply that by 10, and that's more love than I can imagine. Multiply it by 7 million, and I truly can't understand it. That's so much care and joy spread around to so many precious children. Wow!

Don’t be intimidated by how big this organization is, however. Your donation and love will not be lost in the vastness of the 7 million blankets. To the child who receives it, it's not one in 7 million, it's theirs.

Here’s a quick reference guide for how to contribute to Project Linus and give a quilted hug to a child in need.

Find a Local Chapter

Although Project Linus is a national organization, the sense of community and connection is really fostered through the Chapter system they use. You can connect locally with a chapter in your area to get involved.

There are chapters in all 50 states, plus Washington DC. You can click here to go to their Chapters page, and then click on your state to find the chapter closest to you. You’ll see which chapters have a blanket drop-off site, and you can check out local chapter events, too!

MABD - Make a Blanket Day

One such event is MABD, or Make a Blanket Day. This isn’t specific to any local chapter - it is a national event, taking place on the 3rd Saturday in February each year. This special day has been taking place for nearly 20 years, and was inspired by the Columbine High School shooting. Blankets were made and donated very quickly for students who were affected by that tragedy.

You can find more information about the MABD movement here.

Create a Quilt

You don’t have to wait for MABD to contribute a quilt to Project Linus. Children are in need every day, all year long. The guidelines for quilts are pretty flexible - they must be new, handmade, and washable. They’re intended for children 0-18 years old, so size is very open-ended. They also ask that there not be any pet hair, as hospitals will often reject blankets which have fur on them.

Project Linus has patterns on their website, which you can use for inspiration. But it is not required that you use a pattern from their list.

Baby on Quilt

Another QM Baby enjoying their quilt!

 

Donate

Monetary donations are also very meaningful to an organization such as Project Linus. They have several different ways you can donate, and you can find information to do so here.

Without the generosity of people like you in the quilting community, Project Linus wouldn’t be able to continue.

It is a special, wonderful thing to wrap a child in your love. Especially one who needs a bit extra for one reason or another. With Thanksgiving still on my mind, I am thankful for Project Linus this year, and for the beautiful way they show children that they are loved.

Charitable Quilting - Quilts of Valor 1

Hello, readers! Welcome back! This week, we’re embracing the holiday season and starting our series on charitable ways to use your love of quilting.

For me, the holiday season has always been more about people and togetherness than anything else. Showing love and support of your fellow human is a year-round endeavor, but I think it is especially highlighted during the holidays because warmth and joy are on the mind.

When I think of warmth and joy, quilting immediately comes to mind. So if you also feel inspired to give during the holidays, we at Quilter’s Mart want to share with you a few ways that you can use your unique gift to wrap your fellow humans up in warmth and joy this season.

In the US last week, we celebrated Veteran’s Day. In the continued spirit of that holiday, our first quilting charity is Quilts of Valor. This charity was founded in 2003, and it has a lovely mission statement, which you can read below.

“The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

There are a few different ways to engage with this inspiring charity, which are listed below.

Membership

The first is to become a member (click here to learn more). There are individual annual memberships, group memberships, and lifetime memberships. There is even a Quilt Shop Program, where quilt shops can host Quilts of Valor events, carry a patriotic fabric line, and support the cause.

Making a Quilt

The second way to engage is by making a Quilt of Valor. If you are interested in doing this, there are some guidelines you should know about.

Many of the quilts donated through Quilts of Valor are done in a patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme. The Quilts of Valor Foundation has a complete list of requirements available here, but some of the highlights are that they must be made of 100% cotton fabric, they must be large enough to cover an adult, must be labeled as a Quilt of Valor, and must be machine or hand quilted.

To help you along, there are patterns available for free on the website (click here). There are also resources on the Quilts of Valor site for connecting with a Longarmer to quilt your masterpiece (click here).

Become a Longarmer

That leads me to the third way you can participate in the Quilts of Valor mission - you can become a Longarmer for the organization (click here)! This is a unique skill set, and a beautiful way to donate your time and resources to a worthy cause.

Donate

The final way to support the Quilts of Valor Foundation is through monetary donations. You can find out how by clicking here. Donations of any amount are appreciated. What your donation does is powerful. For example, a $25 donation supports quilting supplies, and a $300 donation supports creation of an entire Quilt of Valor.

The men and women of the US Armed Services have given so much of themselves to their country, and donating your time and/or skills to supporting and thanking them is a truly wonderful thing. If you know a Veteran who would benefit from receiving a Quilt of Valor, click here to request one for him or her.

We also encourage you to sign up for the Quilts of Valor e-newsletter by clicking here. They will keep you up-to-date on all the wonderful things they do.

Please share in the comments if you have any stories of donating to Quilts of Valor, or if you plan to participate with them in the future.
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