Opportunity, Community, Justice (and Quilts) for Kids

Here in the Southwest Region we are warming up with summer temps and quilters are always busy making quilts!!

This year a new initiative has our Quilts Beyond Borders quilts heading to OCJ Kids in Phoenix, Arizona.  OCJ Kids stands for Opportunity, Community and Justice for Kids.  The mission of this non-profit is to equip foster and at-risk children and youth by providing them tools, resources, and positive role models to succeed and excel in every area of life.  Find out more about this amazing organization and the impact they make at www.ocjkids.org.

Most of the quilts provided to OCJ Kids are included in a ‘Go’ bag with some necessities to go with a child who is experiencing a crisis and leaving their home.  A few of the quilts are held back for kids who age out of the foster program and are starting out on their own with no possessions. OCJ Kids helps these young adults acquire basic needs, including bedding, for living on their own. The photo below shows a young girl who is being helped by OCJ Kids.  OCJ Kids is working with her to journey through the next phase of her young life and they gave her a quilt the other day when they took her shopping for clothes. It’s so good to see our quilts touching young lives! 

The following photos show some of the quilts provided to OCJ Kids January through April 2022.   Such lovely, lovely quilts, touching lives.  Your generosity warms the heart!

Submitted by Sherree – Southwest Regional Coordinator

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A Warm Welcome

Greetings from the Southwest Region!  We are warming up, heading toward summer, and the generosity of quilters with Quilts Beyond Borders continues to bring joy and comfort to children. 

Fifty children’s quilts were recently delivered to the Welcome to America Project (WTAP) in Tempe, Arizona. This project addresses the immediate needs and well-being of newly arrived refugee families by providing emergency supplies, necessities and education.

WTAP was founded 20 years ago and fills a critical gap in the resettlement community to stabilize newly arrived refugee families and sets a pathway towards successful integration. By providing household goods, clothing, computers and bikes (and sometimes a quilt) this organization makes an impact that lasts a lifetime.  In 2021, this organization helped 403 families from 26 different countries! Find out more about the Welcome to America Project here.

The photo below is of Rosalie (in the middle), a local quilter who has generously supported Quilts Beyond Borders for several years, her husband, Bob (left), a willing driver to deliver her quilts, and Karissa (right) with the WTAP organization who received the quilts at the warehouse. 

The remaining photos are of the beautiful quilts provided by many of you and delivered to WTAP.

Sending More Love from the Northeast

The many beautiful photos below feature quilts created by quilters in the Northeast, across the US and even beyond for three important Quilts Beyond Borders initiatives: Kamp for Kids”, a Philadelphia-area camping experience for children with challenges, especially autism; Comfort Cases for children first entering foster care in the Rockville, Maryland area, as well as other areas in the country; and Kits for Kids, a program in Massachusetts which provides backpacks filled with essential and fun items for children entering foster care or long-term medical facilities. Special thanks to Northeast Regional Coordinator Karen and her very photogenic dog for receiving, finalizing, organizing, photographing, and boxing and delivering hundreds of quilts like these each season to so many deserving and grateful children!

This first set of quilts went to Kamp for Kids. Thank you to: From Connecticut: Sue Sweeney, Susan Elliott; From Vermont: Judith Nuno, Ginger Nuno; From Massachusetts: Sheila Hughes, Pam Belanger, Frances Fink, Jean Thibodeau; From Rhode Island: Linda Chaffee; From Utah: Relma Miller; From Oklahoma: Alice Aldrich White

The set of quilts below went to Comfort Cases. Thank you to: From Connecticut: Peg Thomsen, Deb Jacoby, Sue Sweeney, Susan Elliott; From Massachusetts: Sheila Hughes, Joyce Mase, Terri Desmond; From Vermont: Judith Nuno; From Australia: Hong Chang; From Texas:  Marsha W.; And from Estelle Gallagher who is 12 years old! Estelle, your work is stellar and I apologize for not having your address. Thank you. We hope to see more quilts from you!

Finally, this set of quilts went to Kits for Kids. Thank you to: From Connecticut: Paula Place, Barbara Buckley, Sue Sweeney; From Massachusetts: Sheila Hughes, Bonnie Salt, Frances Fink, Pam Belanger, Jean Thibodeau, Pat Wildman; From Australia: Hong Chang; From New Hampshire: Nancy Kane; From Rhode Island: Linda Chaffee; From New Jersey: Sue Hurley; From Vermont: Judith Nuno; From Wisconsin: Mary Gibbons

Fat Quarter Challenge Quilts; Beauties to Behold

Fat Quarter Challenge quilts have been flowing in. Generous quilters have shared their love and creativity, and the children who receive the quilts are truly blessed.

The winner of the January prize drawing, a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop, was Arlene B. of New York, and here is the picture of her quilt:

The winner of the February prize drawing was Lynn B. of California and here is the picture of her quilt:

We are thankful for the support of Fat Quarter Shop!

Here are the quilts we received in January and February (click on each to see it larger):

You have until September 30 to send in Fat Quarter Challenge quilts. Read about our guidelines here. Why not start sewing now and send in more than one? Double your fun!

Appreciating you,

Carol Egan – Fat Quarter Challenge Coordinator

Quilts for Afghani Refugees in New England

These quilts will be bringing warmth and a message of welcome to Afghani families resettling in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Thank you from Karen M. and everyone at Quilts Beyond Borders to these wonderful quilters from the region, across the US and beyond!

From Connecticut:  Nancy Ralston, Sue Sweeney, Paula Place, Deb Jacoby, Rita Gladych, Donna Motyl, Dianne Hamm, Shoreline Quilters, Susan Elliott, Barbara Buckley, Marguerite Boslaugh, Kim Bennett, Martha Benoit; From Vermont: Judith Nuno; From Massachusetts: Sheila Hughes, Frances Fink, Pam Belanger, Joyce Mase, Terri Desmond, Donna Hopkins, Bonnie Salt; From New Jersey: Sue Hurley; From New Hampshire: Nancy Kane; From Australia: Hong Chang; From Rhode Island: Lois Gardner, Linda Chaffee, Linda Ferraro; From Texas: Lynne Aldrich, Marsha W.; From Oklahoma: Alice Aldrich White; From Wisconsin: Mary Gibbons; Location unknown: Madeline 

As always, you can click on each image to view it larger.

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More Comfort Cases Quilts!

We are continuing to share photos of quilts sent to Comfort Cases as part of our ongoing partnership. This organization gives backpacks filled with comfort and personal care items for youth entering the foster care system across the country and the need is huge. Thank you to our Fat Quarter Coordinator, Carol for delivering these quilts she recently received from the Fat Quarter Challenge (Which you can also join!) and from other quilters in her circle of generous and talented friends!

Forgotten People Holiday Quilt Distribution Photos

Please enjoy these photos from the recent Christmas Navajo Nation distribution which also included food, water, and presents for the children from Toys For Tots. Over 600 quilts were given to children and elders in this needy community throughout the Holiday season and into 2022. The final 200 quilts were distributed to school children and staff just last week.  Our contact, Marsha, said “Many children and staff told us to share with you, ‘The quilts are Amazing, Thank you!!!!’ The smiles show even behind the masks.”

Navajo Nation Quilt Photos from Arizona for 2021 Holidays

As much of the country is experiencing freezing temps and snowy streets this might just help to warm your heart!   Before the 2021 holidays, Quilts Beyond Borders again sent many quilts (600+) to the Navajo Nation, to children and elderly needing comfort and warmth.  

This year the quilts were distributed at drive through stations along with other relief items.  Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Navajo Nation has not re-opened schools and other facilities where are quilts have been distributed in the past.  

Here are some facts about the Navajo Nation (NavajoNaabeehó Bináhásdzo

  • It is a Native American territory covering about 17,544,500 acres (71,000 km2; 27,413 sq mi),
  • It occupies portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and a small portion of southeastern Utah
  • In 2010 the total population of tribal members was over 330,000, with over 173,000 living within the boundaries of the reservation. 

Our quilts get distributed by a dear lady named Marsha, in the area of Big Mountain. She and The Forgotten People organization have partnered with Quilts Beyond Borders for many years to help distribute thousands of quilts. The following photos are of the 150 quilts contributed from Arizona, with many of these quilts coming in from around the U.S.  Your creativity and generous kindness is what makes this happen!

We will be sharing heartwarming photos of quilt distribution events in a future blog soon!

Contributed by Sherree N, Arizona Regional Coordinator 

From the Northwest & Beyond – Kamp for Kids

We were so happy to have a new initiative in 2021 with Kamp for Kids. This is a group in Pennsylvania that helps underserved and autistic children. You can go to the May 20 & May 31, 2021 posts for more information. It is a joy and pleasure to serve children in need and thank you for the 30 quilts provided by the NW group! You can click on each picture to see it larger and to see the maker’s names.

Susan Schmidt – NW Regional Coordinator

 From the Northwest & Beyond – Quilts to Lebanon

These 408 quilts began their journey to Lebanon in October and traveled over 6600 miles by cargo ship to Beirut. The political problems and attempts to overthrow the government have created a dire situation and thousands of people are fleeing the city. The explosion that occurred in 2020 and displaced thousands of people has still left many homeless. We are thankful the Salaam Cultural Museum has again come to the aid of refugees and provided medical supplies, housing items, our quilts and many other items to people in need. Thank you to all our quilters who have shared their talents and provided quilts to children in need, we couldn’t do this without you! You can click on each photo to see it larger and to see the maker’s names.

Susan Schmidt  – NW Regional Coordinator