Quilting for charity is a wonderful experience where you can practice new techniques, spend some time doing something you love, and make a needy child or orphan very happy as a result of your work. At QBB we try to post pictures of as many quilts as we can on our blog when we receive them. We also try to take photos of deliveries whenever we can, and post them to the blog so you can see your quilt delivered to an excited child. Sometimes the orphanages don’t allow pictures or sometimes the groups that transport quilts for us get so excited giving out quilts that they forget to take photos, so it doesn’t always happen. I’ve always thought of our posting pictures of the deliveries as sort of “the end” of the story of making or receiving a top, getting it to a longarm quilter, finishing it up, packing it up, and giving it to a child.
Every once in awhile, though, I get a reminder that the creation and delivery of the quilt is just the beginning. We got one of those earlier this year, when we received a message from an adoptive mother that said this:
“I have long wanted to thank your organization for providing my son with a lovely quilt while he was in an orphanage in Ethiopia. We brought it home as a keepsake 3 years ago now and it is a lovely reminder of human generosity and kindness. I hope you know these lovely quilts go to beautiful children who deeply appreciate them. Thank you sincerely from my family to all of you, Jessa R.”
Wow!! Just reading the comment made me tear up! And since I’d gone to Ethiopia 3 years ago, with a couple of friends and about 200 quilts, I wondered if Jessa and I had been there at the same time. Jessa and I started corresponding, and quickly discovered that we were there the same week. While she wasn’t at the orphanage at the exact time we were there, we had posted a picture of her son, being hugged by one of my friends as he received a quilt, on a blog post I posted in May of 2012, when I returned from that trip. https://quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/img_1215/
(You can see more details of our 2012 trip by searching on “installment”, as I posted “Installments 1-7” about the trip.)
Here’s the picture of Jessa’s son, Ozington, with my friend, Linda Visentin McDaniel, on the day we gave out the quilts and a couple of pictures of Ozington and his new parents.
Jessa made a beautiful video of their trip to Ethiopia to get Ozington and has shared it with us at this Youtube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4yCFnFr0xY
Jessa keeps in touch with several other couples that she met, also adopting on the same trip. They get together frequently, so she sent my blog link to them, and pretty soon she said they were all very emotional: “A lot of emotions from wanting to squeeze our kids extra tight to being so thankful for the kindness of strangers.”
Here are some pictures of Ozington’s little friends, who were also adopted by Canadian couples, as they received the quilts in the orphanage. The following pictures show my friend, Brenda Barnett with Rumi, and the other picture shows Chance. As it turned out Ozington’s little pal, Chance, was originally photographed with the quilt that Ozington eventually took home with him – I guess some trading went on after we left!
Jessa also sent us some pictures of the children, still pals, now at home in Canada
Jessa also sent us a picture of Ozington’s quilt label, so we know that his quilt was pieced by the Sisterhood of the Thimble in Martinsburg, WV, and quilted by one of the longarmers in the guild I belong to in Illinois, NILAG member Emma Everett.
Ladies, thank you for doing such a lovely job on this quilt! It has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, and all these years later it is still treasured by the little boy who received it!
Great thanks to Jessa Rodenburgh for sharing her story, pictures and video with us. We wish you all great luck, love and happiness together always!