I have been quilting for close to 30 years. I learned because I wanted to make quilts for my young daughters from fabric leftover from clothes I made for them. Now, I primarily help tie quilts for Lutheran World Relief with the quilters’ group at our church. We have seen the quilts displayed throughout the world, but especially at Cherish Watoto Kenya – an orphanage and school our church supports in Nairobi, Kenya. For most of the children, it is their only personal property. Seeing them displayed there reminds our quilters of our mission – to relieve misery and poverty, and to provide hope. Even altruistic people need tangible encouragement.
Now the world has been rocked by the catastrophic earthquake in Syria and Turkey. The devastation may be hidden from us by Syria’s ruthless regime, but it is clearly visible in Turkey. Poorly built buildings fell like Jenga, one failing piece bringing down an entire structure.
Thousands were buried under the rubble, with one teen being rescued almost nine days after the quake. Fearing subsequent collapse of their homes, some survivors have reported living outside in the snow and cold, with nothing for warmth. Thankfully, with Turkey’s approval, Americans have stepped up their aid.
This relates to quilting in the most fundamental way. The quilts prepared by women all over our country were sent to provide warmth and comfort for those in need. They are also a symbol of sympathy and humanity. Women have been able to give the most precious commodity – themselves – to help others.
Kudos to them and their continuous efforts to provide warmth for our neighbors in Turkey and more than 100 countries.