In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many are asking themselves, "What can I do to help?" While volunteer efforts and cleanup projects abound, not all of us can pack up the car and head to the affected areas to offer our manual labor. Still, there are other ways to provide relief for those most affected by the storm. How about, for instance, making a few quilts to keep people warm as winter approaches?
I know from personal experience just how comforting such a quilt can be. In 2010, my family lost our home in the Witch Creek Fire that devastated much of Southern California. Among many other donations, we received handmade quilts from all over the country. And while the quilts did keep us warm, their greater purpose was one of comfort. It was reassuring to know that people were thinking of us. It was encouraging to feel that we were being taken care of in some small way. To this day, every time I bundle up with my quilt from Mesa, Arizona, I'm reminded of the generosity, support, and sense of community my family experienced during such a difficult time.
If you're looking to donate a quilt or two to the victims of Sandy, eQuilter (in partnership with Timeless Treasures Fabrics) has made a goal to collect 5,000 quilts. Over the next three months, they will collect quilts in various sizes to send to the areas that were hit hardest by the storm–Rockaways, Long Island, New Jersey, and Staten Island. Don't know what to quilt? Don't worry; the eQuilter and Timeless Treasures websites provide several free patterns for you to choose from. For all of the details you need to get involved and start quilting, visit the project's information page.
In addition, Bumble Beans, Inc. and Basic Housing, Inc. are collecting homemade and store-bought quilts and blankets in any size. They have already donated 100 quilts, and they still need more! For more information about how you can help, visit their website. Here's a sneak peek of their efforts so far:
It doesn't matter whether you make a large quilt or a small one, an intricate quilt or a simple one. What does matter is that you make one! Trust me, your efforts in doing so will truly touch the lives of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. So get quilting, and thank you in advance for your help!
P.S. — Be sure to check the blog in a few weeks for an update on these relief efforts, complete with more photos! Who knows? You might even see your own donated quilt on here.