Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Please Do Not Forget The First Responders and Victims of Aurora Colorado Shooting

As I sit down to write this with the blue skies just outside my window, I am thinking about how fast our news turns in today's world, how quick things change and how when I look at the news on many days it is filled with celebrity trash more than news.

I apologize to those toes I may step on, but seriously do we really care about the Kardashian's, Snookie being pregnant running around here and there and then whining that her boyfriend told her she isn't ready to be a mom?
That Elizabeth Moss has a new haircut or Bruce Jenner's plastic surgery?

I love the good stories, the ump that saved someone's life, the stars that reach out to children, the homeless person who returns a bag full of money, those are stories that warm my heart and while I know to each their own, we move so fast in our world anymore that anything more than 2 days old is forgotten and we move on. 

We text to each other in a restaurant when we are at the same table, we purchase the newest IPhone/IPad like it is a million dollars and we forget...the bad, the awful, the sad because we choose to not see it, we don't dwell on it and many times we don't reach out to help.

I am writing this because just a short 32 days ago (does it feel like forever to you?) on July 20, 2012 (my baby sisters 50th birthday....who just happens to live in Colorado) was the scene of the worst mass casualty shooting in the United States.

When the bullets stopped flying, there were 12 people dead and 58 were wounded.  There would be stories of heroes, of people who changed their mind at the last minute and decided not to go to the theatre. America was in shock, 70 families were in disbelief, the world was in shock and yet, when asked to reach out to help, to make a difference to not only the 70 victims, but the 82 communications officers and over 100 first responders, very few people stepped up.

I am sad by this seriously sad.  I know many people work diligently for specific charities already, I know our quilts, blankets we make, afghans become our personal heart and soul, but some of the replies I received to my request to many of just one quilt was shocking!

Have we lost our hearts? Does that fabric and thread really mean that much to us that we can't part with a small amount of it to help someone know we care?  I was told by one person that ONLY makes quilts for another cause.  I get that, I also make quilts for another charity, but I have made 3 for Aurora and a local resident dropped one off at my house so we sent 3 out. Next week I hope to send another 3.

One person was going to send me tops and backs to finish but lucky for all of us, she found a wonderful local lady who said she would finish them.  How awesome!  One team and a few guilds put their projects aside and jumped in to make 1 or 2.

Another quilter told me she never ever gives her quilts away, they mean to much to her. Wow!  I had no words for this comment. Another without hesitation sent a check to pay for postage to help those who wanted to send quilts. Another sent me a huge box of fabric to help.

One group has already sent 27 quilts out.  A group from Ontario, Canada sent out 6, a quilter from Scotland is working on getting a few out and yet, I have snailed mailed quilt shops, sent numerous Emails to all the quilt shops that sent Emails to me, posted on many of your blogs, contacted quilt guilds across the United States and we are still seriously lacking in our needs.

Many of you said you would be embarrassed to send a quilt. Please don't be!  The receivers of these quilts are not looking for our mistakes, they are extremely grateful to having something warm to wrap up in.  I even posted a tutorial on a pillowcase quilt for those that said they would help but didn't quilt.

Just to show you some of the beautiful quilts going out that are simple and easy and welcomed with love:
California Groups 1st 14 Quilts

One of the first 14 out of California

Another easy California Quilt

My panel quilt..easy peasy to make!
 So many are really simple and take maybe a few hours from start to finish.  Some are more elaborate, some were UFO's that quilters decided to finish and send in and other quilters have worked in teams to make and send in a quilt or two.

I am asking, No, I am begging all of you to take the time today and think about helping us reach the over 300 people we have left to reach by making a small lap sized or a bit larger quilt to help wrap these people in warmth and love?  

Our first goal was to wrap the 14 dispatchers in a quilt and we met that goal very quickly. Our second goal is to wrap the remaining 68 dispatchers in quilts.  From there we will make quilts for the 58 wounded that survived and then the 12 families of the lost.  Then cross back over and complete quilts for all the first responders.

A big project and I realize I may wind up making many of these all on my own, but I also know there are many more people I cannot reach on my own who are willing to reach out like Marilyn Lewis a teacher out of California whose goal is 100 quilts!

The quilts don't come to me, so if you are concerned I may have taken them and sold them on Ebay, perish the thoughts, they go directly to the Aurora Colorado dispatch center to Julie Buck who is distributing them. You can send quilts and ear mark them for a family or survivor or first responder.  The address is:
 Dispatch Ctr
Attn: Julie Buck
23911 E Arapahoe Rd,
Aurora, CO 80016

The only thing I have asked is that you send me a picture so I can share them with others.

I understand if you truly cannot make a quilt or send one, but we have funds to help you with postage costs if need be.

If you are reading this, I now you have a blog. Post something on your blog to let others know we are still needing many more quilts. If you have Twitter, post a tweet for us.  If you have Facebook go to our site, leave a comment, like us and don't forget to talk about us:

Contact your local fabric shops, quilt shops and guilds, local churches. I have fliers I made and have been sending out. Just please help us show Aurora we care in a huge way.


Kristin said...

Those are beautiful! Good luck with your goals!

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

This was such a wonderful undertaking. I haven't made a quilt in 30 years and even tho I have great plans to do one (or four as I have purchased fabric for them)I find it hard to start one. Time is short yes, but mostly it is a lack of confidence in making one and then putting it out there for all to see. I sort of understand the lady that never gives them away but giving away a gift of love brings such joy to the giver. Hope you continue to get more donations of completed quilts.