Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ten Years Post Katrina, The Hurricane that Started it All!

Ten years ago I wanted to go to New Orleans and help where I could with the 911 centers that needed some relief. I had other priorities and my husband suggested I make and send quilts. I did and after years of doing it on my own, I realized I needed help and thus, Layers Of Hope, Quilting 911 was given a name and I have been blessed to be able to reach out to so many of our 'unseen heroes,' during their time of need as well as family members and first responder's during so many difficult times in their lives.

 So many people ask me why do I do this? Why quilts? I do this because I grew up with a grandmother who believed you gave back to those in need and while we may not have much, she told me you can always find someone who has less! I do this because in the midst of tragedy or disaster, a quilt brings a small slice of warmth, hope and love to a complete stranger. Perhaps I do it for small children like Eliza whose letter I still have: Eliza wrote:
'I love the quilt color and size and I sleep with it every night and share it with my sister.' PS, 'Our dad is a policeman.' 

In ten years of doing this, Eliza's letter was the first I ever received from a child. Why quilts? Because I do NOT have unlimited funding like Red Cross, United Way and other non-profits, because we operate out of our own pockets and I do not have a warehouse to store things, I do not own semi's to transport anything and quilts just seem to make people smile. 

Maybe I do it because when you give a quilt to a first responder who gives so much to everyone else and they realize that quilt is for them to keep and they look at you with tears flowing down their cheeks, I realize why I do this! 

When people have blankets given to them and they choose a quilt we gave them to sleep under or even hang on a wall to remind them to never give up hope, I realize why I do this!

In a time when our world seems to be falling apart and complete strangers trust me to do what I say I will and send me quilts to pass out, I realize why I do this!

When a family loses a family member to a tragedy and contacts me and asks to reach out to a family that recently is suffering the same pain, agony and tragic loss they did, I realize why I do this!

Gods hands have been on this ministry since day one and I will continue to do what I can to help others until I can no longer do so!

Today, if you are reading this, it means you have more right now that many people who are affected by the wildfires across our states. 

You may not quilt, but I ask today that you spend some time hugging your family tighter and reaching out to someone that needs hope in their life!

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