In 2007, a member of the congregation, Rose Larsen, was approached by her friend, June Colburn, a professional quilter, with an intriguing request. June had a friend who wanted to bring handmade quilts to orphans because of HIV/Aids in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. June had a contact with a company that made regular humanitarian trips to Ethiopia. Perhaps members of the congregation would like to do a bit of sewing, and perhaps donate fabric and batting to complete some quilts?

A group of enthusiastic women met for what was supposed to be a one-time event. It was such fun that the attendees decided to meet again in a few weeks. In no time, we were meeting weekly in the church social hall, and that group continues to this day.

Donations of fabric, sewing supplies, and partially finished quilts are welcomed. These donations often come with stories about women who have a larger fabric stash than they will ever get to, have been moved to assisted living, or have died. Our using these supplies and completing unfinished projects honors the work of our foremothers, and extends their talents to people in need – homeless children or veterans from Afghanistan or Iraq, families in crisis or nursing home residents.

Our group now gives to local individuals and charities in Pinellas and Pasco counties, along with national and international organizations. A large donation of yarn brought out the knitters in our group, so we also make children’s sweaters and shawls for nursing home residents.

Recipients of our donations include families in crisis, students in elementary schools, emergency housing for the homeless of all ages, social service agencies and nursing home residents. We also give some quilts as fundraisers for local organizations.

This is a self-sustaining group within the church. Expenses such as batting and sewing supplies, postage and shipping costs, are covered by the sale of a few of our quilts. For additional information, contact Kathy Stevens, 727-784-5919, or amoldawan@yahoo.com.