It all began at the Marketplace Design Center in Philadelphia. Walking into a crowded showroom, I was surprised to see large overflowing industrial size trash bags. Thinking that the showroom was going out of business, I inquired about the bags of trash. They weren’t going out of business, just remiss in tossing old fabric samples. (This was not the Kravet or Lee Jofa showroom.) My sales rep mentioned that the bags were filled with discontinued memos that were being tossed and I shouldn’t think about it as it would be in landfill the next day. Well now I could not think of anything else!
I had one of those “AHA” moments and thought, sample squares and patches… and patchwork quilts. I remembered a time when my young daughter Mollie was hospitalized and crying for her bear-bear. The hospital would not let her have it due to stuffed animals and allergen issues. I now thought that we can use the fabric to make patchwork quilts for sick children who are in the hospital for long periods of time.
That was August 2000. Fast forward a little more than 9 years and we are a thriving non-profit charity called Quilts for Kids, Inc. http://www.quiltsforkids.org Milli.ons of pounds of fabric have been turned into quilts, wheelchair bags and tote bags, that are gifted to hospitalized children, throughout the USA and in many foreign countries as well.
During 9/11 we started the Red, White and Blue project and made patriotic quilts to send to victims’ families of that awful day. In Sept 2005, we sent over 5000 quilts to families hit by Hurricane Katrina who were in the Houston Astrodome.
This year, Downy Touch of Comfort program has partnered with us. Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy, our spokesperson for the Downy program, has helped us to deliver quilts to hospitals across the country.
How you can help…. Fabric, funding and volunteers are always needed. Your donation is tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and proceeds go to creating quilts that comfort children in need. Thank you for wanting to help us turn tears to smiles with the gift of a handmade quilt.
Linda Arye is the Founding President.