July 7th. Over 100 quilts have been collected for Joplin. Collection is now closed, quilts are packed for shipping to Joplin. Thank you everyone who responded with their charity: Stray Threads Quilt Guild, Cascade Quilters, Snohmish Lutheran Church, World Relief Quilts, Vicky Cassidy from Kent, WA, Kay Nicholson from Burien, WA and countless others who marched in with their bags of quilts. Thank you so much for your spirit of caring and sharing.
July 6, 2011
Thank you Susan, we would be delighted to receive your quilts. FEMA is now supplying trailers for victims who can use the comforting feeling of a quilt. You should have seen the wasteland that was our town, its a little better due to debris removal but still brings a tear to the eye. 7500 families without homes or possessions and most rental properties gone since they were all on the south side and there is no longer a south side, We are collecting donations at 2921 N. Hickory, Joplin, Missouri, 64801 (417) 782=3255, call anytime and I will be here to await your shipment. If you drive take 71 business toward Webb City. Rangeline to Zora turn West cross over St. Louis St, where the power Station is go one more block to N. Hickory only one way to turn I am the next to last house on the street where the small motorhone is in the driveway. Hoping to see you soon. Love and a big thank you. Gloria Park
July 13, 2011
JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s getting so you can’t swing a cat over your head without hitting somebody doing something nice for Joplin.
Now, before I start getting hateful emails, I should point out that I’m not actually suggesting that anyone swing a cat over his or her head. That would be wrong. Funny, but wrong.
Besides, if someone is doing something nice for you, the last thing you probably should do to that someone is hit him with a cat. So, again, please do not swing a cat over your head. No matter how funny it may seem.
Wednesday afternoon, I was chatting on the phone with a nice guy by the name of Peter Birk. Peter, originally from Joplin, is the executive chef of a restaurant in Seattle, Wash., called Ray’s Boathouse. I was talking to Peter because he and Mike Chase, another Seattle chef who also is a former Joplin resident, put together a fundraiser at Ray’s Boathouse that brought in $20,000 for the Joplin tornado relief effort..
I thought that was petty neat, and next Wednesday we will have a story about Peter and Mike’s fundraiser in the paper’s On the Table section.
While I was talking to Peter, he mentioned that a group of women in Seattle made some 100 quilts for families who had been displaced by the May 22 tornado. I thought that was neat too, so after I finished talking to Peter, I dialed up Susan Webster, the owner of the Gathering Fabric Quilt Shop.
Susan is the woman who organized the quilt drive. Susan heard from a former employee who now lives in Kansas City that the Town and Country Quilt Guild of Joplin lost most of its quilting materials and equipment in the tornado.
“I figured that since they lost the supplies and cutting materials that they wouldn’t be able to make quilts for the people in Joplin who needed them,” Susan said. “I knew we could get quilts, so I put out a call and 100 of them came in.”
I don’t know about you, but to me there is something about the gift of quilts that makes sense at a time like this. Susan said that a quilt “represents comfort,” and she’s right. I can think of no better gift to give someone looking to rebuild a home after a terrible storm than the gift of a quilt. It’s one of those small gestures that looms large.
There was, however, one little hitch in Susan’s drive to get quilts to folks in Joplin.
“We had the quilts, but we didn’t have any way to get them to Joplin,” Susan said.
OK, it wasn’t a little hitch. It was a big hitch. But Susan doesn’t sound like someone who lets hitches get in her way. She got online and saw a story about Peter and his fundraiser for Joplin and asked him for help. Peter, in turn, suggested Susan call a family friend who runs a very well known trucking company in Joplin.
“I called several times, and they must have thought I was some nut case or some crazy lady,” she said. “But the fact was, I did have all these quilts.”
The guy in charge of the trucking company called Susan back and, in her words, “Made it happen.”
By the way, I contacted the trucking company and verified Susan’s story. However, the person I spoke with wasn’t sure if the company wanted to make a big deal out of what they did to help get the quilts to Joplin. Knowing the guy in charge of the trucking company, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t looking for a pat on the back when he did what he did. But Herb, on behalf of the lucky people who will soon be getting those quilts: Thank you.
And thank you, Susan, and please thank all of your fellow quilters.
You all did a neat thing.
2016 Charity: Mission of Grace, Haiti Childrens Orphanage
What a treat to meet Sarah Dolan again and to see her proud grandparents introduce Sarah and to enlighten us as to her families mission in Haiti with Mission of Grace and Foundation Guillaume. Sarah and family have an incredible story to share of their mission work in Plaisance du Sud, Haiti. What we didn't get to hear was the radio interview the day before at a local radio station.
Hear a short clip of what was aired there:
Can you talk a little bit about what you and your family have been doing in Haiti?
"My family and I serve with Mission of Grace and Foundation Guillaume, which are partners, in Plaisance Haiti, which is in the mountains. It is a 6 hour drive west of Port-au-Prince. I have six brothers and sisters who all help at the mission. I serve along with my parents at the medical clinic, help at the orphanage, and I teach English classes with another missionary friend."
How did all came to be for you?
"I grew up going on short-term mission trips with my church to Mexico and then later to Haiti. In the fall of 2013, we made the decision to move to Haiti and were blessed to have found Mission of Grace/Foundation Guillaume."
What has the transition been like?
"The transition has been hard at times because we had to learn how to adjust to the hot climate, lack of electricity, hauling water for showers, the differnt language and culture, and being away from family and friends have been the hardest."
What is the typical day like?
"I start my day at 6am to work on my home-school assignments, then I go to the medical clinic to serve in the pharmacy, then in the afternoon I teach English classes. Dinner is at 3:30pm, after that we go to the orphanage to love on the kids. Usually in the evenings I prepare lessons for the next day's English class, which includes hand writing 35 individual lessons. And by that time I am work out and ready for bed. In Haiti you never know what will come up next. You have a plan for that day and it never turns out like you thought."
Can you tell us about the children you interact with there?
"Yes, there are 10 adorable children in our orphanage, from 4 months to 7 years old. They are full of joy and laughter and are content with what they have, which isn't a lot. Also we teach Sunday School with 50-60 kids, every Sunday. There are other kids in our community that we have grown fond of too."
What would you tell everybody listening right now about mission work?
"Being the hands and feet of Jesus is rewarding in ways I honestly never thought possible. Going to the orphanage every night and kissing the kids on the forehead goodnight is precious. God calls us in the Bible to love the orphans and widows in times of need. God calls us to serve in different ways and in different countries. I recommend going on a short-term mission trip to Haiti, it is a great opportunity and will change your life for the better. You will realize that you have so much and they have so little, but yet they are content with what they have."
September 2015, Quilts to Entiat for Fire Relief
A very nice quilt drop was made to Entiat, WA Community Service Center and Food Bank earmarked for Fire Stricken Families in Eastern Washington. 30 handmade quilts were delivered by friend and Rotarian Tim House of Woodinville. The quilts were donations from Gathering Fabric Quilt Shop and The Stray Threads Quilt Guild.
Susan, if you might help me secure some supplies for a Mexico mission trip June 23-July 1.
We are bringing several sewing machines and supplies and members of our team will work with local village women to teach basic sewing skills and a few patterns, so the women can make clothes for their children and possibly create a trade to help them survive.
Thank you Stray Threads Quilt Guild. We collected a carload of sewing supplies for Dr. Hanley's mission trip to Mexico. Awesome response from our guild.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Quilts
Thanks to suggestions from quilters who are moved to provide relief to Hurricane Sandy victims, I would ask our quilters to participate in Luana Rubins's (owner of e-quilter) efforts to deliver 5000 bedsize quilts to Sandy's victims. Here's the link to the information:
Here at Gathering Fabric, we will be happy to collect bed size quilts here at the shop and will make arrangements with local agencies to get these quilts to e-quilter in Boulder, Colorado. We will be following Luana's instructions on collection and delivery to get these quilts to the families in need. Thank you for any donations you might be able to make. Collection can start now. We are preparred to collect quilts.
Thank you for your support of Hurricane Sandy Quilt Relief.
Twelve wonderful full size quilts getting ready to ship to NYC for Sandy Relief.
Thank you for this heart warming response. Susan
People Helping People July 9, 2011
Thank you for letting me share the story about the Quilts for Joplin. As you may know, our shop started a quilt drive to benefit displaced families struck by the recent CAT 5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri. When we heard from a past employee, Tina Curtis, about the devastation in Joplin and the total loss of the local quilt guilds supply of quilts and quilting materials/ supplies, we put out a call for 100 quilts.
Well, the quilts came in, well over 100, from local guilds, individual quilters and small groups wanting to help. The quilts, mostly new, are all beautiful and recently assembled by local quilters. We stacked them in piles of ten for packing and began to search for transportation.
I had heard that KIRO was doing a drive for Joplin but further searching took me to Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle and their Executive Chef, Peter Birk, from Joplin who is deeply connected to his home there. Peter told me about Herb Schmidt and Con-Way Truckload. After several calls to Con-Way (they must have thought I was a crazy person explaining that I had one hundred quilts to get to Joplin) but Herb called back and made it happen. Herb sent a truck from Centralia that had room on the load for our palette of boxed quilts. We packed them up and loaded them to Olympic Nursery in Woodinville where Tom Quigley met the 58-foot semi-trailer and loaded them on with his bobcat. Thank you Tom, Peter and Herb.
Now on the Joplin side, Gloria Park, local Joplin quilter and member of the Town and Country Quilt Guild is there on the scene to collect the quilts and get them to the many families in temporary FEMA housing. Gloria will also go to schools and senior centers to get the quilts to the families who lost everything. Thank you Gloria. You are an angel in this recent tragedy.
This is a story of quilters in action and of people helping people. Thanks to Stray Threads Quilt Guilds, Cascade Quilters, Women's Lutheran and countless others and the charity group lead by Sylvia Youngblut and Pam Rittenhouse, Sandy Skeel, those beautiful Quilts are on the way to being delivered to families in this tornado stricken town. When you know someone who had been affected, you can’t help from wanting to do something. Thank you everyone who donated Quilts for Joplin. Susan Webster, Woodinville
Peter Birk is the Executive Chef for Ray's Boathouse in Seattle. Peter is from Joplin and through his fundraising efforts for I learned of him. Peter pointed us to Herb Schmidt of Con-Way Truckload
who will truck these quilts to Joplin. This effort was made possible with the help of these kind hearted men and the many hearts and hands of local qulters. Thank you everyone. Susan
July 7, 2011
Susan and all,
I huge thank you to all of my friends out there that have worked so hard to help the people of Joplin.......I can't tell you how much this means to me and I know that they will love them. Am currently working with the widower of one of the local quilters who is going to donate his late wife's quilting tools to the guild down there to replace the ones that they lost in the tornado. Spoke with him yesterday and he said that his wife, Sharon, would have wanted to help out her fellow quilters in this way. Quilters are such a special group of women and I consider myself very privileged to have gotten to know the customers of Gathering Fabric during my time there.
Thank you again for your kindness and generosity, Tina2