When disaster hit Japan this past month, I, like so many, felt helpless. We pray and donate money, but it’s all so far away and seems like so little when the need is so great. Still it’s something and it’s important, I know.
My kids pray for the people of Japan in all their prayers, but I want something more for them, and from my boys, and myself. I believe that we are responsible for taking care of each other in times of need; to sacrifice, succor, and serve. But right now in my life my top priority is raising my children. I do some volunteer work through my church, but I want to do more, while not taking time from my kids. I also want to teach my children the importance of empathy, compassion, service, and well, work. So what could I do with them? I pulled my three boys around me and told them what I was feeling and asked them what we should do. They offered up some very sweet, and some silly answers. Then together we went to The Humanitarian website for the LDS church.
The boys and I came up with a list of things together that we wanted to do for others. Pretty soon we had a plan. And then I informed Christie at A Lemon Squeezy Home that she and her kids were going to be joining us. So now we’re fully committed.
For our first project we’re going to make quilts. The number one need listed on the LDS Humanitarian website, highlighted in red even, is twin- and full-sized quilts. The kids won’t be able to participate in every step of this project, but they can be involved. Yesterday we all met up at Christie’s to go through our fabric stashes, pulling out large pieces of cotton yardage. We have enough to hopefully make at least two quilts, maybe three. But we’ll just see where and how things go on the third. Over the next couple of weeks it is the plan to show the older boys how to do a basic straight stich on a sewing machine, so they can help a little in the construction, and learn a skill we want them to have anyway. My mother has quilting frames so we can tie the quilt (another skill we need to work on around here: tying knots). And seeing as how Christie and I aren’t exactly experienced quilters, we’ll be learning some new skills, as well. When complete, we’ll take the kids to the Humanitarian Center to drop off our quilts. If anyone else in the area wants to participate in our quilt-making/donating adventure, we could make a day of it. They do tours there also. It will be a fun outing and hopefully show the kids what prayer coupled with action can accomplish. What they can accomplish. I’m also hoping, and expecting, that this will help my boys to become more grateful for what they have (insert story here of my oldest falling to the floor in WalMart when he couldn’t buy the Legos he wanted). The more I think about this, the more I realize my family needs this little service experiment. Thanks, Christie, for helping us stay motivated by letting my kids’ friends join in, too.
I did a quick search for information on other organizations that collect quilts for humanitarian efforts. Some are affiliated with various denominations, some are not. I was just looking for organizations fulfilling a need. There is quite the variety of intended recipients for quilts, too. These two links had the best lists I could find:
If you want to participate in our little experiment of quilting for others this month, hopefully this can be a starting place for you. Every month I’m hoping to stay on task and take on another small and simple project that my boys and I can do together to help out somewhere. We have our list of ideas, but if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. At the beginning of each month I’ll share what we’ve decided to do, so if you want to join in at your homes, you can, too.
<a href=" http://www.sewastraightline.com/search/label/small%20and%20simple%20things"><img src=" http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g301/sabeybaby/smallsimple2button.jpg" height="140" width="125" border="0" alt=" sewastraightline" /></a>And that’s that.
Anyone want to make some quilts?