"What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like."

Hi, all!

Things are all falling into place for this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  I'm so excited to get this started!

2015 represents the fifth year of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  It’s been an amazing four years...

2011:  47 quilters made 60 quilts
2012:  55 quilters made 94 quilts
2013:  65 quilters made 127 quilts
2014:  70 quilters made 145 quilts

I can’t wait to see what the fifth year of the Challenge has in store - so let’s begin!

This year we have three great charities to choose from - two in the U.S. and one for our Canadian friends!  You will be signing up to make a quilt or quilts for any or all of these three charitable causes.


Option #1 - Layers Of Hope - Quilting 911

Layers of Hope - Quilting 911’s mission is to enhance the lives of 911 Telecommunications Operators (911 Dispatchers) and their families during times of illness, disaster, loss and tragedy by inspiring hope, faith and optimism with a quilt of warmth and comfort in order to make a positive influence in the lives of those who make a difference everyday, one quilt and one stitch at a time.

Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 began back in 2005 when Jean Kester, a police/fire 911 dispatcher in Washington state, wanted to be of assistance during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  Unable to go to Louisiana because of family obligations, her husband suggested that she make quilts for those who lost everything - and that started the journey that became Layers of Hope - Quilting 911.

Since that time, she has provided quilts for first responders on duty in the Virginia Tech tragedy, to dispatchers whose homes were involved in flooding in New York, to dispatch centers who have lost members of their dispatch family, to dispatchers enduring chemotherapy, and to their ill children.  

She reached a point where she knew she could no longer handle the volume of quilts needed on her own, and in 2012 set up a Facebook page asking for help from the quilting community, which of course was gladly given.  She now has many partners helping her fill the multitude of needs in the 911 community.

This year you have a chance to work with her to make a difference and reach out to those rarely seen and always heard during our darkest hours when they answer that call, “911, what are you reporting?”

She is in need of adult-sized quilts, for both men and women, and children’s (not infant’s) quilts.

Option #2 - Happy Chemo!

Once again, we will be helping out with this ongoing project of Emily of Em's Scrapbag.  You can choose to make quilts for Happy Chemo, an organization that provides quilts and comfort for chemo patients.  They also collect up and provide information about freebies and discounts that may be of use to chemo patients.  Emily has been championing this cause for a while, and has set a goal of providing 1500 quilts to Happy Chemo.  She’s already donated more than 600 quilts, and I’d like to see her numbers grow!  She has generously agreed to be part of this challenge, and is excited to see what comes of it.  Here's what Emily has to say about Happy Chemo...

"The first time I met Ginger Johnston, founder of Happy Chemo, it was my first visit to a chemo lab.  I was scared and unsure of what the future held for me.  In walked Ginger, bald and boobless but determined to bring a little sunshine into the chemo lab.  So before she started her treatment she took everyone’s name and drew prizes.  It so changed my experience that I knew I needed to help her in her quest.  I started making quilts for her to give.  Because I can’t sew as fast as cancer strikes I started asking for help.  I just want to bring a little comfort and joy to those who are facing the fear and uncertainty that trips to the chemo lab bring. “

Quilts made for this project will be sent to Emily to help her meet her goal of 1500 quilts donated to Happy Chemo!

She is in need of quilts 45” square to 60” x 72”.  Any style of quilt is accepted as cancer affects men and women, children and adults.

And now, for our Canadian friends...

Option #3
Because You Matter

“I would like to see people treasure and take care of each other for no other reason than that we all matter.  I also believe that change begins at home.  There is so much need in the world, and it is easy to feel helpless to do anything about it.  But there is something that we can do!  One small act of kindness can show someone else that they matter.”

Ring Toss quilt for a little boy who lost his home to a fire.

Nita Collins, who blogs at Nita Dances, works to be a living example of what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said: Be the change you want to see in the world.  In her effort to discover ways that she could be the change, she started a personal quilting project called Because You Matter.  The purpose of Because You Matter is to make and give a quilt to a person (mainly kids, but adults too) who is having a hard time and would be comforted by a handmade quilt to snuggle up in.  Her focus is on children in foster care.

She is in need of lap sized quilts for both boys and girls.  She is located in Canada, which will give our Canadian quilters a local place they can donate to!  Step up, all you Canadians! (Of course, she'll gladly take quilts from the Americans, too, if you want to ship one to her!)


With three charities to choose from this year, you can make a wide variety of sizes and styles of quilts - something for everyone!! And if you're torn between the three charities, feel free to make more than one quilt!  Just think how many wonderful designs you can try.... ;-)

And this year, to allow more international participants, if you live outside North America and want to participate, you can send your quilt top and back to me and I will quilt it for you, to save you from having to pay huge international postage to ship a finished quilt.  Or in the alternative, you can choose a local charitable cause to give your quilt to.  So come on and join in, all you Aussies, Brits, and Kiwis!  And anyone else who wants to join in!  

Here's the calendar for this year's Hands2Help Challenge:

Initial signups will be Sunday March 15th through Saturday, March 21st.  You will receive one entry for signing up, and can get additional entries for putting the button on your blog sidebar, and/or posting about the challenge to encourage others to join in!  (You can sign up after this time, but this is the period to sign up to be part of the signup giveaway.)

The following Sunday, March 22nd, we'll announce the winners of the signup giveaway.  

On Sunday, March 29th, there will be a linky party where you can post links to your favorite on-line tutorials!  It could be a tutorial for a quilt pattern, or a technique like machine binding, or even a recipe for your favorite "while-I'm-quilting" snack or crock-pot meal!  You don't have to write the tutorial, you can link up to another blogger's tutorial.  If you love it, someone else might too!

Sunday, April 5th, you'll Meet The Sponsors!  So many generous people have stepped up to provide giveaways for all of you fabulous H2Hers, and I'm sure you'll want to see who they all are - and maybe even do a little shopping for the challenge with them!

And then there's the guest bloggers!  You will definitely want to be here on April 12th, April 19th, April 26th, May 3rd, May 10th, May 17th, and May 24th as we get to peek into the creative lives of some of our fellow H2Hers!  

There will also be check-in dates like last year, when you can link up and show your progress....  April 19th and May 17th.

Quilts should be completed by the week beginning Sunday, May 31st.  There will be a linky party (May 31st through June 6th) to link your finished quilt and show it off, and giveaways for people who link up their quilts.  We've got some great sponsors this year!  Winners will be announced on June 7th.

Quilts should be mailed to the appropriate place by Friday, June 12th.

Whew!  That's a lot of information to digest - but the important thing to remember is that signups start March 15th!   You can also start early by posting the Challenge button on your blog and/or doing a blogpost about the Challenge between now and then!

Woohoo!!  Let's get started!!



To sign up for this year's Challenge, please click here and follow the instructions at the end of the post!

If you'd like to read about the previous Hands2Help Challenges, click here and scroll back through the posts!

PS - if you've commented on any of the H2H posts and you haven't heard back from me, you are probably a "no-reply" blogger!  Check here for instructions on how to correct this problem, or leave your e-mail address in your comment so that I can reach you!  If you don't feel comfortable leaving your e-mail address out in public, you can e-mail me directly at salliesue(at)clearwire(dot)net.

And now, some special mentions and thank-yous...

The quote at the top of the page is from St. Augustine.  I doubt he’s reading this, but I wanted to give him credit anyway!

The artwork that forms the back of the H2H button was created by Laura of Photography by Laura, who graciously gave us permission to use it for our button.