Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020!!



"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!

It seems fitting that with all the turmoil and confusion in the world these days, one thing is constant - the desire of quilters to make quilts to comfort those in need. So there's really no better time for us to join together once again than right now, when so many are in need.  I hope you'll join me in the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020 - I'm so excited to get this started!


2020 represents the tenth year of the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge!  We've had an amazing nine 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
2015:  67 quilters made 147 quilts
2016:  104 quilters made 194 quilts
2017:  125 quilters made 267 quilts
2018:  150 quilters made 416 quilts
2019:  200 quilters made 876 quilts!

With last year's quilts, we have spread comfort to almost 2400 people!  I can’t wait to see what the tenth year of the Challenge has in store - so let’s begin!

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This year we have SIX great charities to choose from!  There is so much need, and so many great charities, it was hard to choose - so I decided to go with them all!  No matter what size quilt you like to make, I'm sure you'll find a perfect fit (or more!)  Here's some info about this year's charities...

Charity #1 - Quilts of Compassion


You may remember Quilts of Compassion, which was first featured as a donation site for Hands2Help 2014.  Since that time, it has continued to do amazing work, particularly with its Disaster Response Team, which deploys to areas which have sustained damage due to serious natural disasters all over the U.S.  I was contacted by Janice Grimes, the founder of Quilts of Compassion, in the early morning hours after the Nashville/Middle Tennessee tornado of 2020, as she checked to see if I was all right following the storms.  They will be deploying to Nashville in April, and while we may not be able to help with quilts for Nashville, we can help them as they deploy to other areas throughout 2020.  Over the past 21 years, they have distributed more than 28,000 quilts to communities going through disaster recovery.  You can read more about their mission here.

They are accepting quilts, fleece blankets and crocheted/knitted afghans of ALL sizes for men, women and children. You may use any pattern or color combination and quilts may be quilted or tied. If they are tied, you may only use pearled cotton. If you enjoy crocheting or knitting, they can use afghans that are lap size and larger. ALL quilts, fleece blankets or afghans must be in NEW CONDITION.


You may include a quilt label of your choosing that represents you, your quilting guild, quilt shop/business or quilting organization. Quilt recipients always LOVE to find out who made their quilt and what city and state they reside. You may also include a card that includes a personal message to the quilt recipient. If a card is included, please do not seal the envelope and safety pin the card to your quilt in a Ziploc bag on the inner right hand corner of your folded quilt. 

Charity #2 - Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo!


Once again, Emily of Em's Scrap Bag will be collecting quilts to be donated to people undergoing chemotherapy.  This has been a favorite charity for the Challenge participants since the second year, and a whole lot of love and comfort has gone to them in the form of quilts over the past seven years.  Quilty Hugs gives quilts to cancer patients through the Rack Pack, Primary Children's Hospital, and various chemo labs.  They are given to the patient for their own personal use.  Emily accepts quilts of all sizes, from 48" square to twin size (approximately 65" x 88").
  
Charity #3 - Caregivers Quilt Initiative

One of the first blogs I started following way back in 2010/2011 was Sue Daurio's blog.  Sue has developed into an amazing quilter, but she has now started an initiative giving quilts to a very special group of people.  I'll let her tell the story in her own words...


"Meet Allison.  The inspiration for the caregivers initiative.  Allison is away studying to be a clinical psychologist in Florida.  As part of her PhD program, she does therapy.  Her areas of specialty are suicide and addiction.  She works at one of the state psychiatric hospitals.  One day I called her and she was a bit down.  When I asked, she had a hard day with one of the patients.  It was then that it just hit me.  Yes, all the cancer patients and those that need quilts for health issues or reasons we may not know, bless them they are valid. But what about those that care for the people with cancer? With mental illness?  They do this day in and day out. They need a bit of self care.  They need to understand how to recharge, rejuvenate from the thing that they can't help but do - care.  So one third of our quilts this year went to caregivers.  As a small and simple way to say thank you, you are making the world a better place.  And to provide just a tiny bit of self care when it's needed.

To all the caregivers, not all are in the healthcare profession, thank you for all you do.  The world is a better place because of you!  If there is a special care giver in your life, just let them know you notice, you see it and you appreciate it.  That goes a long way!"

I know just how precious these quilts are to the recipients, because my two deaf grandchildrens' interpreter, Krishenda, was the recipient of one.  Such a wonderful way to express love to those who give so much of themselves every day!  

So here is how you can help with this initiative, also in Sue's words...

The Caregivers drive, here's what I'm thinking.  I'd like this to be more like 100 quilts for kids.   Everyone knows a caregiver that has gone above and beyond.  Make a quilt, give the quilt to that caregiver and share the story of caregiving.  I can provide a hashtag  for use on Facebook and/or Instagram.  My group will be making a number of quilts as we do every year,  so if there are some that know caregivers and just can't make a quilt for whatever reason, we will gladly help out!!  

But wouldn't it be wonderful if during the first year there were say 20 quilts for caregivers for 2020?  Caregivers come in all walks of life and we are surrounded by them constantly.  It may be hard to recognize them because they are caring for someone who may be in dire need, or caring for someone that may just need help to get through the day.  Often we see those who are needing the care and overlook those providing the care.  We had a physicist, a librarian, 2 nurses, a psychologist, a housewife and a retired mother among the recipients last year.  Each of them had a unique story and each were so surprised and touched by the act of caring towards them.  You could actually see an exhale when they realized the quilt being presented was for them. The whole body changing the moment they realized that someone saw them and appreciated their act of caring.  It touched my heart. 

What do you think?  I'm thinking ask people to make the quilts, lap size is great.  Present them to the well deserving caregiver before Hands2Help 2020 is over and share the story of the caregiver on your check-ins, on Instagram, or on Facebook. 

So this is a little bit different - you will gift your quilt locally to a caregiver of your own acquaintance - but surely we can help reach a goal of 20 caregivers for 2020!    


Charity #4 - Mercyful Quilts


The Merriam-Webster definition of mercy includes compassionate care of those in distress.  So many of us have provided quilts for compassionate reasons, to help those in need or distress.  Mercyful Quilts is the heart-child of Bernie Kringle, who blogs at Needle & Foot.  Mercyful Quilts benefit the Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA.  The quilts are given to patients as they reach end of life stages.  The quilt provides comfort to the patient, and after the patient passes away, the family is able to take it home as a remembrance of their loved one.  If you want to learn more about Bernie's efforts, you can read this post or this one.

Here are details about what kind of quilts are needed:  lap size only, approximately 60" x 70", but there aren't any firm rules. Not huge, as they are used for patients in a hospital bed.  Adult fabric only, as this hospital doesn't serve children or teens.  Fabrics for men, women, or gender neutral fabrics are great.  If you want to do a Quilt of Valor with patriotic fabric, they do serve veterans and it is nice to offer this if they have them available.  Finish the quilt with machine binding or hand stitching, either is fine.  Quilts can be hand quilted, machine quilted or tied.

Charity #5 - Quilts For Cure


Did you know there are about 40,000 children in the US currently in treatment for childhood cancers?  About 42 kids will be diagnosed today alone.  Part of the mission of Quilts for Cure is to give quilts to as many of those kiddos as they can, and you can be a part of their outreach through Hands2Help this year.  

Here are their requests for quilts donated to them:

DONATION QUILT GUIDELINES:

DUE TO THE SENSITIVITIES OF CHILDREN BEING TREATED FOR CANCER, PLEASE FOLLOW ALL GUIDELINES CAREFULLY.

  • 100% Cotton fabric and batting
  • 100% New Materials (no upcycling or recycling please)
  • Size: between 36 x 36 inches (infant) and 70 x 90 inches (twin sized). Throw sized quilts are the most versatile.
  • Any tasteful pattern or design (remember, these quilts are for kids)
  • Machine quilting preferred for durability
  • Washed before mailing in a fragrance and dye-free detergent (Example: All Free and Clear). It is VERY IMPORTANT that the quilts be free from dust, animal hair, and smoke
  • Labeled: Your first name, last initial, home state, year completed, and "Quilts for Cure"


Charity #6 - Little Lambs Foundation: A Late Addition!


Many of you may remember Little Lambs Foundation for Kids from H2H 2018, when it was a participant favorite.  I received a DM from them asking if they could be included in this year's challenge, as they have a huge need for baby quilts this year.  (Of course I said yes!)  They provide baby comfort kits and have been overwhelmed with the number of requests for babies going into foster care.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Little Lambs Foundation, it is a non profit 501(c)3 organization operating out of Utah which provides comfort kits to children ages newborn to 17 years old who are transitioning into foster care, emergency shelters or who have been hospitalized, by providing them with a little comfort in a bag.

Most children are removed from their home with nothing but the clothes on their backs and if they are able to take anything with them, they carry their precious belongings in a black trash bag.  Can you even imagine?  Little Lambs provides a backpack full of much needed hygiene and comfort items that can provide these children with something they can call their own, give them dignity and show them that their community loves them.

They are requesting baby quilts only at this time, which is perfect for many of you.  Suggested size is 36-42 inches per side.  They will also send charitable tax receipts upon request.

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With six great 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 charities, feel free to make more than one quilt!  Just think how many wonderful designs you can try.... ;-)

And to encourage more international participants, if you live outside North America and want to participate, 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!  

Ready to sign up?  Fill in the form below (place your cursor in the box below, scroll down to see all the fields to enter, then click SUBMIT) and you'll be all set!



Initial signups will be Sunday March 22nd through Saturday, March 28th.  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. And if you signed up before March 22nd, you'll be entered in the signup giveaway too!)

The following Sunday, March 29th, we'll announce the winners of the signup giveaway.  

And then there's the guest bloggers!  You will definitely want to be here on April 5th, April 12th, April 19th, April 26th, May 3rdMay 10thMay 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 26th and May 17th.

Quilts should be completed by the week beginning Sunday, May 31st.  There will be a linky party (May 31st through June 5th) 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 charity by Friday, June 12th.

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Whew!  That's a lot of information to digest - but the important thing to remember is that signups start today!   

Woohoo!!  Let's get started!!

Hugs!

Sarah

15 comments:

  1. Woo hoo!! I love H2H kick off day! I've signed up, and added your button to my blog. So glad you added Little Lambs. As always, it's tough to decide between all these great charities, so I'll try to donate to several :)

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  2. It is a perfect time to sew for charity, will be signing up today!

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  3. Looove it! thanks for hosting this and bringing attention to all the great charities out there!

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  4. So glad you got this going again this year! I just signed up and later today I will put the button on my blog.

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  5. And off we go :-) This will be a wonderful effort this year. I think I'm already signed up but let me know if I need to do it again. Thank you for inspiring us all again, Sarah and for hosting this blossoming event! The button is posted on my blog. Wahoo!

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  6. I signed up early but let me know if I need to do it again. Also, put the button on my blog! Thanks for hosting this great event!

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  7. When I went to my blog to attach the button link and post about the 2020 challenge, I was surprised to see the last time I posted was when last years challenge ended. I think I like the idea of a blog, more than actually keeping up with one. I'll email you a picture of the kit I am donating soon. I had a partial knee replacement and am limiting the number of times I climb the stairs.

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  8. I added your button to my sidebar, Sarah.

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  9. Released a post to encourage my readers to join H2H. Best of luck on a successful Quilt Drive!

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  10. Our little resort valley in the center of Idaho has been hit HARD with COVID-19. The doctors and nurses on the front line were among the first to become ill. My donation will go to Charity #3 - Caregivers Quilt Initiative. What a wonderful way to say thank you to our first responders and caregivers. And many thanks, again, for hosting H2H.

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  11. I'm joining in again this year and always appreciate this opportunity to donate a quilt or two. Thank you. I added the button and hope to do a post tomorrow.

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  12. I'm in again this year. I've signed up, added the button to my blog, and written a post. Thanks for organizing this again! :-)

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  13. I missed last year but want to sign up again for this year. Mine will go to Little Lambs again.

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  14. I'm delighted that I found your blog post. I was making quilts for kids in a small quilt group but it's been disbanded now so I'm happy to have some place to send my quilts!~ I will add your button to my blog!

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  15. Hello Sarah, I hope it is not too late. For some reason I have been thinking about H2H but, did not read anything about it. Must be the mess that is going on in the world and not feeling like doing much. All the best. Heide

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Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!