The end of May is fast approaching, and with it the end of this year's Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge! But this week we are going to pause for a few minutes and recognize our Hometown Heroes!
My challenge to you was simple - find someone who has inspired you during this time of pandemic and let them know that they are seen, valued, and appreciated with the gift of a quilt. Our guest blogger Carole provided us with another option as she presented a tutorial for these wonderful pillows...
...which would be a perfect gift to let someone know that you appreciate them! We've already seen a few Hometown Heroes quilts pop up in the monthly updates, and I'll be sharing some of those with you later this week. But today it's my turn to share what I did to fulfill the Hometown Heroes challenge!
All through 2020, as we were locked down and stuck at home, I realized that things for our quilt ministry were going to change as a result. It became much harder for the ministry to function, as we couldn't get together to sew and didn't have contact with church members who routinely asked for quilts for people they came in contact with during normal times. Many ministries and charities had similar problems, and many shut down or ceased operations during 2020 as a result.
But a bright spot in every day was seeing posts from Little Lambs Foundation of Utah. Despite the pandemic, Stefanee and Ted held everything together and maintained a thriving ministry, providing backpacks and comfort items to foster children, holding drive-through diaper distribution days, and encouraging people to volunteer at home. Here's just a sample of their posts from last year...
Their sustained efforts to care for the most vulnerable in their community is heartwarming and inspiring, and I spend every day hoping to have the same heart that they do. And it occurred to me that so many times we fail to really see people like Stefanee and Ted; the hours that they put into organizing and maintaining such a ministry, and even more hours that they spend worrying whether it can be sustained during trying times.
Every time I thought about my Hometown Hero quilt, these two came to mind. In dealing with my own quilt ministry, I have found that often I am led to a specific quilt or person, and when I follow that leading it is almost always a good choice, even though it might not appear to be on the surface. So I follow those leadings when they come. Because of that, I decided to send this quilt to Stefanee and Ted with a note thanking them for their hard work over the past year and for being such an inspiration to me personally.
I do love this quilt! It reminds me of sunshine, warmth and joy, happiness overflowing - much as I feel when I see posts from Little Lambs! So this is one for those people who bring us joy unknowingly during dark times - Hometown Heroes!
And now, some exciting news for those of you who still have quilts to send to Little Lambs Foundation! They have signed up for a program called Give Back Box, which allows you to pay $15 to ship up to 70 pounds of donations to them via UPS - a great deal any way you look at it. Click on this link to be taken to the site and correct location to order a shipping label for Little Lambs. It's quick and easy and once you've paid, you can print out the label right away. Stuff your box full (up to 70 pounds), take it to a UPS drop off site and you're good to go! And just a reminder - they take things other than quilts, too, so if you've got room in your box for more things, you might consider adding some of the other items on their list of requested items! I usually try to send some school supplies when Staples has their great back-to-school sales, but they also need diapers, baby washcloths, pacifiers, and other assorted paraphernalia (new items only, please). You can see the list on the page for Give Back Box.
And now it's your turn! Share the story of your own Hometown Hero in the comments below, and if you are able to link up to a blogpost or instagram post, you can share pictures too! Because I want everyone to have a chance to share, I'll leave this linky party open until Friday, June 4th. Be sure to take some time to visit some of the links, too, and learn of the wonderful people who have kept us all going during this pandemic!
Next week its the final link-up party for Hands2Help, and I can't wait to see all the quilts that have been created! I've seen so many beautiful quilts already, but know that there are many more out there. Keep up the good work!!