Hands2Help 2021!

 "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 Comfort Quilt Challenge!  I'm so excited to get this started!


2021 represents the eleventh year of the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge!  We've had an amazing ten 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!
2020:  117 quilters made 526 quilts!

Even with COVID, we had a respectable showing last year, and with those quilts, we have spread comfort to almost 3000 people!  I can’t wait to see what the eleventh year of the Challenge has in store - so let’s begin!

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This year we have five great groups to choose from!  There is so much need, and so many great causes, 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 - Covered In Love


You may remember Covered In Love, which has been a Hands2Help cause in the past.  Kat Drinkwater is the driving force behind this group.  In her day job, she works as an RN in a Med/Surg Unit where she unfortunately sees many people making difficult end-of-life decisions.  While they usually try to move folks into hospice care, sometimes the decision is made too late or the disease progresses too quickly and someone spends their last hours or days in the hospital.  They try to do the best they can for the families, but it all seems inadequate to the situation.  Kat's first impulse, as it is for many of us, is to make a quilt.  And that is how Covered In Love began. You can read more about their mission here.  You may also choose to become involved in one of her block drives after Hands2Help, also!  Covered In Love is a 501(c)(3) charity, so you can get a charitable donation letter if you need one.

Quilts need to be at least 45" x 60", so they can be used by the families as throw quilts after they are home.  60" x 70" is the ideal size.  Almost all quilts are given to adults, so please keep that in mind when choosing fabrics.  Quilts also need to be machine wash/dry safe.

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 - Little Lambs Foundation for Kids



Many of you may remember Little Lambs Foundation for Kids from H2H 2018 and 2020, when it was a participant favorite.  I received a DM from them asking if they could once again be included in this year's challenge, as a huge portion of all their comfort kits last year went to babies.  (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.

Charity #4 - Victoria's Quilts Canada


Linda Miller has once again volunteered to be a collection point for quilt tops for Victoria's Quilts Canada.  Here's a little bit about their organization:

The mission of Victoria's Quilts Canada is to provide handmade quilts to people living with cancer in Canada. By providing these quilts we hope to bring physical comfort to those dealing with cancer, as well as spiritual comfort in knowing they are not alone in their struggle.  

Donations for this charity will be a little bit different, so take careful note:  quilt TOPS only, measuring 50" x 70", made of 100% cotton.  Linda is located in Canada, so this charity will be particularly convenient for our Canadian participants, and if anyone elsewhere chooses to participate, the postage will be significantly reduced as opposed to mailing a completed quilt.
  
Charity #5 - And Now, Something Different.....


I have a special request for each participant in this year's Challenge!  I would love for everyone who participates to also make a quilt for a front line worker or first responder (a "Hometown Hero") in your own community, as a way to say "thank you" and maybe even "hang in there, we see all that you do".  So many of these people are pushed to the breaking point, and yet they keep going because they are the front-line soldiers in this war against COVID.  (BUT if you can't make more than one quilt, please don't let this request stop you from making that quilt for charity.  This is an extra request, and may not be possible for everyone, and I understand that!)

You may already have a recipient in mind, and that is awesome!  But this may cause many of us to have to go outside our comfort zone to find a recipient for our quilt.  Or we may have to think outside the box.  Your recipient may be a nurse, doctor, EMT, or hospital staff worker.  Or you may think of the owners of the small local grocery store who kept their shop open because it was needed.  It might be that little old woman who has worked the voting polls for years, and who worked it in 2020 despite the fact that it was dangerous for her to come into contact with so many people.  It might be the young adult who took shopping lists from his elderly neighbors and did their grocery shopping so they didn't need to go out.  It might be that special teacher who goes out of her way to make virtual school fun and accessible for her students.  It might be the UPS, USPS, or delivery driver who makes sure that your shipments arrive safe and on time.  It might be the pastor who has done far too many funerals in the past year.  It may be someone working in a nursing home or extended care facility.  I'm sure there are other possibilities; there is so much need for healing and compassion out there right now!  And I can't think of a better way to tell someone they are valued and "seen" than with a quilt.  

I will leave it up to you as to the size of the quilt you make; I would, however, love for us to each share the story of the person we give these quilts to, and I'll have a special link-up party for sharing them.  I do hope everyone will join in - let's spread hope and love this year!

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With five great charities to choose from this year, and a special challenge too, 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!  If you don't get a screen thanking you for your submission, you haven't been registered, so keep going!




Initial signups will be Sunday March 14th through Saturday, March 20th.  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 14th, you'll be entered in the signup giveaway too!)

The following Sunday, March 21st, we'll announce the winners of the signup giveaway, and share our best quilting tips, favorite tutorials, and tasty things to eat!

The next week, Sunday March 28th you'll want to Meet The Sponsors!

And then there's the guest bloggers!  You will definitely want to be here on April 4th, April 11th, April 18th, April 25thMay 2nd, May 9th, and May 16th 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 11th and May 9th.

On Sunday, May 23rd we'll have a linky party to share our front-line worker stories.  

Quilts should be completed by the week beginning Sunday, May 30th.  There will be a linky party (May 30th through June 4th) 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 6th.

Quilts should be mailed to the appropriate charity by Friday, June 11th.


Whew!  That's a lot of information to digest - but the important thing to remember is that signups start March 14th!   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!!

Hugs!

Sarah



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 salliesue57(at)gmail(dot)com.





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 background of the H2H button was created by Laura of Photography by Laura, who graciously gave us permission to use it for our button.



10 comments:

  1. Count me in. Submitted the sign up form.

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  2. Count me in again this year. I sent in my form. Do you know the batting and binding requirements yet for any of the organizations?

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  3. I have been thinking I needed to make some quilts for a local pregnancy center but I love the idea of giving to essential staff!

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  4. I'm in. I have several quilts started over the last few months and now an incentive to kick into gear and get them finished. Form submitted.

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  5. I have been working on quilts to donate this past year but have not gotten all of them to their destination. I now am encouraged to get one done for a couple of special "heros" in my life!

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  6. I added the H2H21 button to my sidebar yesterday. Thanks for providing the code!

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  7. I'll be signing up later... but I know I'll be participating whether I remember to sign up or not! Thanks for all you do for this program.

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  8. Hello. This is my first year. Do we mail the quilts to the individual charity or to a central location?

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    Replies
    1. I didn't read to the end of the post before asking my question. I see the answer in the blog.

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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!