Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our Family Needs Help

The above pictures are of my son and his three amazing kids!

My son got out of prison just over two years ago and has done everything in his power to stay out, get off parole and raise his kids. He is a single dad.

In spite of his desire and willingness to work, he has been unable to find permanent employment or housing due to being a felon and due to having health issues.

When he was released, he had a huge tumor on his stomach and after months of pain, it was discovered he had a hiatel hernia and that put him out of work for over 6 weeks. 

He was working at a local mill when one day a friend stopped by and asked if he wanted to go out riding around on his quads and on the way, the friends girlfriend rolled the vehicle with my son in it. The hospital said he was fine and released him.

A few weeks later while at work, his back began to hurt him and after testings and Xrays and CT scan, a fracture of his T10-T11 was discovered. Since this was not the result of an 'on the job,' injury he could not earn unemployment or workman's comp. The girl who was driving the car, had no insurance and left the area so he couldn't get accident insurance either.

For over a year, he wore a brace and used a special bone growth machine and finally when it was determined he could have physical therapy, he developed an inguinal hernia that was strangulated and had to have another surgery. This surgery kept him down for a long time and eventually he was able to begin physical therapy.

However, it was determined by the PT and his surgeon that he cannot return to being a laborer any longer, the constant lifting of heavy items would damage his back beyond repair.

The course of action was to have him apply for training through the local vocational rehabilitation department and put him through re-training so he could return to being a productive dad.

During this time, my son has not given up. Oh yes, he gets discouraged, but he keeps on going. Justin attends church, is a door greeter, is a youth mentor, has just been invited to be a pastor on the local jail team, is a co-leader of our men's group and when anyone asks him for help and he can, he does!  Everyone loves him and he knows no strangers.

The more Justin and his children become involved with the Lord, the more angry his girlfriend became, she wasn't coming home from work until after midnight (she gets off at 5:30 in the afternoon). Justin revealed to his mentor that the more he becomes involved with church, the worse she became and yet, he kept trying to do what was right.

Two weeks ago, his girlfriend told him, you and your kids get out of my home, you are no longer wanted. Torn apart, Justin did what she asked and with the help of our church, placed all their belongings in storage and walked away and is now living in a group home situation where they are actually happier due to less stress.

The issue is, Justin needs a car. His kids need rides from school after band and sports and he needs to get to vocational rehab to find work.

I have set up a Go Fund Me account to raise $1500 and we have in the past week, raised over half of what we need to and thus far raised $805.  We are looking for a decent reliable car for Justin and the ability to pay at least 3 to 6 months insurance for him.

Please, if you can help support this cause with a $5 or even $10 donation or more, I have posted the link at the bottom. If not, please pray we can meet our goal quickly.

It has been difficult for Justin. Justin wants to work, he enjoys work and living off assistance is not how he wants to live or raise his children. Without a vehicle he can't get a job or vocational rehab and without vocational rehab or a vehicle, he can't obtain a job.

If, I have ever reached out and helped you in some small way, I am begging you to please reach out and help us now!

Thank you

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Needed Quilters and Quilts On Disaster Stand By!

As many of you know, I am now living in a 5th wheel and do not have an inch of space available to hold onto quilts and I can't afford to store them because we already have a storage unit full to the gills that someday we hope to place into another home or at least one of our children's homes!

Hurricane Matthew is on its way to Florida. It has already left death and destruction in its path in Haiti and I am unsure about Cuba at this time.

Quilters, if it hits Florida, I am going to be in need of quilts to send to the areas hit to provide these families with fresh, clean and handmade quilts and I will need all of you to let me know you can do this.

I have a few family members and friends that are going to step up I am sure after checking on their own homes and businesses and be willing to help get these quilts passed out to those in need.

Quilts are expensive to ship, I suggest you speak with your quilt guild, church, friends and family and ask them if they would be willing to donate for the postage costs.  I have learned if you put quilts into a large garbage bag, attach your vacuum and suck all the air out, you can save a bit on postage and fit more into a box.

When sending quilts, since I cannot go through them, please, please do NOT send ratty, tatty, stinky, smelly, stained with urine, blood, food, etc. gross and nasty quilts you wouldn't put in your own home.

Last disaster I donated numerous quilts to local charities or the dump because they were so disgusting! Think of how you would feel if you had to leave your home and then came back and had nothing left. 

Your quilts are blessings!! The letters, cards, pictures I get back and post come from real people who lost everything and then they received a handmade quilt from a stranger and life became a bit brighter.  Be that LIGHT!!!

When sending out a quilt or quilts, please think about enclosing a few other things...gloves for warmth and gloves for cleaning, hats, socks, jerky, granola bars, bandages, dried fruit, head lamps or flashlights, batteries, coloring books and crayons, feminine needs supplies, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, etc.

Please pray for me. I am still praying for a miracle of the gift of a truck and garage style 5th wheel that I can hook up and go and fill the back with quilts, quilting supplies, sewing machines and head out to these disasters and begin quilting and get quilters involved.

My current 5th wheel is my home, I cannot just unhook and go, so I really need prayers to be met!

Lets be ready quilters, you are the best!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Doing What is Right

All my life, I have done what is right.
From the time I was twelve, I began working babysitting, ironing, cleaning houses. When I was fifteen I got my first job making seventy-five cents an hour and I put some in savings and bought my own clothes. When I turned sixteen, I took another job and I was making $1.25 an hour.

I have always worked and as long as I can remember, I have always volunteered from being a Candy Striper at a local hospital, to a PTA president, parent/teacher class aide, working for an organization that helped women, volunteering at church and this quilting ministry that is my heart and soul!

My husband and I have spent thousands of dollars purchasing fabrics, thread, batting, sewing machines and supplies not to mention the money spent on shipping quilts out across the country and at times the world, gas spent delivering quilts, food while on our trips, the upkeep of our vehicles and NOT once has my husband honestly complained.

Over the years he has teased me about being careful what he opens because he knows fabric will fall out, not turning on the oven because fabric would catch on fire and the best is find a frozen fabricycle in the freezer. 

My husband endured many years of coming home to a sewing machine on the dining table, pins in his feet and yes, his butt as he has sat on a few, but he has always bragged to others about this ministry and how proud he is of what I do.

In late January, our family was literally torn apart, destroyed by lies and hatefulness. During this time, my husband and I gave up our dream of owing the home we were leasing to own, he sold his boat, his workshop was left behind, all our furniture with the exception of our bedroom set and the children's bedroom furniture was sold and we were left with thirty-five years of memories either sold or packed away in a storage unit while our grandchildren moved in with their father and his girlfriend.

My van which I had just purchased the year before because the seats sat into the floor so no more moving seats to do quilt deliveries was traded in for a small SUV with lower miles and much less room. It still holds seven people but not very comfortably as the grands tell me when I pick them up for church.

My hubby and I are now living in a thirty-seven foot fifth wheel. We do our laundry once a week at a laundromat, I no longer can fruits or veggies from our garden because I no longer have one nor do I have the space to store anything. Which also means, I can no longer quilt, there is no space.

I miss quilting so much, I was thinking the other day of purchasing a Singer Featherweight and seeing if I could set it up on a tv tray to do quilting, but honestly, it just wouldn't work. I have even given a passing thought to locating an office space to rent, but that would be quite expensive. My dream of having my own studio, has dissipated into the wind.

Recently, there has been an upsurge of hits on Layers of Hope's Facebook page and I could not figure out why. My husband told me, the quilters who have supported and loved you for so long are looking to see if you are collecting quilts for the flood victims or the fire victims right now because that is what you have done for so many years.

I have thought fleetingly about collecting them, but I have no place any longer to keep them until delivery. I have thought of heading to Louisiana to make quilts, but I have no place to stay. In the past I have begged dealers with 5th wheel toy haulers to donate one so I could travel and set the back up for quilting.

As of yet, no one has stepped up and said, here is a truck and here is an RV and go out and bless the masses. I have however, been blessed in the past with sewing machine, fabric, batting, postage, stamps for thank you and Christmas cards and so many quilts to bless others with. You have all blessed me and warmed my heart.

My husband is an amazing man of love, character and honor. He works while he is sick, he works overtime, he takes care of me when I can barely move and he never complains. My husband is my rock. 

All of you, the quilters, the sponsors, the recipients of quilts are all my hope in humanity when the days become so dark I can't see the stars, because I am literally drowning in fear. I can open this blog or Pinterest and see how each one of you contributed to making this ministry amazing.

I wish I could hug you all and thank you for all the amazing years you have surprised me with your generosity and kindness. I guess right now, all I can do is know that I was doing what was right and no matter what happens, I will always do my best to do what is right and to help others.

I am praying for a blessing, a miracle that soon, I will be quilting again and that my life will once again have balance.  I know God is good, I know many people who suffer silently with anxiety and depression and I know, I am being stretched to trust in God and rest right now.

I truly thank all of you for always doing what is right and in the words of my beautiful, amazing, wonderful fourteen year old granddaughter Aly:
'Don't Let the Storms Stop You!'

Monday, May 9, 2016

Quilt Needed For Teen Male! Need Fulfilled

Most of you probably are not aware of the fact that my hubby and I have downsized to a 34' 5th Wheel and I am unable to quilt at this time.

However, there is an Alaskan 911 operator and her law enforcement husband who lost their home to a fire last week and I am down to my last few quilts.

I can send to mom&dad and the two girls, however, I no longer have an quilts for a male teen.

Does anyone out there have one completed or would you be willing to step in and make one?

Before you say yes, you will also need to be willing to pay the postage to mail it to Alaska.

Please let me know ASAP.

Thank you!

**This need has been met by Marilyn Lewis** Thank you so much my friend!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

H2H 2016

I am so sorry readers and quilters. I placed the Hands2Help 
quilt drive on my Quiltingranny blog then somehow totally forget to put any information on this one.

Anyway, the link is now up on the side, please stop over and sign up to send a quilt to a charity in need, read the wonderful posts from all the quilters that are leaving quilting tips, tutorials and guest bloggers.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Update, March 28, 2016

At this time, I am NOT taking in any new quilts.  My heart breaks having to walk away, but right now, my family is my number one priority and we have seen some major changes in the past few months to our lives.

Baby quilts were donated to a center that helps new moms. The large quilts were donated to various organizations in my area. However and yes, there is always a HOWEVER, when God is in charge. I kept a wardrobe sized box of quilts for when God tugged my heart.

Out of that box went three quilts to a slain Seaside, OR police officers widow and two young children. I will once again be pulling quilts out of that box for a police officers widow, daughter, son and parents that I had the amazing privilege of working with as a 911 operator.

Throughout my families struggles, God still shows me that I need to reach out to others. I am no longer in a position to quilt, all my quilting items are packed up into a storage facility. I sold two huge boxes of fabric which paid to ship out the last quilts to those in need. I was blessed to find someone to personally deliver the quilts to Seaside.

The story doesn't end here. A very wonderful local quilting organization has invited me to come and quilt with them once a week and promised me they will continue to bless those in need for Layers of Hope.  This will happen when my family issues are resolved and my health is better than what it is now.

I will continue to update everyone here! 

God Bless and thank you all! As my semi-colon tattoo my granddaughter designed for me states so quietly...the story isn't over yet!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Good Bye

They say most non-profits don't last any longer than 3-5 years and while Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 is not a non-profit per se, we have never made a profit running this organization and we have been going strong for almost 11 years.

Today, I sent out the last 3 boxes of quilts that were left from 2015 and they cost me a total of just over $81.00. 

I have been blessed running this organization and I have met (on-line) some amazingly talented, gifted and generous people and I will carry you all in my heart.

The quilts that I have left in my possession will be donated to my local fire department to help those in need as well as an organization that helps new moms in need.

If someone would be interested in taking up this organization and continuing on, you can let me know, but it takes lots of time and money.

I have always allowed God to guide me in my efforts and right now, with my health and family dynamics, I cannot continue on.

I hope you all understand. 

This blog will be left open for a few more weeks.