Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Heart Is Broken

Several weeks ago I sent out a request for quilters who would be willing to send quilts to Midland Police Dispatchers due to working a police involved shooting where one of their officers perished.

Today with the wonderful help of a dispatcher friend, I was able to send off those 12 quilts to give them warmth and comfort and let them know we care.

When I returned from running errands, I broke down after learning one of Midland's police officers shot and killed himself and his wife and they leave behind 2 year old twins.

The quilts are sent, perhaps today's timing was God finding that perfect moment for me to send them out.
Won't you please consider sending them a card and let them know you are praying and thinking of them?

Midland Police Department
601 Loraine Street
Midland, TX  79701


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Even During the Holidays When it Rains, It Pours

Kymer Walker, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma and Leukemia. She has no insurance coverage at this point.  She still has medical insurance.  She has just exhausted all of her leave time and is out of work indefinitely.  I have included an e-mail from their Training Coordinator below: 
Kymer Walker, Operator 50, at Coweta County 911 has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma and Leukemia, etc. She has been with us 3 years, etc. She is an avid poker player and animal lover.
Coweta County E-911 is selling T-shirts with the logo on the front to raise money to help cover her expenses. The T-shirts start at $20.00 each.

Dustin L. Buckner
Training Officer/Supervisor
Coweta County E-911
195 International Park
Newnan, Georgia 30265 

**Remember sometimes cards are the best medicine to let her know we care!**

Send A Card of Cheer This Christmas

I'm writing on behalf of one of our Dispatchers, Serita Basilio-Lewis, who is now on extended medical leave for cardiac-related health issues.
Serita was a long time EMT and SAR volunteer in Marin County, and worked part time then full time for us here at the FPD from October 2001 to April 2004. She left Marin for the east coast for a time, then returned in March of 2011 and resumed working for us part time, which eventually worked in to a full time position in May of 2013. In addition to her duties with the FPD, she also created and ran a non-profit organization in her home town that provides meals for families in need. Needless to say, she is an extremely giving and generous person, and asking for assistance is not an easy thing for her to do.

If you can just send her a card and let her know you care:
Let me know and I will get you an address!

Can You Help This Family

I know Christmas is right around the corner, but imagine if you lost everything so close to the holidays. If you can help this family, please let me know!

On Sunday, November 16, 2014, Jackson Police Dispatcher Lekecia Lee had just finished a double shift at the dispatch center working mid-night.  After she went home as so many dispatchers will do she decided to cook her something to eat before she went to bed. She fell asleep and was awakened by a next door neighbor telling her that her house was on fire.  She grabbed the only clothing that she could and her seven year old daughter (Asia Norwood).  They were able to survive but lost everything in the fire.  In this time of giving (Thanksgiving) I recognize that dispatchers have hearts as big as their console.  The Jackson Police Department is having a benefit to help her get back on her feet.  We are calling on dispatchers to help one of our own.  Lekecia is those dispatchers who can smile when everything else around her is going wrong.

Lekecia wears clothes size 12-14 and shoe size 8 1/2.  Her daughter Asia is need of school uniforms, khaki pants, and blue shirts.  Her size is 12 medium and her shoe size is 13-1.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Very Best Kind of Thank You!

In 2005 when I began this journey of sharing quilts with our 'unseen heroes,' of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina I didn't reach out to get a pat on the back or a thank you and yet, I received a few thanks that warmed my heart.

One was of a momma and her baby girl with their quilts. I had made 2 different quilt patterns but used the same fabrics since mom and baby were separated while mom lived aboard a FEMA ship so she could work and baby lived in Texas with grandma.

Then, the second one came of an amazing lady named Gloria who had lost everything while she remained at work helping others and I mean literally, her house moved away from where it was sitting.

Gloria's picture showed her in bed with the quilt I had made her and it just warmed my heart.

Here were two people in the most devastating of times and they took time out of their chaotic and turned upside down lives to say, 'thank you, you made a difference.'

Sometimes I get a note saying thank you right away, sometimes I get a thank you in the mail months and even a year or more later and when you lose everything you ever owned in the blink of an eye, it is shocking to me I receive anything at all.

So when I received a letter in the mail yesterday, I cried and I smiled and I felt my heart just filled with warmth as this is the very first time I have ever received a letter from an obviously very young child whose dad is a policeman.

The letter thanked me for the quilt, told me it is being used everyday and that their father is a policeman. I wrote them back letting them know how special that letter is to me and telling them when the time comes that I get my studio built, this letter will hold a special place framed and on the wall.

I always say that we don't expect payment from those that receive our quilts, but I would say this child repaid the kindness in a way that will forever touch my soul and simply put once again...

These children, families and individuals are the reason why I do what I do and why at times I beg for you to help with quilts, with funding, fabric, thread, etc..

Hopefully this coming spring/summer I can meet these two little ones face to face and give them a huge hug!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 Is Fast Coming To An End

It is true, 2014 is quickly coming to an end. Where has the time flew off to?

I want to let you know that this year has been filled with miracles and I am so thankful to each and everyone of you that helped make those miracles.

I am one person who struggles daily with chronic pain issues and yet, try my best to keep this ministry up and going and if it wasn't for you, I couldn't do this at all!

This year, we have delivered over 400 quilts, spent $$$$ on postage, (I haven't tallied up that cost yet for the year), send sympathy cards to law enforcement and dispatch agencies, met hundreds of wonderful quilters, taken 5 trips to deliver quilts to Oso and eastern Washington and it is all because of your generosity!

The holidays are here, everyone is trying to reach into your pockets, you are getting lots of things in the mail asking for you to donate and sadly, I am as well.

I have sitting by my front door, 7 boxes that need to be sent out in the next week or 2 which means I will be digging deep into my budget to come up with around $85 to get them out to the dispatchers in need and I can't do this on my own.

Sadly, for me, 4 of those boxes were adopted and the person never sent the money for postage as promised and I cannot just say, 'forget it, I won't send them.'

I did have 8, however 1 was adopted and that helped lighten the burden.

I know many of you donated amazing quilts and postage costs earlier this year and I get that. However, if you have not had the time to donate to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911, can you consider now is the time?

Perhaps you are a dispatcher or in law enforcement or emergency services, can you take up a small collection at your agency for postage costs? How about a change collection and when the jar is full, send us the proceeds? Putting your coffee money aside for just 7 days will pay for shipping for one box to be delivered.

Asking for money does not come easily to me. Matter of fact is the one part of this ministry I dislike the most. However, if we are going to survive, I need your help.  

If you can't donate this year, then maybe next will be better.  If you can't donate you can share our need on your blog, with other friends and quilters and those you come into contact with.

Please, this time of the year is hard on many of us, won't you help bless those unseen heroes who are suffering more than we are at this time with cancer, the loss of their homes, etc.?

Blessings and thank you!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Update for Okanogan County

We have a need for 31 quilts for Okanogan County Sheriff's Deputies who worked the Carlton Complex Fires this summer.  Whew, that is alot less than the original 478 I was given.

I will not be taking a trip back up that way until at least after the holidays and probably closer to March as the passes around here can get ugly.

So, you can give a sigh of relief, but I will need quilts after spring!