Monday, May 5, 2014

Labor of Love

I began Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 almost ten years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.  Of course at the time, it wasn't known as Layers of Hope - Quilting 911, it was just me and I was and probably still am in some circles known as Ranny Jean, the Quilting Dispatcher.

Things change in life, the seasons come and go and we evolve as does the world around us and lately it seems the world around us has become one huge natural disaster after another with horrific hurricanes, tornadoes, earth quakes, floods, landslides, etc.  

So many hurting, so many have lost everything and yet, so many have made it through and continue on to reach out and help neighbors and those in need.

Then there are the horrific things humans are doing to each other...bombings, shootings, mass kidnappings and at times we must all wonder has the world gone mad?

I realized after the Aurora incident, that I can't do this anymore, it is to big for me to even try to keep up making quilts for the very small population that I do, the 911 professional and first responder and that I needed to reach out and ask for help from all of you and you came through for these people!

I reached out and asked all of you to help me come up with a name and by combining some of your wonderful ideas, Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 emerged with a fresh name and most recently a fresh logo.

While I make quilts mainly for this organization, I also on occasion donate to organizations like:
  • Quilts of Valor for our vets
  • Project Linus
  • Victory Junction Gang Camp
  • Binky Patrol
  • Quilts of Compassion
It may not always be a quilt, it might be money for bidding on a silent auction, it may be fabric or left over fabric I can't use but these amazing women can and it may simply be a $5 donation.

All of these organizations like this one, were born out of love, many out of the pain of losing a child or other loved one which made the founder want to help people like themselves feel loved.

I am blessed. My family comes home to a living room that looks like a mouse maze with boxes stacked up all over. My grandson not once has complained about all the boxes stacked in his room, he tells his friends they are quilts for people who have nothing.

I want to and will through the grace of God take this ministry, organization to the next level.  Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 will someday be a recognized non-profit organization and for that, I need your help.

We need funding to pay for the attorney fee's associated with setting this up and that is $100 just for them to look over my proposal and decide if they can help me.

If they can, they will help set up the bylaws, the non-profit paperwork for the IRS which can run up to $1400 I am told (I have seen where it cost $800, but someone told me if I don't shoot for the moon here and raise more in a year than believed I could, the IRS will come back for the difference).

Set up the corporate structure, how our board of directors will operate, who they are and how they can help. How we take in quilts, how they are distributed, how our funding is used and most importantly where our funding will come from.

My husband and I have been diligently working on our own budget so we can begin to set up my quilting shop where I can store quilts taken in, set up my machines for quilting, set up a space for my computer, etc.

I have contacted the builder and it will cost over $4000 for a 10' x 20' shop with a door, windows and storage area. That does not include the preparation of the site it will sit on, the wiring, insulation, drywall, paint, flooring, cabinetry, lighting, etc.

I have contacted a local solar company and talked to them about going solar on the shop to save money. I am waiting to hear back on grants that might be available because $10,000 for solar is way out of my range of out of pocket expenses.

After my trip to the Oso landslide area last Friday and having to remove the seats out of our van, load the van, come home, put the seats back in, I realized my poor husband isn't getting any younger and these seats are heavy so we will eventually need a truck and a trailer for these large runs.  

Being able to obtain non-profit status will avail us to grants and other donations we do not receive at this time and it will allow us to expand our reach to other disasters in time.

I have been blessed, many of you donated quilts and have agreed to donate on a regular basis, many of you send me fabric, batting, thread, gift cards for such and still others have donated cash and it means the world to me that you trust me so much.

Quilts come to our home, my granddaughters take them out of the boxes, they take the pictures or I do if they are holding them, I input them into a data base I have, take pictures, send thank you's or emails, post pictures in three different places, the girls make paper hearts that attach to each quilt with the donors name, Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 and pin to the quilt.

When it is time to deliver, the girls count out the number we need, pack them back up, label the boxes and my husband and the grands then load them into the van for mailing or transport and someone always goes with me because I cannot lift.

My family doesn't complain, they occasionally get tired of holding up quilts or making hearts, but they understand the mission to reach out to others, they understand the pain that people are feeling and they want to help.

Everyday, every quilt, every box that goes out, is a labor of love that takes time and dedication and money. For the most part this ministry is ran from my husbands paycheck, but it has gotten so BIG, we can't do this forever.

If you feel you want to help us get this to the next level, please consider donating to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 so we can start setting this up. 

There are places you can donate on this blog on the sidebar. If you chose to mail me a check or money order, it has to be sent to me and not the business as we are not registered at this time with a bank account, I am still working on that.

Everywhere we look there are people needing help and here I am, asking for more. If you can it would be appreciated and if you can't I understand and if you are a quilter and already contribute I am thankful!


  1. You might consider rewriting your GoFundMe campaign to reflect your desire to become a certified nonprofit. The question comes to mind however, of who is going to take over when you and your hubby are no longer able? (Hopefully a long time from now!)

  2. I will after Oso and things return to normal or whatever normal is! Once we are a non-profit we will have a Board of Directors and when they time comes for me to lay down my seam ripper and cover my machine for the last time, they will decide who takes over! Many years from now, I pray!


From head to heart to hands, I quilt! I May Only Be One Person, But Together We Can Make A Difference. Bless you for stopping by!