Saturday, January 31, 2015

Please Send A Card to Phoenix Fire, Such a Loss!

A Phoenix Fire 911 lost her life on her way home from the end of her shift when a man driving the wrong way down the freeway hit her vehicle.

While it may appear the 911 community is large, I can tell you it is very small and the entire Valley of the Sun as Phoenix is called is feeling the heart break of this loss.

I worked for the City of Goodyear for thirteen years and most of those years, we dispatched our own fire and EMS. However, towards the end of my career, we contracted out to Phoenix Fire as they have an amazing Fire/EMS communications center.

This loss will be felt by all agencies that worked closely with Phoenix fire as well as the police communications operators, police officers, fire fighters and her 2 small children and her husband.

Keep in special prayers her uncle whom she worked under and had a great relationship with as well.

Cards may be sent to:
Phoenix Fire Communications
150 S. 12th Street
Phoenix, AZ  85034 

Another Thanks

Wanted to share this heartfelt thank you card with all of you my amazing quilters! 

This came from the family who lost their home that had been in the family for several generations.

Thanks to each of you, we were able to supply the dispatcher, his mom and his two sons with a quilt to bring them warmth and comfort!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

9 Quilt Request For April

I just received this request yesterday. If any of you can step up and help, please let me know.

9 quilts by April for a banquet for the Dispatchers who handled the murder of 2 Deputies down here. 7 for females and 2 are male. This is from a Sacramento dispatcher.

We are still behind on quilts for the Carlton Complex Fire and still need more quilts for adults for the fire fighters and others that were involved.

If we can get this all caught up and tied up, I will be a happy camper!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

God Knows Our Needs

If you have watched the news at all this week, you could not have missed that coastal Washington and northern Washington was deluged with over 6" of rain in a 24 hour period of time which caused severe flooding, rivers to over flow their banks and landslides.

One of those areas hardest hit was Grays Harbor County and the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area the place our family settled into when we moved up here and it breaks my heart that these people who have little to begin with are now having to deal with this mess!!

We are blessed!  Two of the areas hit the hardest were areas known as Queets Avenue and Canyon Courts. Both of these areas are where I wanted to purchase homes and hubby kept telling me he just didn't feel comfortable with either of them. This is when I see the hand of God in my life!

We of course moved away in 2013 about 45 miles inland where we sit away from hills or rivers and while we got soaked with the same 6" of rain, our ground is heavily rocked and socks in quickly.

I however, have reached out to ask for quilts and toiletries from others in my community and today at noon, I am meeting with some people to do what we can.

What I find miraculous is that after the rain stopped, I received an amazing package from Sandy in Arizona that had 8 quilts in it. I wasn't expecting this and Sandy blessed the families of OSO awhile back as well.

Went to a Shasta 911 Dispatchers Daughter

Went to a 911 Dispatcher Who Lost Their Home in Fire

 These large quilts enabled me along with the help from Jennifer in IL, to completely close the books on smaller needs from 2014.  We still need 130 for Okanagan County from the Carlton Complex Fire, but I believe by spring or summer we will have those.

Yesterday, I opened my mail to find a letter fittingly enough from someone in Rochester, MN and a check to help with postage. The sender told me she has followed me for years and the plight with my son Joseph.  

Amazing! It is the true hand of God!

I know you might wonder, how many quilts I actually get to each year and this past year I would probably tell you very few, however, here is a picture of all the spools of thread I went through in 2014, so guess I was busier than I ever expected!

41 Spools in 2014

Whatever you do, do it with love, do it with a joyful heart, share your talents with others, teach a child how to bake, quilt, knit, crochet, play an instrument, plant flowers.  Reach out to the homeless and at least share your smile, it costs you nothing to give it away. 

I leave you with this story that made me cry on Christmas day:
My son Joseph is homeless and several months ago, he made the decision to go into detox and get sober and he has remained sober.

Christmas day his older brother went to hang out with him and told me this story: Joseph had been given a small cooler full of handmade/homemade warm Tamales and (let me tell you if you live in the SW, you know receiving Tamales as a gift is amazing!)

Mom, they were the most amazing Tamales I have ever eaten, the very best and I had one and was going to take some home with me. Then a man in a very nice car came by and asked us if we knew where he might be able to find some Tamales.  Without an ounce of hesitation, Joseph got up and handed the man the entire cooler with the words, 'we already had one, Merry Christmas!'  The man attempted to pay Joseph for the Tamales, but he told the man they were a gift to him so he could gift someone else!

Whatever our story is, however our day is going, our lives are going, we can always find someone who is worse off than we are and yet, who is willing to give their all to someone else in need!

I recently received a wonderful letter from a quilter who has been an amazing contributor to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911. It was to let me know she was sorry she could no longer donate to us as she had found charities that need her talents closer to home.

I was humbled she felt the need to let me know, it wasn't necessary. I have always believed in 'paying it forward,' I understand postage is expensive and I understand some of you aren't really sure I do as I claim, but I do not need any explanations or apologies. I am just happy knowing others are being blessed by your talents!

Thank you for all you do to continue this ministry!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quilts For Flood Victims

The rain has thankfully subsided today, however, living in Washington state, it is expected to return on the week-end which is not giving anyone time to clean up before the next round.

People lost and are still losing their homes to the landslides yesterday and while the Queets Avenue landslide is shown over and over again, a families home went down the hill and that is not shown.

People are stranded in a portion of Aberdeen while the county and cities of Hoquiam and Aberdeen rush to open a logging road for residents to get in and out of the area.

Many people in the area live in what locals refer to as 'The Flats,' and the name says it all and when it rains, the drainage system gets overloaded (at over 6" of rain in 24 hours, what system wouldn't), and homes are flooded quickly.

Then to add perhaps a little salt to the wound (pun intended), Mother Nature comes in and says, 'the rain is good, but now lets rise the tides in the ocean.' When that happens, the rivers in the area rise and they flood their banks and homes and businesses once again are filled with water!

I can hear some of you saying...'well, why don't they move?' Simply economics. Grays Harbor is one of the poorest communities in Washington state, the highest of unemployed and there simply is no funding for these people to move.

I have always believed their should be grants to raise their homes higher off the ground to prevent the flooding and many homes are built with living areas high off the ground but basements are still flooded causing mold and other issues.

The people of Grays Harbor like the people of Oso and Okanogan County are proud people, life long residents of the area and have hearts of gold. They are not charity seekers and have pulled together during this time, but like time itself, people will pull away and forget this disaster.

The Red Cross will move in, help for a bit and just as quickly as they came, they will disappear. I saw this in Oso and I know the job they do is important, but not everyone wants to go to Red Cross and not everyone can donate cash.

These people need to have something to hold onto, to wrap around them to stay warm and to know they are not isolated, to see others care.

Please, watch the video I posted on the link and if you have a roof over your head, a warm place to stay, your own bed to sleep in, think about these people who lost so much and send a quilt to me to deliver to them ASAP:

Jean Kester
18740 Ivan Street SW
Rochester, WA  98579 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Landslide in Hoquiam Washington

While broadcasting on the slide, you can hear the hill begin to fall. My prayers are with these people. When we first moved to this area there was a home we wanted to buy on this street and hubby was worried about the hill behind it!

News Update on Hoquiam landslide

Hoquiam Police tell KXRO that following the landslide on Queets Ave, 3 homes were overtaken by the debris. 2 of these home s were vacant at the time. residents in the 3rd home were able to escape without injury.

Hoquiam Police are advising everyone to avoid Cherry and Queets due to standing water, and if at all possible, avoid Sumner, Riverside, and the East Hoquiam Rd as well.

The YMCA is offering their facility for anyone who needs emergency shelter, and a Grays Harbor Transit bus is on site near Queets for residents in need of shelter.
Residents are advised to avoid driving in standing water throughout Grays Harbor.

Here are just a few pictures I have seen from the area:


Urgent Quilt Needs...Homes Lost

Just over a year ago my family moved from Aberdeen, WA to our current home about an hour away. Aberdeen is located in Grays Harbor County and for the last 24 hours, our entire SW coastal area has been hit with over 4" of rain.  Yes, I said 4" and it is still coming down hard!

I just received word that this morning one of the hills in the area that have homes near it, slid and took at least 4 homes out. Others have been mandated to evacuate.

Aberdeen school district is closed today due to road flooding and landslides into Aberdeen and throughout the area.  Pray for my husband who works in the area to be safe and all those that have to work in this mess as the hills can slide without any advanced notice!

I need adult sized quilts ASAP for these families that are now displaced out of their homes. We do not need infant or baby quilts, but adult least twin sized right away.

For those unfamiliar with this area, Grays Harbor has the highest unemployment in the state of Washington at 10.6%, there are no jobs and with all this rain, I am not sure anyone will be allowed to rebuild.

Please, if you can help these people at all, send quilts to:
Jean Kester
18740 Ivan Street SW
Rochester, WA  98579

Thank you!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thank You From NWCD

Awhile back I sent David Gonzales a quilt using some amazing car fabrics that had been donated and some I purchased as well because David is a 911 dispatcher who was injured in a motorcycle accident and I learned he loved old cars.

Today the following 2 things came in the mail and just made me smile and cry happy tears.

The 911 logo was hand carved by a co-worker of David's and painted by his children, dispatchers and police officers!  This will also go in my shop!

I love sharing awesome news with all of you!

Scissors Giveaway, Come Play Along 1/3-1/10

Head on over to my quilting blog and follow the Rafflecopter and Rules and join my New Years giveaway.  

Lets start 2015 out with a bit of fun! I will be giving away 2 of these cute scissor holders and scissors, but NOT the ones you see as those were a gift from my hubby!

Giving away a pair of Valentine Socks and 2 Fat Quarters of Valentines Fabric.