Our mission has always been to bless 911 dispatchers and their families during the difficult times in life whether it be a terminally ill dispatcher, family member, loss of a home from a fire, hurricane or tornado, a sick child or any other immediate need of a warm quilt to let our unseen heroes know we are thinking about them.
However, last year (2014), due to living in the state of Washington when the Oso landslide hit, people began asking me what they could do, how could they help, would I be willing to deliver quilts and without hesitation, I said YES!!
Word quickly got out with wonderful organizations such as Martingale Press. They not only got the word out I was taking in quilts, they made and drove many quilts to the area for delivery themselves.
Then there was the amazing Town Square Fabric and Yarn in Burien who volunteered to be a collection point for us and the quilts poured into them. If you live in the Seattle area or are visiting you must stop in and say hello to Cynthia, Christina and Shirley and tell them I sent you.
Jody of Sister Fabric in Chehalis volunteered to collect as well as Quilters Junction in Centralia stop by these amazing shops as well and say thank you for what they do and spend some time saying hello!
There were churches, quilting guilds, individuals and friends who stepped up to help and the quilts poured in allowing us to make four trips to the area to not only distribute quilts, but to volunteer to help those that asked us.
Then the Carlton Complex Fire hit Okanogan County here as well and I collected for those and made 1 trip, 18 hours and we are still around thirty quilts short but when I give my word, I do not let people down and these will get delivered as soon as I have enough to get them out.
We were mentioned in Woman's Day magazine and I met a 911 dispatcher through that small article and a retired sheriff's deputy and filled their needs.
The issue at hand is that we need to get back to our original mission and that, 'is to enhance the lives of 911
Telecommunications Operators (911 Dispatchers) and their families during
times of illness, disaster,
loss and tragedy by inspiring hope, faith and optimism with a quilt of
warmth and comfort in order to make a positive influence in the lives of
those who make a difference everyday, one quilt and one stitch at a
I have to keep focused on that mission and that is the 911 Dispatcher. If I lose sight of that focus, I find myself reaching out to ALL first responders and while that is NOT a bad thing, this is a small organization that last year took in $715 and still found us $1037 in the red or out of our families budget.
While we have always flown by the skin of our teeth so to speak and last year was just not normal, but being exhausted all the time has made me realize, I am one person. I am only one person and while I am so grateful to each and everyone of you who read this blog, follow this blog, send quilts to continue this mission, I know that I must get back to the mission and that is 911 dispatchers.
Quilts of Valor doesn't stray off their path of quilts for soldiers and say, this month we will give quilts to this group of people or that organization because they have a need. No, they remain doing what they do, making quilts for our military personnel.
Habitat for Humanity doesn't say, instead of building houses this month, lets concentrate on planting trees or mowing lawns, no, they are committed to building homes for people who otherwise couldn't afford them.
I have prayed and thought long and hard about what to do. I have looked into a non-profit status for us, but that takes time, money, attorneys, accountants, bylaws, etc.
So, with all humility and thanks to each of you, I am not stopping the mission here at Layers of Hope - Quilting 911, I will continue to make quilts for those in need, our unseen heroes and their families as I have since Hurricane Katrina hit years ago.
I hope all of you will continue to reach out and send quilts, I still would love to fill shelves with larger quilts so when there is a need, I can just pick them out and box them up.
Currently we are still in need of larger quilts, they go quickly and still have an over abundance of baby quilts.
I hope you understand why I cannot (after the 30 are delivered) commit to taking on larger projects and must remain dedicated to 911 dispatchers.
If there is a catastrophe in our area or Oregon this year, I will once again step up and be a collection point, but I cannot promise quilts to everyone in law enforcement and first response as the need is just to great and the quilts do not come in as quickly as they do during a disaster.
I hope you all understand and I am open to suggestions always!