About Us

Layers of Hope - Quilting 911

Our Motto Is: Love for Our Unseen Heroes

Mission Statement:
Layers of Hope - Quilting 911's mission is to enhance the lives of 911 Telecommunications Operators (911 Dispatchers), first responders 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 time.

Our Story:
Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 began many years ago when my husband asked me to make him a quilt with Harley bandanas; it was one request that took five years in the making.
Shortly after that, Hurricanes Katrina  and Rita hit the gulf coast of the United States and tore up places from Central Florida to Texas with most of the damage stemming to the failure of levee system in New Orleans and most of the damage along the coast of Mississippi.  I was a police/fire 911 dispatcher at the time and I wanted to find a ride and go help.

However, my husband and I were raising three grandchildren, I was working full time, attending a local university full time and could not go.  My husband suggested I make quilts for those who lost everything and that started the eight year progression to Layers of Hope - Quilting 911.

I reached out to the one man and organization I knew I could find answers from and that was Kevin Willett of 911 Cares/PSTC who not only teaches telecommunication classes, but started the drive to reach out to the unseen men and women in our field.

Kevin not only said yes, he found me an entire telecommunications department to make quilts for, and then he found me a New Orleans dispatcher whose little baby had to be in Texas and they couldn't see each other and then Gloria from Pass Christian, Mississippi whose story broke my heart and I quilted! That was in 2005.

I quilted for those on duty in the Virginia Tech tragedy, I have sent quilts to dispatchers whose homes were involved in flooding in New York, to dispatch centers who have lost members of their family (and believe me, dispatch centers are families), dispatchers enduring chemotherapy, dispatchers ill children, premature children, fire victims, tornado victims, I have sent quilts.

Then, the tragic shooting in July 12, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado happened and with a telecommunications center that had over sixty operators and I knew, I could no longer personally do this on my own, I had to ask for help!

I set up a Facebook page at the time and help came by the droves, quilters from all over the world sent so many quilts to the center that they were overwhelmed and we sent one to each operator and in turn the extras went to other first responders and surviving victims and families of the those lost.

Just over five months later, the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and once again I asked for quilts and once again the need was met.  Then 19 firefighters lost their lives in Yarnell, AZ in June 2013 and I knew we had to help and I needed a new name!

I reached out to my blog readers and asked for help to rename my blog and Facebook page and many great ideas were offered and I couldn't decide on just one, so I took some bits and pieces and added my own and Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 was born here and on Facebook.

All good stories have happy endings and this one is no exception. In May of 2013, Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma were devastated by tornadoes. Dispatchers from the Aurora center stepped forward and asked me how they could help and they knitted and crocheted blankets for the dispatchers who lost all in those cities.

Out of one simple request from my husband so many years ago to make a quilt has turned into a giving organization or ministry that brings comfort to those in need during the most devastating times of their lives.

I have, you have, together we have made a difference and I will continue to reach out to those rarely seen and always heard during our darkest hours unseen heroes when they answer that call, '911, what are you reporting?'

Address for Layers of Hope - Quilting 911:
Jean Kester
 P.O. Box 1251 
 Rochester, WA  98579 
**Due to the large number of first responders who lost their homes in Paradise, California, I will take in quilts for a delivery in January or February.**

1 comment:

  1. I would really like to have a quilt for myself as my tragedy is the loss of my two sons who loved me in word & deed.
    Comfort is the one thing I needed ~ yet I basically feel have walked this road alone except for the few who have experienced a mothers worst nightmare come true as I.
    Olivia ~


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!