A few weeks ago, our Pellon team had the opportunity to once again partner up with Quilts for Kids founder, Linda Arye, to deliver an array of beautiful quilts to the Children’s Medical Center of the Tampa General Hospital. The hospital is just a short drive from our main office in Clearwater, FL and is one of the largest hospitals in our area.
We loaded over 100 quilts, all handmade with love and kindness by the many volunteers of Quilts for Kids, into our cars and headed over to the hospital. Hand delivering these quilts to the children was incredibly important to us. We knew that getting to see exactly how these labors of love brought a brightness to the children’s faces would be priceless.
Working closely with Kelly Perez, the Child Life Specialist at TGH, we were guided into the Children’s Pediatric Ward pushing a cart full of bright, colorful quilts. Most of the children had families, friends, and loved ones with them in their rooms, there for support and love through difficult times.
It was amazingly rewarding, seeing the smiles and glows of delight on the children’s faces as we tried our hardest to choose a quilt that they’d like, based on a favorite color, animal, or hobby. We’d hold up a few different options for the older kids, letting them choose which quilt was their favorite. Some of the younger children had their parents’ carefully trained eyes choose for them.
The staff at TGH are welcoming, friendly and caring, and the children’s care center tries hard to be a home away from home, but there is a still sad undertone as the children and their families work through various states of recovery from injury or illness. Bringing a moment of joy to these kids and helping to provide them with a small comfort amidst a scary time in their lives was humbling and so worthwhile.
That experience and the real emotions that gifting the quilts brought out in the children is what Quilts For Kids is all about. It is what keeps our team motivated and driven to do better and do more by supplying this wonderful organization with the materials needed to comfort and provide happiness through the gifts of quilts.
We are looking forward to a continued partnership with Quilts for Kids and are counting down the days to our next hospital visit! Thank you to Linda and her team for providing such amazing gifts for these kids!
More about Quilts for Kids
Mission Statement: Transforming fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse.
A Letter from the Founder Linda Arye:
It seems like only yesterday that I discovered a wealth of discontinued fabric samples being thrown away. In those days it never occurred to me that we’d be an international organization today. I was only looking to save some fabric samples from a landfill. I was assured by all my friends and family that this was a dumb idea and no one would make quilts for some stranger’s child…and do it for free! Well, 13 years later you have managed to prove these naysayers wrong, for you have given from your heart and helped to turn tears into smiles for the tens of thousands of children that you never even knew existed. (in 2013 we are working our way to donating 30,000 quilts again.)
When most fabric mills moved offshore in 2007, those wonderful 18 wheelers loaded with donated fabric were not coming our way any longer, and we were forced to find funding to purchase fabric. The fabric companies that had always supported us gave us reduced prices when they could and sent us discontinued samples to enable us to continue comforting children in need. Even the heavyweight fabrics have become quilts that are sent overseas to orphaned children in developing countries who use them as beds. We are proud to continue our work with Lutheran World Relief.