Friday, October 22, 2010

Using Our Talents for a Greater Cause

Hello fellow quilters! I want to take a few moments to share with you a special project I have going. I really would love to have all of you wonderful future BMQG members join me in this effort! Earlier this year I became more aware of the sex trade in the U.S. and more specifically here in California. Through a radio program I learned of an organization that is doing what they can to deal with this issue. Courage to Be You works in the U.S. and in Africa to help children who have been sexually exploited. Currently they are working to open Courage House in Sacramento, which hits close to home.

It is unbelieveable and heartbreaking to me that teenage girls in this country and especially nearby (anywhere for that matter; but who knows, quite probably here in Bakersfield) have been victimized by the sex trade. Law enforcement is working hard to put the perpetrators behind bars, but there is little to nothing for the girls who are rescued. Courage House is to be a place for these girls to live and heal and have their needs taken care of.

Upon learning of the Sacramento House I immediately wanted to volunteer for this effort. But living 6 hours away (in Tehachapi!) makes that pretty much out of the question. So I got to thinking about what I have the ability to do with my own talents. I've seen various efforts by individuals in the online quilting community to make quilts for others, so I decided that would be perfect. I want to make quilts for these girls, something that can be special to them, give them warmth and comfort, something they can keep to remember someone cares. I have been in contact with the Sacramento House and they agree that special quilts for the individual girls would be wonderful. I think the modern quilting community especially has a lot to offer in the way of something that is appealing and meaningful for these teenage girls. And it's a way for us to extend part of our own hearts to them as well.

In the Flickr community, earlier this year I joined the second quarter of the [3 x 6] Sampler Quilt Mini Bee so I could collect some blocks for this purpose. As the third quarter rolled around I started to receive help from wonderful quilters who were generous enough to send blocks. To date we have received one quilt top, 33 quilt blocks, and more are on the way! My goal has been to have three finished quilts to send in time for Christmas. Here are a couple more photos of the quilt blocks that have been sent by fabulous quilters all over the world. I also have set aside personal quilts and projects to donate proceeds directly to the Sacramento House, including one particularly special quilt that I hope to auction in the coming months.

Megan, Terri, and I have talked about the possibility of the BMQG making our own contributions of making quilts for the rescued girls. I do hope you would like to join me, that as a group we can offer our abilities to give to others who have had heartbreaking experiences in their youth. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for all of the help that has been received as well as all that is to come. I'd love to hear what you think!


  1. I woul love to help. Do you need more blocks, someone to turn existing blocks in to tops, ect? Maybe there are others out there who could donate longarm services to expedite the completion.

    This sounds like a great cause.....let me know what I can do.

  2. Yes to all of the above! More blocks are definitely needed and I would so appreciate help in piecing (and someone able to help quilt it would be fabulous as well!). I can't view your profile, Nicole, but if you look in mine you can contact me via email. Thank you so much for the offer--I look forward to meeting & getting to know you once the BHQG meetings begin!

  3. Jen, this is a great! I'm been hearing more & more about the sex trade in the U.S. I'm happy to hear they will be doing something for the girls. I hope to attend the meetings when they start.