I have always been careful to have a positive, fun blog. To ensure that, I try to keep the content and the tone of the blog upbeat and light-hearted. But today, I am going to break my own rules and get a little serious with you.
A few years ago, I met an amazing woman, Donna.
Donna had contacted me because she had a quilt that she needed quilted and asked if I could do it for her. Another quilter had it for several months before telling Donna that she was unable to quilt it. “Of course!” I told her I would finish it in a month or two.
When she brought it to me, she explained that she had been diagnosed with ALS and that she wanted to see it finished before her condition got much worse. I assured her that I would try to get it done as quickly as possible, all the while knowing what I would do. I called her the next day and told her that she could come pick up her finished quilt (every once in a while there is a good reason to bump someone to the front of the line!).
That was the beginning of a friendship that wouldn’t last nearly long enough. She passed away last year, leaving behind a devoted husband and a large family. When I think of Donna, I think of her sweet personality. The devastating disease couldn’t cover up her cheerful outlook and upbeat attitude.
Unfortunately, Kathy the owner of Quilter’s Dream Batting, has a story that hits much closer to home. Her oldest son, Josh, a newlywed, diagnosed with ALS in early 2007. Today, 2012 – just 5 years later – his mind is completely active – yet his body is basically paralyzed. More and more young people are being diagnosed with ALS, including more infants and toddlers. ALS has also hit the U.S. Military particularly hard. Currently, there is no known cure.
Kathy and the “Dream Team” at Quilters Dream Batting are working to change that. They have started the HOPES and DREAMS Quilt Challenge to help raise money for ALS research as well as provide warmth and comfort to those diagnosed with ALS.
The challenge is simple and straightforward, make a quilt and send it to Quilter’s Dream Batting. The majority of the quilts will be shipped at Quilters Dream Batting’s expense to ALS Chapters all across the United States. More than 1800 quilts have been given to PALS (Patients with ALS) working through ALS Chapters in the U.S. Some are sold and/or photographed to raise money for research.
To encourage quilters to participate (as if you needed more motivation!) every entry is entered into a general drawing to win prizes. All donated quilts will be entered into general prize drawings plus there are incredible prizes recognizing the most generous quilter, quilt shop, professional quilter and guild.
To honor the memory of Donna, I decided to get involved. I am pleased to announce that I am going to sponsor $1000.00 GRAND PRIZE for the challenge. ($500.00 cash and a quilter’s gift basket worth $500.00) This category features the top 12 to 15 quilts and are featured on the HOPES & DREAMS Quilt Challenge for ALS Facebook page and voted on by you.
I hope that you will consider donating a quilt to this great challenge. Who knows?? You could help raise money for research and have a chance at a bunch of prizes, including $1000.00! For more information about the challenge check out their website and Facebook page.