Time for an Update on our Quilts for Pulse Quilt Drive
The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has been a very busy guild!!
Most of you have heard of the Pulse massacre that occurred in Orlando on June 12. This is reported to be “the deadliest mass shooting in American History.” It was shocking and tragic and the sorrow and anger have been felt throughout our entire Central Florida region.
The members of Orlando Modern Quilt Guild felt a call to do something to comfort those that were affected by this horrific hate crime. So we did what we do best: we started to sew quilts of love! The problem was that this tragedy affected so many people, so we put out a request for help.
We asked for help making heart blocks, with the goal of making a quilt for each person that was shot, (or their loved one if deceased). We had hoped that other guilds would offer to make us a finished quilt and send it to us and that individuals and other guilds would make us blocks which we would turn into finished quilts. We felt that this could help us to reach our goal of 102 quilts.
Within hours, our guild president, Alissa, was flooded with offers to help! She started getting messages from all over the globe! The outpouring of love was instant and amazing!
Our guild was stunned (in the best possible way) with the sheer number of shares our Instagram posts were getting as well as the volume of emails, comments, and messages of goodwill coming our way. After some deliberation, we devised a plan that would work on the scale we needed. Our system is in place and working well.
So the main reason for this post is for you to get some kind of idea of our our “machine” is running. We feel like we have a great system into place and so far, all the pieces are working together just as we had hoped.
Below is an idea of how our “machine” is running:
OMQG President Alissa collects the mail from her hair salon throughout the week. She and her mom, Patti, open all of it and keep detailed records of what comes in. They read each and every note and comment that is sent. These have been extremely touching and words cannot convey the depth of emotions. Patti keeps a detailed spreadsheet listing everything that comes in.
Items received are sorted into piles: finished quilts, tops, blocks and donated supplies.
Task Leaders, Marge, Leslie and Jodi make regular trips to Alissa’s to pick up items to be dispersed. Blocks are grouped according to colors and block styles. Blocks are then bundled into groups to be sewn into quilt tops, and each set is numbered. These sets are given to guild members who have volunteered to create the tops.
Completed tops are collected and backing and batting are added. These sets are passed on to our quilters.
When the quilting is completed they are returned to Jodi, where she pairs them with binding and passes them along to our volunteer binders.
Once all our labels arrive, we have volunteers who will add them to each quilt.
We also have a team that is working on collecting the names and contact information of people involved in the shooting. This is difficult because of privacy laws, and because roughly half of those involved weren't from the states (it was Latin night at the club), so information may not be readily available. This also involves finding out who receives a quilt for those that have died.
We also have a team that is planning our distribution process. This team has been in contact with the hospital, Police department, fire department, 911 operators, in addition to The Center which is the hub of all of the help and giving in Orlando.
We have a Social Media Ambassadors, a team of members, who, in addition to the OrlandoMQG “official” account, Like and respond to #QuiltsforPulse posts on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Our Thank You committee is in the process of writing and mailing thank you notes to corporate donors and others who contributed quilts and tops; e-cards are being developed as well. We read each email, comment, and written note received and are touched by them all! With the volume and speed in which these well wishes have come in we realize some responses may have been missed, and for this we are deeply sorry.
This is a massive project! We have reached our initial goal of providing one quilt for every victim that was directly affected by a bullet, and because of your generosity and help, we are able to help even more! We would like to extend our goal to include giving a quilt to each person who was in the club that night. That is over 300 quilts and we are well on our way to reaching that goal. We also want to give quilts to the first responders and others that were highly involved in the horror of that night. We want them to know that we appreciate how they put their lives on the line to help others. Their stories of bravery are all over the internet. We hope to be able to give them a quilt made with our love as well!
We apologize if you came to our July meeting and didn’t get to “show and tell” your quilts, or felt as if it was a bit crazy...it was. It was a bit chaotic and rushed as it was our first meeting since this amazing quilt drive and we were overwhelmed with the sheer amount of quilts and information we had to transmit! The "machine" is running much smoother now and we will be back to our well oiled meetings as of this month!
And last but certainly not least, we have to give a HUGE Thank you to our corporate sponsors. We would be barely surviving without them. Really and truly, we would have all of your blocks and tops, but we for SURE wouldn't be so far along in completing the quilts! Robert Kaufman, Windham, Andover, Dream Batting, Hobbs Batting, Warm and Natural Batting, The Sewing Studio, Aurifil, Fil-Tec Thread, and StoryPatch labels. You guys really and truly have kept us going.
We hope this has been enlightening to you guys! You only have a few weeks left, so please if you're planning on helping our cause, dust those sewing machines off! If you are new to the effort, or want to refresh your memory with what we have asked for help with, please click here. Our due date for blocks and tops is August 15th, and the due date for finished quilts is September 15th. Our goal is to have the quilts finished by October. October is Pride month in Orlando and we are hoping to be part of an event to pass the quilts out to the survivors and victims loved ones. If we don't find an event to work with, we will be dropping off quilts at the contacts mentioned above so that people are able to pick up at specified locations.
We are SO excited that you guys have helped as much as you have. There is absolutely NO way we could have ever imagined the amount of help we have received. The amount of love felt every day while opening packages is overwhelming. We are sure that every recipient will feel the love as well.
President, Orlando MQG
President, Orlando MQG