On October 16th I received an email from Brenda Acosta, an Outreach Worker with Burnaby Family Life’s Pre & Postnatal Services. This is some of what she wrote: “We have a program for Babies (under 6 months) & Mothers who are struggling with multiple barriers. We also have our Pregnancy Outreach Program for pregnant women. We are a support group for residence of Burnaby and New Westminster. We offer a nutritious lunch and educational talks each week for our clients and most importantly it is a way for our clients to form new supports with one another. Most of our clients are low-income, single parenting, isolated, in an abusive relationships and often our clients have multiple barriers. We have approximately 80 wonderful clients per week.”
I talked to Brenda the next morning. In her email she had asked if our guild could donate some quilts to the women she worked with. She had been to our quilt show in June and she was very impressed with what she saw. She told me that when she gave birth to her son 18 years ago a friend had given her a baby quilt, which she says her son still has on his bed. She was very touched, and she wanted her clients to have that same kind of experience. I said I would see what I could do. At our October Guild meeting I was given 3 baby quilts. I want to emphasize that this project was NOT to take away from our own Community Quilts Program but to add to it.
I contacted the other two quilt guilds on the North Shore and I talked it up with a couple of small quilting groups I meet with during the month. I mentioned it to a friend in Port Moody who is not a quilter but did have a friend who was a quilter, and that friend donated 3 baby quilts. I started to get emails about quilt donations from all over the lower mainland and a couple of quilts came from Nanaimo. There were quilts from Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Vancouver and of course the North Shore. They came from everywhere. It was raining quilts!!
Forty-one days later on Sunday December 7th, Brenda came to my house and collected 49 quilts which I had piled up on a table. It didn’t look like 49 quilts but they weighed what 49 quilts would weigh. The following Friday, December 12th, I met Brenda in Burnaby and gave her another 9 quilts, making it a grand total of 58 quilts. She had asked for 40.
Thank you everyone who participated in this off the North Shore Baby Quilts Project. I have a very strong feeling that I will be doing this again. Brenda wants to have coffee soon.