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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recap--Margaret's Hope Chest 2015

Hello faithful blog readers!  I am back.....again.....again.  Let's just say last year got away from me in the blogging department.  So much I wish I had taken the time to share.  Believe it or not, even though I was silent most of the year here, God's mission through us continued to grow and flourish.  I think that is a sign of something--I am not sure what exactly but it definitely points towards God's faithfulness and love for His children who are hurting in this world. 
So, today I wanted to recap what Margaret's Hope Chest did as far as quilt giving from November 2014-December 2015:

2 quilts were donated for fundraising auctions.
7 quilts were given to people who found themselves without a permanent home.
7 quilts were given to Pregnancy Resource Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
8 quilts were given to the Veterans Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
8 quilts were given to people grieving a loss in their life.
8 quilts were given to individuals getting treatment for cancer.
10 quilts were given to In The Image in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
12 heart-themed quilts were gifted to Mitchell's Journey and distributed to kids with heart disease.
16 quilts found a new home in Matamoros, Mexico.
22 baby quilts were given to the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan for families who      welcomed a child with Down Syndrome into their family.
23 quilts traveled to Guatemala for children in an orphanage.
45 quilts were given to men, women and children who had a family member in prison.
99 quilts were given to the postpartum depression mother-baby program at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In 2015 we gave the gift of HOPE and comfort to 267 individuals!

Over the past 8 years we have given a gift of HOPE and comfort to 2,397 individuals.  Praise God.

I want to come back later this week and share about some other things that happened in 2015 at Margaret's Hope Chest and what we are working on for 2016.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back in The Saddle......

I am back....again.  Let's just pretend that I wrote blog posts for the past 7 months shall we?  I feel like a stranger to this space.  I hardly know where to begin but I guess it is time for us to get reacquainted because the work of Margaret's Hope Chest has not stopped even though my blogging has.
Hi, my name is Carin and together with my mom (Carol) we run Margaret's Hope Chest--a quilting non-profit that strives to give HOPE and comfort to hurting people through the gift of a homemade quilt. 
Outside of quilting, I have a busy family life.  My husband and I have 6 amazing children.  We adopted our two youngest daughters from China--Pearl in 2013, and Molly just last month! 
Here is the most updated picture of our family, taken about 2 weeks ago:

 And here I am with Pearl and Molly--also known as Double Trouble. (they are 4 months apart in age--Pearl will be 5 in October and Molly with be 5 in February)
Within weeks of writing the past post in January, I decided to start making custom quilts for people to help pay for some of our adoption costs.  I have never really sold quilts before so this was a new arena for me. Here is my take on making custom quilts--a fun challenge but you will never be able to charge as much as they are worth.  See this panda quilt?
I designed the whole thing.  Fun, but a bit time consuming.  It was for another adoptive family that  met their daughter a few months before we met Molly. 

I also made about 5 more between Februaury and May. Phew. It was exhausting but we paid all of the adoption fees and the goal was met.

It is now time to move back into VOLUNTEER quilting--my favorite kind! 

So here is where we stand:
We have given away 2,310 quilts over the past 8 years!!!!  I would estimate that since January we given away around 50 quilts.  We will be giving away another 30 at a prison in late October.  We have 24 quilts ready to be given to the mother's postpartum depression program----but we still need help!

We are looking for volunteers to make a quilt for the postpartum depression program at Pine Rest (Click underlined sentence for more information).  I am described before what this program means to me personally-but since we are getting reaquinted here, I will share again briefly my own struggles with PPD. 
After my 3rd and 4th pregnancies I experienced PPD and anxiety. It was not a great place to be. Without my husband staying home with me for 6 weeks, I am not sure I would have made it.  Many of the ladies who attend this program do not have a husband or any other support person who can stay home and take care of them--and so this program is literally saving their lives and possibly the lives of their babies.  We have heard over and over again that these quilts are a HUGE comfort to these moms---and a HUGE symbol of HOPE!  If you are able--could you please sign up to make a quilt for a mom?  Email me with the month that you can help and I will reply with the directions.
Basically---any size, bright cheerful colors and designs--something that shouts "You are going to make it---don't give up HOPE!"
*You can make the quilt and send it to us at any time before the assigned month*


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Year, A New Life

Good Evening faithful friends of Margaret's Hope Chest!
It's a new year.  I am living in a new country. Yes, our family moved once more and now we are just across the Texas border in good old Mexico.  We lived in Mexico (different city) about 10 years ago.  It's good to be back. Although being this close to the border, we slip over to Texas for most of our needs and wants.
I have a new home situation too--one that I hope will be more conducive to quilting.  I am no longer homeschooling my kids--the four oldest leave the house around 7am and don't return until 4pm.  That leaves me with one child.  I haven't had one child in the house for 11 years.  It takes a little getting used to but I can already feel my creative 'sinuses', if you will, opening back up.

So, I have a new life of sorts.  I hope to spend more time here sharing and encouraging others to help us spread HOPE and comfort.

I actually have done quite a bit of quilting over the past few months--but not for Margaret's Hope Chest.  I made and sold several quilts to help fund raise for our upcoming adoption.  I thought I would share those with you today.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

To our faithful readers (even when I am not faithfully writing),
Merry Christmas to each of you! 
Thank you for being part of the Margaret's Hope Chest family.
Carin and Carol

Monday, December 8, 2014

12 Quilts to Mitchell's Journey

 Earlier this year we asked for help creating HEART themed quilts. We had a wonderful response to that request and last week I was able to mail these 12 quilts to Mitchell's Journey. In 2005, Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a catastrophic muscle wasting disease which results in progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early twenties. He died in March of 2013. In December 2013, as part of their healing journey, Mitchell's family returned to the hospital where he was cared for (in Utah) to give quilts to children there.  This Christmas, they plan to return and these quilts will help them to continue healing through serving.  Thank you to all who sent one of these beautiful quilts.  I am sure they will be a wonderful gift to 12 amazing children.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Much Needed Update!!!

Hi Friends!!!
It has been way too many months since I have updated our blog and about a year since I have given an update on where our beloved quilts have gone!
I have good excuses for not blogging (NOT ENOUGH TIME!) but I do apologize for not keeping everyone in the loop on recent happenings.  We do have a Facebook group that I update more regularily so check that out if you haven't already.

The big news is that we are up to 2130 quilts given away!  That means that since my last post exactly four months ago we have given away 130 quilts! Wow!  I have been to two prison giveaways in Michigan since then--and loved every minute of my time with the inmates and their children.

Here is a rundown of everything else happening over the last 12 months:
97 went to the mother-baby program at Pine Rest
10 baby quilts went to Kenya
10 went to an immigrant family with adults and children living near church
17 went to organizations serving low-income families
9 went to children with a parent in prison having a birthday
2 went to disabled children in Haiti
7 went to fund-raisers
these are the people who received a quilt when they were diagnosed with/being treated for cancer - Barry, Amy, Bob, An, Thelma, Randy, Elijah, Ruth, Jos
6 quilts went to people who were struggling because of disabilities, surgery, injuries
5 went to children and adults who were mourning a death in their family
we sent out 9 to people whose family member was in prison (mother-in-law, sister, non-birthday)
and 73 were given away at 2 prison giveaways through Forgiven Ministries
On Sunday, my daughter Anne and I will travel to Village of Hope in Guatemala and deliver 23 quilts to children living in an orphanage there! We are so excited!!! Lots of pictures to follow from that!
Again, we would like to thank ALL for helping us out over the last year(s).  Obviously, we cannot do this alone--and so we rely on God for guidance, and volunteer quilters for quilts.
If you have an extra quilt or some time to make a quilt we could really use more quilts for the mother/baby program at Pine Rest. They are seeing more and more women who need help navigating through post-partum depression.  They absolutely LOVE the quilts and always want us to thank those who have helped in the past.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The 2000th.....

 This quilt was constructed by my mom.
She made it from fabrics that reminded her of the housecoats that her mom wore around the house many years ago--soft, flowery fabrics.
My mom thought of her 'Aunt' Thelm as she carefully fit the pieces together.  ('Aunt' Thelm is actually married to my grandpa's cousin Herm which would make her my mom's 2nd cousin--made more sense to just call her 'aunt' because their families were so close).
Aunt Thelm has colon cancer and is 86 years old.  As you can imagine, there is not much that can be done.  She is receiving palliative care and waiting....
We knew we were approaching our 2000th quilt given and we decided that it HAD to go to Aunt Thelm.  She was my grandma Margaret's best friend.  So close in fact, that in 1947 my grandparents and Aunt Thelm and Uncle Herm almost had a double wedding!  But as the story goes, my grandparents were 'over-eager' and got married two weeks before Herm and Thelm. 

 If my grandma were still alive and well enough to, she would have cared for her friend Thelm in any way she could.  My mom was my grandma's hands--creating a quilt of comfort and HOPE.  It was very sweet to see my mom give it to her.
 It was also special to see my mom embraced by two people who bring back such good memories of her own parents.   She didn't want to get up from the couch :)  I don't blame her!

And so, a big milestone for Margaret's Hope Chest---2000 quilts.  2000 people just like Aunt Thelm--grasping for HOPE and comfort is an uncomfortable and scary world.  Thank you Jesus for your blessings on our work.