Monday, September 6, 2010

75 Quilts + a Prison=HOPE

A little more than a week ago, I entered the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility with 75 kid-themed quilts. Many of the quilts were made by generous volunteer quilters from all over the country. The quilts pictured below have been finished off recently and were given away that day.
Maybe you are wondering how I came to the point of entering a prison with 75 quilts....well, it is a story only God could orchestrate. Using his infinite wisdom and love he connected me with two ladies--Mary Engle who is the Executive Director of Prison Fellowship in Michigan and Scottie Barnes who is the director of Forgiven Ministries. To make a long story short, Forgiven Ministries enters into prisons and puts on a two day workshop called Great Dads/Marvelous Moms (depending on whether it is in a men's or women's prison). On the first day the dads/moms are encouraged in their relationships with their kids and God. On the second day the children of the dads/moms come into the prison for a day of fun and love and relationship building.
Margaret's Hope Chest agreed to provide quilts for the 3 camps that are running in the state of Michigan in 2010. Each mom/dad has the opportunity to pick a quilt for their child to take home with them. We mean for the quilts to be a tangible symbol of HOPE, comfort and love.
So back to the day last week when we lugged 5 bulging bags of quilts through 2 sets of heavy metal doors and the lives of 20 precious mothers.....
as of this moment I am still unable to sit down and write out exactly what I experienced that day but I can tell you this much
*God was present
*God has given Forgiven Ministries a wonderful group of staff and volunteers--each with a unique story of forgiveness and love to share with these men and women.
*I felt as if I belonged there.
*The quilts were a HUGE hit! The mothers carefully chose a quilt that their child would like--thankfully we have a wonderful selection for them to chose from.
*My grandma's love and forgiveness was present in that room among those quilts.
*I can hardly wait to do it again at the end of this month!

I am anxiously waiting for more pictures from that weekend to be e-mailed to me so you can see the joy on those mother's faces and the faces of their precious children.

In the meantime I have a question for you.....Do you have a child themed quilt that you could send to us to share with these families? Do you have time to make a child-themed quilt over the next 2 months?
We need about 50 more quilts to cover the next 2 giveaways--one at the end of this month and one in early November.
****EDIT****Quilts can be any size but a good size is 40X60 inches--the kids are ages 4-17.
Leave a comment or e-mail if you can help--Thanks!

My son Josiah was very interested in the John Deere themed quilt!


Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

how big do you want them to be?

marilyn said...

I am going to get my daughter working on a quilt! What an amazing ministry. God bless you!

Pat said...

Yes! I will help spread HOPE! I have a smaller 40 x 50 that is baby themed~could you use that one?

Anita said...

I finished up 2 quilts this weekend for you and will drop them in the mail tomorrow.

Rita E said...

Yes, count me in! I make quilts for kids for Project Linus but can send a couple your way. Will need a mailing address.

Sherry said...

Oh Carin, I have a couple tops for kids that would work perfect for this project! I will quilt them up & send them off to you. What a great outreach; I'm so excited for you and the families you reach out to! Thanks for all you do.

Renae said...

I'd be happy to make one--I need a reason to make something other than a baby size.

amandajean said...

wow. i got major goosebumps reading this post. what an amazing opportunity to help deliver HOPE to those that need it. amazing. God is so good!

Carol said...

I would be more than happy to make tops and donate the backs and bindings but I don't do the machine quilting...can you take just the tops, backs and bindings?

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

I can donate. I sure wish I could start a similar ministry. My husband (and most of our small town) works for the prison. We have TWO state prisons in our town.