Members of the Lighthouse Quilt Guild use their time and talents to give back to the community.
The Guild has three main Community Outreach projects:
Breast Cancer Center Quilts
Habitat for Humanity Quilts
Guild members make about 200 quilts annually for the Ottawa County’s Maternal and Infant Health Program. This program serves a population of people in need and every baby gets a quilt from one of their visiting nurses. Oftentimes that quilt is the only new item the baby will receive and it is treasured.
Kits are available that include the cut fabric for the quilt top, the quilt back, pattern, label, and batting. These kits are currently available by request – just send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Baby quilts can also be made from your stash, using fun, colorful fabrics. The recommended size is 36″ x 46″ (no larger than 40″ x 50″). If there is one part of quilting that you enjoy more than another, don’t let that stop you from participating in this project – there is need for quilters in all parts of the process. Donations of quality cotton fabrics and batting are always appreciated.
Breast Cancer Center Quilts –
About 60-70 lap quilts are made annually and given to newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients at the Breast Center of North Ottawa Community Hospital. The women who receive these quilts choose from at least 7 on a shelf at the Center. When a woman receives a quilt, there is an invisible thread from the designer/maker who puts her love into the quilt to the woman who selects it. The staff at the Center say that such a quilt becomes a valued companion, not only for warm naps, but also as a beautiful gift representing time freely given by a quilter who usually has a connection with a friend or family member who has had breast cancer.
The quilts are approximately 50″ x 70″ or 60″ square and made out of bright, happy colors. They don’t have to be pink – in fact, it’s better if they are not. One dear lady even hope for a Detroit Tigers quilt! Donations are always welcomed – especially yardage for backings for the quilts. There is also a need for members to quilt, bind, and make kits. There’s a spot for everyone!
The Guild recently received the following letter from a nurse in the Clinic:
Dear Members of the Lighthouse Quilt Guild,
I don’t know where to begin to thank you, for all the hard work put into the beautiful quilts, you’ve donated to the North Ottawa Breast Clinic, over the years. Our patients can be touched beyond what mere words can convey, when receiving one. I’ve had many patients who have been stoic during the conversations with them, regarding the results of their positive pathology reports and probable course of treatment, to have them brought to tears when offering them a quilt. They all comment on how thoughtful and kind it is, for group to make them. So thank you, to each one of you who are involved with the quilts, from the bottom of our hearts, and those of our patients.
Habitat for Humanity Quilts – Guild members make sure that families moving into our local Habitat for Humanity homes are welcomed with a beautiful, hand-made family-size quilt. This quilt is presented when the house is given to the family who helped build it. This program is currently on hold due to the Covid-19 shut-down.
These Community Outreach Program projects are sustained by the participation of many Guild members. Typically more than half of the members in the guild participate in this Outreach program. There are six committee members who cut fabric and package kits, recently as many as 148 quilt kits. At least six members volunteer for long-arm quilting; other members bind quilts and wash them.
Every member can contribute to these projects – donate materials, cut and package kits, make tops, quilt, and apply bindings. There is something for everyone to do – at any level of quilting experience!