Wrapping a smile up through quilting

Essentials Department Store is once again hosting a “quilting bee” and are in need of volunteers to make this happen.

Essentials Department Store is once again hosting a “quilting bee” and are in need of volunteers to make this happen.

Two days have been set aside for the event.

On February 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the group will gather for cutting. Volunteers are asked to bring a cutting mat, rotary cutter and rulers to cut eight inch squares.

Then on February 26 the sewing will happen from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Rotarians have worked with local quilt guilds and individual quilters to collect quilts for Wrap-A-Smile.

Quilts are sent to Rotoplast headquarters in San Francisco and are then delivered along with medical supplies and medical equipment by Rotoplast team members to hospitals in Third World countries, where the mission performs 100-125 life changing cleft palate/cleft lip surgeries.

“The young patients are lovingly wrapped in the quilts, which often become a prized possession. They are a great reminder of the day that a smile was finally put on a patient’s face or a deformity removed,” said one of the organizers Donna Robertson.

“I am a quilter and I work one day a week at Essentials Department Store. My boss, Carrie Rickards, is a Rotarian and Rotoplast is a service project of Rotary International. Local quilt guilds, as well as individual quilters have made quilts for Wrap-A-Smile. We are a quilt store (among other things) and we have a classroom in which we can cut and sew the quilts. Everyone at Essentials thinks it is a worthwhile project and I volunteered to organize the quilting bee.”

This will be the second time the group has done this event. The first time was in November 2008 when they had fourteen ladies show up. The group made eight quilts in one day. The group is looking for as many people as possible because the more people who take part, the more quilts they can make.

“We are looking for anyone who can help us cut, sandwich together and sew the quilts. The sewing is all straight stitching so if you can sew a straight line we want you,” Robertson said.

When asked why making the quilts was important to her, Robertson explained that doing something for the children was a key.

“Before Wrap-a-Smile, surgeries were being performed on children and they were sent home wrapped in a plastic sheet.For those of us who have so much, this is just one small way we can make someone’s life better. And besides it is an excuse to get together and sew. It doesn’t get any better than that,” she said.

For further information please call Donna at Essentials, 250-342-9313 on Mondays or at home at 250-342-9022.