Providing warmth on a cold night, protection from the sun on a hot day and even becoming a bed, a room divider or a backpack to carry belongings, a quilt can be a special blessing to those in need.
The Sew 'n Sews of All Saints Lutheran Church in Hudson have been making quilts to be distributed worldwide by Lutheran World Relief for the past 15 years. During that time Mae Voltz, the head of the group, says they have probably made close to a 1,000 quilts.
"We average 55 a year," she said.
Last Sunday, deemed "Quilt/Blanket Sunday" at the church, the 75 quilts the group created this past year were blessed by the Rev. George Meslow before being packed up and sent to areas of greatest need around the world. The congregation prayed for the people who would receive them.
When fighting broke out last year between Israel and Hezbollah, Lutheran World Relief's response to the humanitarian crisis included a shipment of 10,500 quilts and 18,700 health kits for people displaced by the violence.
Even in the Sahara, a warm quilt is a blessing. Temperatures go higher than 100 degrees during the day but can drop to the low 50s after the sun sets. The sick and elderly especially appreciate the quilts.
"Knowing (I'm) helping someone who needs to keep warm anywhere in the world makes me feel good," said Voltz.
The members of the group, who number anywhere from four to seven each week, make the quilt tops and backs at home and get together Thursdays at 10 a.m. to add filler and sew the quilts together.
"All the material is donated except for the filler," said Voltz.
The women have become good friends as they reach out to the needy of the world.
Pastor Meslow said he was overwhelmed with the number of quilts dedicated this year.
"This is a special example of our ability to share with those in need," he said. "It is a work of faith, love and charity. It is a absolute example of what Jesus wants us to do."
Where to call
All Saints Lutheran Church is at 9525 Hudson Ave. in Hudson, and the telephone number is (727) 862-9525.