© Star photo by Frank Gale
Members of the Sunshine Quilters from back to front: Joan Coish, Emma Smith and Joyce Strong stand next to the 18 quilts the group is sending to Victoria’s Quilts for distribution to cancer patients.
Joyce Strong of the Sunshine Quilters in Stephenville said lots of friendship and fellowship took place as volunteers with the group created hand-made quilts for cancer patients.
Each year the group has been making a quilt for a charity they chose, but decided to do something a little different this year when they chose Victoria’s Quilts as their charity group. Instead of just one quilt made by the full group this year, members decided to each make one, totaling 18 quilts that are being sent off.
Strong explained that Victoria’s Quilts is led by a woman named Betty Griffin, who set up a non-profit agency in August of 1998.
The organization is now supported by donations and more than 700 volunteers who not only sew the quilts but do all the other necessary work of the agency.
There are six groups across Canada located in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. In its first year, 16 quilts were made and distributed and this past year, a total of 14,000 quilts were delivered.
Strong said the hand-made quilts are made to be given to any person fighting cancer in Canada and when a request is made with the required name and address, the quilt is sent free of charge.
She said the hope of Victoria’s Quilts is to bring comfort by providing physical and spiritual support to people who are fighting cancer. With each gift of a quilt, the quilt makers hope to provide courage for the person to go on in the fight against cancer.
“The person receiving the quilt receives a message of warmth and hope and indeed it’s a wonderful feeling for them knowing there are others who care. That’s the reason Sunshine Quilters are sending these quilts to Victoria’s Quilts for distribution,” Strong said.
The Sunshine Quilters meet each Thursday throughout the winter at the United Church Hall on St. Clare Avenue in Stephenville and members work at making quilts throughout the day.
With the preparations of the quilts on Thursday to be sent off to Victoria’s Quilts, the group is now taking a break for the summer.
Anyone who has cancer and wants to request a quilt can contact: Victoria’s Quilts Canada, 454-1568 Merivale Road, Ottawa, ON, K26 5Y7; go online at website www.victoriasquiltscanada.com or phone (613) 843-9212.