With a heavy heart I write this post. I also write it from the comfort of my own home, surrounded by family, my quilts, our things, our lives. Sadly, for thousands that will no longer be the case.
If you are here in Canada you've no doubt heard of the wildfire ravaging the city, towns, and area around Fort McMurray, in the northern part of my Province, Alberta. If you are international you may have heard about it too. A city of over 80,000 people evacuated. Large swaths of the city burned to the ground - homes, businesses, hotels, even infrastructure. It is so damn scary.
As people do when faced with a community tragedy we come together. People drive the highway to give away water, food, and gas to evacuees stranded. Oil companies open their oilsands camps to let evacuees stay for free. Homes are open to people living on cots with nothing but their name to carry. And quilters, quilters do what we do best.
There are numerous individuals and group gathering quilts to be shipped north when the right time comes, whether that is in rebuilding or now for people in shelters. Demand will be high, especially for the people who will have nothing, absolute nothing to go home to. I wanted to share information on where you can donate quilts, time, and money. Here is Calgary we know this far too well, but we also know the joy and love that is translated in some cotton sewn together with heart.
These places in the Calgary area are collecting quilts for eventual donation:
My Sewing Room (Finished Quilts)
Wonderfil Threads (Finished Quilts and donating time on their longarms to finish quilts.)
Erie Quilt Art (Finished Quilts)
One of the best resources is to join the Facebook page Quilts for Fort McMurray. Under the Events page they have listings of people across the country and internationally volunteering to collect quilts and ship as a group.
It is still the early days of the fire and it will be a while before details of distribution can be sorted. So please be patient with organizers. In the meantime, gather your friends, makes some slabs, or finish a quilt that needs a new home.
The last handful of the Just One Slab quilts have been waiting for donation and I will drop them off now as soon as I can sew labels on them. That outpouring of love from 3 years ago will still be appreciated.
Please note that I am not relaunching Just One Slab at this time. The response was awesome and amazing and overwhelming. Finished quilts are what people need now.
It is stories like this one that make your heart break. If you've never lived through anything like this, it doesn't take a big imagination to picture the terror and heartache. But it only takes a little bit of our love to spread some comfort and joy back into people's lives.
And remember, you can always donate to the Red Cross too. Text REDCROSS to 30333 to make a donation.