In anticipation of the opening of the new Gies Family Centre Hospice on University Avenue in Waterloo, 28 quilts, table runners and wall hangings will be gifted by the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild.
All quilted items have been made and donated by members of the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild through the guild’s PAL program. PAL is one of several outreach programs of the nearly 250 member guild. Other outreach projects include Smile, Touch and Memory.
The presentation on Thursday afternoon is only one of the hospice centres that have received quilts. These PAL quilts support palliative and friendship needs in the community. Donations also go to Hospice Homes, Lisaard, Innisfree, Wellington and Waterloo, Vera’s Place as well as other venues as the need arises. New initiatives include St. Mary’s Hospital for palliative care and the Tiny Homes at Lot 42 in Kitchener. These quilts are meant to provide comfort to individuals and their families while in residence at a hospice. The quilts may be gifted to the families or kept by the hospice for future use on the beds.
In the five years this program has been in existence, the number of quilts donated yearly has steadily increased from 22 to 70 in this past year. In the last two years the guild has provided financial support for batting and backing. Members willingly contribute their own fabrics, time and expertise in an effort to provide comfort during a time of need.
Smile quilts are donated to the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic at Grand River Hospital and are given to children undergoing treatment for cancer or other serious illnesses, to provide comfort and warmth. This past year 182 quilts were delivered to the hospital to be given to children.
Memory quilts are donated to Grand River Hospital’s Bereavement Program and are given to those families who have lost an infant to stillbirth, SIDS or some other catastrophe. Thirty quilts were provided this past year.
The Touch Quilt Program run by the KW Alzheimer Society provides individuals with later stage Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia an item of comfort to hold and touch with their hands.
This past year, our guild members accepted a guild challenge to “Brighten Someone’s Day” by creating table runners. Nearly 100 table runners were donated to the PAL program and subsequently delivered to Hospices. Some remain available for future needs.
The guild has also donated nearly 15,000 home-made cloth masks to a wide variety of community organizations. In partnership with the Waterloo Days for Girls organization, an additional 4,000 masks have been donated to Indigenous Communities locally and in Northern Ontario.
The Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild continues to be a busy and active guild in pursuit of always discovering something new about the art of quilting and making a difference.