Augusta State Quilt Show

Yesterday Mr. Wrap-A-Smile and I spent the day meeting new people and spreading the word about both WAS and Rotary.  We were one of only three displays in the charity category, sharing space with Quilts of Valorand Project Linus, two other national programs meeting local needs.

The human connections and all the stories are what keep me going with this project.  Two people shared their stories of an adopted boy from China and an adopted girl from Guatemala, both of whom had their cleft anomalies repaired in the US.  They understood how life changing these surgeries are and how a quilt could be comforting during such an emotional procedure.

A middle school geometry teacher told me about the student quilting projects she leads.  Her school has an integrated concept where for a week at a time, a special project that would use multiple disciples can be undertaken.  All quilters understand shapes, angles, sequences, rotations... geometry, right??  The students quickly learned that math has …

Welcoming Charlotte to our expanding network

I'd like to introduce our newest Regional Coordinator Charlotte M from the Central Valley in California. Charlotte is an avid quilter, a Rotarian and has had the fabulous experience of volunteering on 4 missions with Alliance for Smiles.  Charlotte gathers quilts for Wrap-A-Smile, has done some finishing with her longarm, and recently drove her first delivery of quilts to AFSin San Francisco.  Welcome to Charlotte and thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication to our cause.

WAS is widening its network of quilters and financial supporters, both to share the fun (and it isfun, right Charlotte??) and to reduce everyone's shipping costs.  Help is needed to quilt, to gather, to finish, to deliver.... and of course just to spread "the good word" about what WAS does for babies and children in other countries who are born with oral clefts.

And now, in Charlotte's words:

     GREAT FUN!!  It is fun to be part of a generous and dedicated group of quilters.  I am amazed at…

Rotaplast in Tanzania

Here are the links for the recently completed Rotaplast mission to Tanzania.  There are only a few photos of children with their quilts, but photojournalist Drexel Smith did a superb job of describing the emotions and the myriad of details that go into one of these missions.  The stories of how far a parent will travel (literally!) to help their child will touch your soul.  After reading these stories my friend Louise wrote "I can't imagine how difficult it must be to travel so far, full of anxiety and longing, hope and determination.  To wait for hours while strangers who don't speak your language operate on your child.  These missions are just amazing!"  

I encourage you to read through these links to get a fuller appreciation of the work that Rotaplast does.

Coincidentally, the Day 5 Surgery blog does show two quilts that were made by Rotarians in my own Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor.  That was quite a surprise as we ship 45-50 quilts per box and we don't kno…

The Mendota Retreat

What a fun time I had last week in Minneapolis, sewing quilt tops and getting to know In person the quilters with whom I have had an online friendship this past year.  Before showing you what we accomplished I’d like to share some history.

The first thing I did when I took over as Director of Wrap-A-Smile was to join the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild, per Terry’s encouragement.  The Sunshine guild is a group of quilters who sew almost exclusively for charity, with the guild's two officially sanctioned charities being Wrap-A-Smile and Quilts Beyond Borders.  The guild has over 200 members but only 20-30 have ever met in person.  Through almost daily online posts of their quilts, and the stories that go with them, I have come to know these people as generous, witty, creative and very committed to their charity projects.  I was anxious to meet them in person!     
The recent retreat in Mendota Heights (Minneapolis) was the third biennial retreat that the Sunnies have organized.  Fifteen …

Quilts on their way to Tanzania

I am forwarding a very nice post from the Rotaplast blog about their upcoming mission to Tanzania. Photojournalist Drexel Smith gave a great shout out to Wrap-A-Smile.  Thank you to all the quilters to contributed the 100 quilts we have packed for this mission.  I am hoping for some great photos in the days ahead.  And thank you Drexel!

It came full circle.....

Thursday evening in Boothbay Harbor is always Rotary evening and tonight we had special guests. Terry Hodskins Fullam, founder of Wrap-A-Smile, came to visit with two of her fellow Rotarians from the Wells (Maine) Rotary Club. Terry is not shy in front of a microphone. With a bit of drama and humor she described how the Boothbay club was one of her earliest supporters when WAS was in its infancy.  She had reached out to our club for help with quilting and was not deterred when the answer was "No".  This was before I had moved to Maine, but as she tells it, the Boothbay Rotarians countered with "how else can we help"?  They offered a $500 donation which covered some early publicity, some shipping costs, and the fun of a fabric shopping spree for her quilting friends.  And Wrap-A-Smile was launched!

Tonight Terry surprised me by handing me a check from the Wells Rotary in the same amount that Boothbay Harbor had shared 18 years ago to help fund her project.  As she s…

Just have to brag...

I am fortunate to have a great network of friends helping me promote Wrap-A-Smile, and today I just have to brag about my friend (and WAS adviser) Ann H.  Ann is a true artist: she paints, she pots, and now she quilts (obsessively so, says her supportive husband). Just a few months ago Ann was giving me hand tied quilts with simple squares sewn together.  Then, at our last Quiltathon, she appeared with this work of art:

The oversized “crumbs” are dramatic and will certainly light up the operating room as this quilt wraps a child on the day his or her life changes forever. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your creativity.