My story with ‘Quilts For Orphans’ (QFO’s) began when I finished full time work and then wondered what I am going to do with the rest of my life! At the age of 52, breast cancer interrupted full time work and after 3 operations, chemo therapy and radiation treatment, I was in no shape to go back to employment. So I began making little dresses for the orphans in India which were delivered by teams on Mission trips from my church. I then went to the Russian side of our Missions and asked ‘what can I do for them?’ They responded with the suggestion of beanies and scarves.
My story with ‘Quilts For Orphans’ (QFO’s) began when I finished full time work and then wondered what I am going to do with the rest of my life!
I set a goal of 1,000 and my daughter Rachel and our friend Inge, joined with me to make it happen. Other women heard about my endeavour and the bags of beanies and scarves came flooding in. When the number reached 3,000 I decided to go back to the Indian side of our missions and ask what else we could do. It was then that Helen, wife of Keith, founder of Christian Outreach Missions, said they would love a quilt.
Thus began the adventure with QFO’s. From three women, we now number approximately 25, with many ladies posting in quilt tops and completed quilts from around Australia. Parcels arrive every month from quilters in the Northern Territory to Tasmania and even one from New Zealand.
A side benefit is the friendships which have grown amongst the ladies who come every month. When new ladies come they feel welcomed and part of our vision from day one. All ages are welcome. No sewing skills are required as we teach on the job and it is free. Ladies, who are now retired and empty nesters, find a new purpose for the later years and this brings a new vigour, and ‘yes’ happiness.
To date QFO’s has made and distributed approximately 2,000 quilts to children around the world including those in our local communities. Organisations within countries such as India, Africa, China, North Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Romania and Afghanistan have received QFO’s fabric hugs.
Unfortunately there will always be orphaned children. Fortunately we will continue as long as needed. If you would like to help us in any way, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- Gaynor Peterson
Founder Quilts for Orphans Australia
The quilts are made, both by us from donated fabric and by offsite stitchers who gift us their quilts.
Many thanks Billanook for taking the time and trouble to show us our quilts at their destination.
Also a big thank you to Pauline who donated 2 quilts to us at the Festival of Quilts.
The inaugural Quilts for Orphans Festival of Quilts concluded Sunday 18th November.
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