Our trip to Kinglake again yesterday was very heartwarming as we had the chance of speaking to some of the people who literally faced their own fears that they were going to die in the Black Saturday fires.
It's healing for them to tell their stories and they tell us that the quilts have helped them to look forward and not back. Some of the families have said that they will treasure the quilts because they will become their family's heirlooms. Others will use them to tell their young children about what happened on that day and how kindness of strangers helped them rebuild their lives. One lady said she can feel all the love that was stitched into her quilt and it brings her great comfort. She lost everything and said she doesn't even have an envelope to post a letter so the quilts remind her that they will recover and she is going to help pass quilts on to others in her community who also lost their homes. She said that she has nothing to give but will love being able to bless others with the beautiful quilts you've all donated.
So although it doesn't seem we can do enough to help these communities, please be assured that they are very grateful and appreciative of all your beautiful quilts you donated. The kids are so happy with them that they were asking for quilts for their friends or family members, who hadn't yet received a quilt. They took a lot of pleasure in choosing one which they thought would suit the person and I'm sure they will be much loved. One lady said she'd always wanted a quilt but didn't know how to make one and didn't think she deserved one as others were worse off. This is a common theme when we give out the quilts as they can all think of others who are less fortunate.
I intend to keep working on the quilts and giving them out as long as there are people who need them. As there were 3,000 homes burned down in just the Kinglake/Whittlesea area, I think we will need many more than 7,500 quilts. Yesterday was the first time we'd visited there when it didn't rain and the people are worried about the cold and wet winter they are facing while living in caravans and shipping containers. So if you have time to make a block, finish a top or a quilt, or even send prepared bindings, you can be sure that they will get to the people who need them and will be much loved and appreciated.
Thank you for all that you have done already.
Hugs Jan Mac