Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Club makes quilts for charity

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Apr 17, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo From left, Ann Weigel, Margaret Berg and Marilyn Kane make a quilt Monday afternoon in the basement of the First Lutheran Church of Fairfield. The trio was among about a dozen people gathered to make quilts for Lutheran World Relief.

“Knowing that someone will be warm.”

That’s what motivates Letha Goehring to volunteer her time making quilts in the basement of First Lutheran Church of Fairfield. Goehring is one of about a dozen people who meet twice a month to make quilts for Lutheran World Relief.

The group, chiefly women who belong to the church, makes 150 quilts each year, most of which are donated to Lutheran World Relief. The quilts go wherever they’re needed all across the world. In 2017, Lutheran World Relief aided more than 570,000 people in 21 countries such as India, Georgia, Nicaragua and Angola, just to name a few. The organization distributed 300,000 quilts, in addition to other supplies such as 214,000 school kits, 153,000 personal care kits and 52,000 baby care kits. Kits include items such as T-shirts, blankets, diapers, socks, sweaters, soap and towels.

The local quilting club is a branch of the Women of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s action committee. Margaret Berg, co-chairwoman with Goehring of the action committee, said the club has donated more than 4,000 quilts to Lutheran World Relief in the past 30 years.

About 10 of the group’s quilts are kept locally to give as gifts to high school graduates in the church or to those in need, such as victims of house fires. First Lutheran Church hosts a free meal twice a month called “Come to Supper,” and quilts have been awarded to people who attended the dinners.

The quilters meet the third Monday and Tuesday of the month. They used to meet once every two weeks, but realized they were wasting time setting up and putting away the materials, so now they meet on consecutive days.

“Most of us who come are members of the church, but we’ll take anybody,” Berg said.

No quilting experience is necessary to join, either.

“We can teach fast,” Berg said.

Members prefer some aspects of quilting more than others. For instance, Goehring has been volunteering for 20 years, and loves to sew the edges of the quilt with a sewing machine. Other members like tying knots, and some don’t mind what job they do.

“I love being able to do something that I know will be appreciated,” said Berg, who volunteered for Lutheran World Relief even before she joined the church in 1960. “This is my group of friends and we’re all very close.”

Claudia Worley joined the group a few years ago after she retired from teaching.

“We think of ourselves as disciples. What do disciples do? Tell the story of Jesus,” Worley said. “Jesus calls us to be servants, and that is what we are. This is only a small part of our servanthood.”

The group has been fortunate in that it has never had to buy cloth for the quilts because it’s always received enough in donations. The only thing it buys is batting, the layer of insulation between fabrics that makes the quilt warm and heavy. Those interested in learning more about the group can contact Berg at 472-2543. It meets from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the third Monday and Tuesday of the month. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch, though group members often bring snacks to share.

The third Monday of next month is May 21. The public is invited to attend.

 

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