I had word from both Shirley and Arlee at Albedo Design about a drive to both raise money for Red Cross to cover immediate needs and to produce quilts.
Quilters Comfort America is being coordinated by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, Director of the International Quilt Festival Houston and Chicago. Their organization is promising to “match every donation made by quilters to the American Red Cross, up to a maximum of $10,000, on a dollar for dollar basis.” They are also calling for quilts of all kinds to be distributed to those who have lost everything.
After the fires here in Canberra in 2003 there was a quilt drive to make quilts for every person who lost their home. Of course the week of the crisis people were dealing with not having things like clothes and a place to live but as time went on there is a deeper loss and this is where something such as quilt can be of great significance. I have memories of a man trying to hold back tears clutching a quilt repeating over and over “its so nice to think that someone cared enough to make this”. He obviously appreciated the quit not necessarily for the practical purpose of warmth but because it signified care.
As people re-establish their lives there is another psychological loss for anyone who makes things – that of the crafting stash. Often when rebuilding a life all money goes on the necessities and there is nothing left over for interests or hobbies. On the discussion lists and forums I am sure there will be drives to donate crafting materials to people. These drives at the right time, are also important as recreational interests are about psychological recovery. At the moment however people need assistance in very practical ways and participating in fundraisers any we can will be of help.
People can help by donating money and actively participating in the large drives. People can also help on an individual basis as every little bit helps it also makes us feel not quite so helpless. In the US go to the e-Bay Givingworks as this is a dedicated program for charity listings where you can buy and sell items. If you are on a tight budget as many studio based artists are, you can donate work for sale. In Australia I think you can sell works via the Ebay Australia charity page . It is not clear if you need to be a registered charity and I have just made customer enquiries as to weather individuals can sell things as part of a fundraiser. I will let you know what the reply is. Meanwhile I am thinking what I can make and put up for sale and of course find the time to make it!
Jenny Vorwaller of Queenthings left a comment to say she had made a collage that she is auctioning on ebay. The money earned will go to the Red Cross. Caity of Princess and the pea is also making and donating an art quilt for the cause.
Knitters too are fundraising. Susan of I am knitting as fast as can and Margine of zeneedle have set up fundraisers on their blogs. Most of the fundraisers I have seen are donating to the American Red Cross but Angela of Knitting angel has listed the key charities that people can make donations to.
There will I am sure be other fundraisers as textile practitioners thinks of things – let me know leave a comment or email me as this disaster is going to take a long time to get over. I know America is a rich country but I think this will set even them back.
As an American, I thank you. Our news coverage has not been showing us relief efforts in other countries to benefit us, so it is so nice to know someone out there is thinking of us.
Hi Sharon, your concern for the hurricane victims in my country is so heartwarming. Thank you so much for taking the time to post the links for donations and fund raisers.
I would like to say though, that Americans as a whole are not rich. Most of us keep our heads just above water so to speak and are thankful for that. Our government is where the wealth is and big corporations that add to the governments supply. Sadly, 90% of the wealth in the US is controled by only 10% of the people.
Anyway, thank you again for your concern. The entire US will eventually be affected by this so every little bit of help will eventually help someone.