Sunday, February 28, 2021

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Quilters serve local needs, fire victims

Pacific Flyway Quilters Community Service Coordinator Emma Thompson hands out donated quilts for veterans and victims of California wildfires to VFW members Bill Tanner and Rich Poletta, on Sept. 16.

Had it not been for a coronavirus pandemic, the Pacific Flyway Quilters would have held their annual Community Service Giveaway Night with a little more fanfare.

But when it comes to their generosity, however, it is the gift that counts.

On Sept. 16, the Colusa Masonic Lodge, where the group has met for more than a dozen years, was filled with the fruits of their labor this past year: hand sewn pet beds for the Colusa County Animal Shelter, comfort quilts for the California Highway Patrol, quilts for foster youth, and wheelchair and walker totes for both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Valley West Care Center, and more.

Community Service Coordinator, Emma Thompson, said the group has been sewing up a storm during the pandemic.

“We have a lot more quilts this year because we have been home wanting something to do, but also because we have a lady really dedicated to community service, who makes quilts and binds them,” Thompson said.

Guild members also received a larger than usual donation of fabrics this year for the program, along with five quilt tops given to them to finish and donate.

“Two shoppers at the local quilt shop heard about our giveaway night and donated more than a dozen completed quilts for us to use, either to give out or for our fundraisers,” Thompson said.

The guild also has five quilts to give a member’s family, who lost everything in one of California’s many recent wildland fires.

“There is also a lot of mask making going on,” she said. “Quilters have used their own fabric to make at least 600 face masks for Colusa County.”

Pet beds for the animal shelter are also an important give-away, with many delivered as they are completed.

“They are for the animal shelter, whether they use them for themselves or send them home with an adopted animal,” Thompson said. “We will have given out 40 this year by the time the rest are delivered.”

The Colusa County Foster Care Program will receive 26 quilts each, and 26 drawstring bags, and the California Highway Patrol will receive 44 quilts with a stuffed animal, which are given to accident victims or other situations in which there is contact between law enforcement and young children.

The VFW typically give their quilts to veterans and their families, but gave last year’s batch to the Paradise (Camp) fire victims.

With their donation of a dozen or so quilts, the veterans are looking to again help victims of the current fires.

“They need everything and anything,” said VFW member, Rich Poletta.

The Pacific Flyway Quilters meet the third Wednesday of each month, 315 Fifth St., Colusa. Cotton fabric and cash donations are welcomed and appreciated to help the guild fulfil their community service goals each year. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1025, Colusa 95932. ♣

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