Giving to others keeps quilters connected
In this second pandemic year, members of the Museum Quilt Guild, Batavia, NY, have again donated holiday themed bags filled with gifts to the local Salvation Army. Using a list provided by the Salvation Army, bags are filled with items for children ranging from infants to 15 years. In 2020, the total was 65 filled bags and over 100 empty bags for their use. This year, there were 64 Bags filled, 32 empty gift bags for their use, and 18 stuffed bears. Captain Rachel Moore, who accepted the donations said the teddy bears would be perfect gifts for the infants.
Giving to the community has always been a big part of the Guild’s activities. Since March of 2020, it has been a great way for members to stay connected. The guild was unable to meet in person for 15 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. “At first, as so many of us did, we all figured once the ‘Pause’ in New York ended, we’d get right back to our regular meeting schedule,“ said guild president, Martha Lorshbaugh. But as a couple of weeks turned into months, they realized they would need to find a different way to maintain their connections. One of the members who is an elementary school teacher had become somewhat of an expert at running Zoom meetings, so she took on the role of host for the members to meet virtually. In addition to the monthly meeting, sessions were added for members just to chat, called “friendship meetings.” Many did handwork as they chatted, so work sessions to share the “Community Service” projects they were working on were added. The community service committee arranged for members to pick up kits and supplies for these projects, and then drop off completed items. Many organizations were not collecting donations in 2020, but having all these items ready allowed the guild to provide many items when restrictions were lifted. This year the guild has donated quilts to provide comfort to individuals being served by the following organizations: the VA Medical Center in Batavia (19), NYS Home for Veterans (5), WNY Foster Closet (10), Lipson Cancer Center (10) and All Babies Cherished (2).
In addition to quilts to be used by individuals, the guild offers quilts to be used for fundraising by local organizations. In 2021 this has included one donation each to the Caledonia Library; Gateway Hospice, Attica; Presbyterian Church, Batavia and The Genesee Orleans Arc. Members are happy to fill needs other than quilts. Twenty-nine patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Roswell were also gifted with heart pillows to aid in their comfort and recovery.
The guild resumed in-person meetings last summer, meeting outdoors for the summer months. At that first meeting, many quilts were presented to be donated. In October, the guild was finally allowed back to their regular meeting space at the VA Medical Center. At each meeting, at least one item is presented at “Show and Tell” that will be given to the community service committee. “Quilters like to keep busy and knowing our work will give comfort to someone in need is a very good feeling!” said Ms. Lorshbaugh. The guild holds regular Community Service work sessions each year at their monthly meetings for the purpose of working on projects for donation. The next one will be in March of 2022. Organizations may make requests to the guild via our website: www.themuseumquiltguild.com, or Museum Quilt Guild, PO Box 268, Batavia, NY 14020.
The Guild is also excited to be able to invite the public to view our exhibit of “challenge” quilts at the Richmond Memorial Library in February. This had been annual exhibit until last year, so members are looking forward to another step towards a more predictable event calendar. New members are always welcome in the guild! Meetings are held the third Saturday of every month (second Saturday in December) at the VA Medical Center, 222 Richmond Avenue, Batavia, NY (Bldg 4, 2nd floor- use the patio entrance). Meetings begin at 9:30 a.m. You are welcome to attend two (2) meetings as a guest. If you decide to join, dues are $20.00 per year.