Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rest of the Story - Pillowcases for Haiti Project

UPDATE about our March team project to send pillowcases back with Quiltsy member Ellen's (of bearcreekcreations) daughter Joanna to Haiti. Joanna is a midwife with Heartline Ministries in Port au Prince, a group that provides services through their women's clinic and birthing center. They also hold classes to teach Haitian women to sew and give them the skills and information needed to start their own businesses selling the items they make.

Once Heartline approved the pillowcase project, Quiltsy members had just 3 weeks before Joanna's return flight to Haiti. The Quiltsy Team sprung into action and invited others in the etsy community to join in. When all was said and done, Joanna packed 86 colorful brand new handmade pillowcases into her luggage! Look at them all!

I'm so glad we were able to complete this project in time for Joanna to hand deliver it, as now it is uncertain whether such donations would make it. Heartline founder John recently blogged, "Humanitarian aid is being held at the ports while exorbitant customs fees must be paid before the containers can be released and the supplies made available to assist people who otherwise would not be able to secure help." American Airlines currently has an embargo on passengers carrying any boxes or bins. No plastic boxes, bins or totes may be brought into Haiti amid very strict luggage restrictions being enforced.

John's wife Beth wrote a note to Quiltsy, "I love, love, love the pillowcases! They are so bright and beautiful -- we will have the loveliest birth center going. Thank you so much!!! It is so good to have Joanna back in Haiti. She brings such a sweetness, love for Haiti and love for the program with her. Thank you all for being so supportive to Joanna and all of us!"

Once Joanna settled back into her Haitian routine, she sent us some photos of the pillowcases being used.  Each pillowcase helped to cheer up a new mother during her labor, delivery and post-partum efforts. The photo above shows Joanna supporting a Haitian woman during her labor.

"It's so nice to actually SEE my donation being used," said Pam of BaconRidgeQuilting after recognizing one of her pillowcases among Joanna's photos. "So often when you make something for charity, you never know what became of it. This project was so special because we absolutely know the end of the story!"
Everyone who participated in this Pillowcase for Haiti project should have also entered their number of donated cases in the AllPeopleQuilt Million Pillowcase Challenge.

For more information about the ongoing work at Heartline in Haiti (they're currently recruiting construction volunteers to help build a hospital), please check out their links, "like" Ellen's and another Facebook Group and subscribe to blogs by John and other staff members. To get a real sense of the enormity of their task, please read John's latest blog installment here.

Sure it was "only" 86 pillowcases, but that is a huge bouquet of sunshine brought in to brighten a bunch of lives. Good job Quiltsy!


Debbie said...

Thank you so much for the update on the pillowcases we made and their being a bright spot to a persons day. I'm glad the Quiltsy team at Etsy took the time to do this charity as a group. Thank you Joanna for bringing this to our attention.

Pamela said...

Isn't it wonderful knowing that something you made with your own hands can touch someone else's life and add joy and comfort? That's part of why I love quilting so much!

LoveBug Studios said...

Good job - got a mention in an Etsy email today!

kimbuktu said...

This was such a fun project to do, and it is so gratifying to know that something we made is blessing someone's life in a difficult time.