Each box tells a story by it's label - UPS (our Hopes & Dream Quilt Challenge Sponsor), Priority Mail, Delivery Confirmation, Fed Ex. All signs that the contents are invaluable and sent with the utmost care. And then we open the boxes...
...and their stories take our breath away as much as the quilts themselves. Like the quilt above sent to Hopes & Dreams from Joyce Wassick of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. You can see the love poured into each stitch and the extra blocks featuring embroidered hearts. Then you read the words Joyce sends with this quilt. "My son was diagnosed in April with ALS. It has been devastating to think of all he will go through. He is 45 years old with three children. He is hoping to be able to continue coaching this school year. I hope this quilt will let someone know they are not alone, and we are praying for a cure."
Joyce's words are echoed hundreds of times. Each note just as personal. Each quilt with it's own unique and heartwarming story. Like this quilt from William Blood of Fountain Hills, Arizona.
William writes, "Dear ALS Patient - Permit me to introduce myself. I am a retired engineer, having completed a rewarding 36-year career with Motorola. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Although the disease severely limits my activities I am still able to design and sew quilts. Many of my quilts are donated to an organization called Project Linus that supplies quilts to children in need. This quilt is designed around a southwestern United States theme. The selection of brown, orange, blue and tan colors along with eight embroidered figures all build on the Southwest theme. I hope you enjoy using this quilt as much as I enjoyed making it. Best wishes, Bill."
The optimism, the hope, the strength in making and gifting this quilt to another facing similar daily struggles. We receive many quilts from individuals facing personal struggles, as well as quilts from individuals who are honoring a relative or friend who have passed from this devastating disease.
Denise Buffone of Freehold, New Jersey sent two quilts to Hopes & Dreams to honor her husbands father. Denise writes, "It has been my pleasure to make this quilt in the hopes that it will bring someone comfort. This cause [The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS] is dear to my heart as my father-in-law suffered from this debilitating disease. Making and donating this quilt coincides with the 25th anniversary of his passing..."
"...It is my sincere hope that there is a breakthrough to combat this disease, but while we wait, I hope this will bring pleasure to the recipient. My prayers are with you and all those who suffer with ALS and their families."
It's through this love passed along in the form of a finished quilt that continues to bring hope of the realized dream of a cure for ALS. And we believe we grow closer and closer with each box delivered.