Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Yes, you are reading this right.  According to the ALS Association there are 30,000 Americans living with ALS right now.  The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS would love to ensure that each one of these "PALS" - persons living with ALS - has a quilt.  Like Frank T. in Pennsylvania.

Merrit Holland Spier, Executive Director of the ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter said Frank was thrilled with his gift of a quilt from Hopes & Dreams and so wanted to share this photo with each of you.  The quilt Frank received was made by Athena Mahnke of Belgium - yes, Belgium!  We are delighted that more and more friends internationally are hearing about and supporting Hopes & Dreams, especially when they face double and triple the shipping costs we incur to send their donated quilt(s) to the United States.

To date, you have joined with Hopes & Dreams and gifted a little over 2,600 quilts to PALS in the last four years. In the last month we have shipped 383 quilts that will be gifted to ALS patients this holiday season and requests for quilts are on the rise. Like the special request we received from Angela Frederick of  Belgrade, Montana.

Angela sent a sweet, simple note to our Hopes & Dreams Facebook page wanting to know how to receive a quilt.  In her words, "I have ALS and the quilts look so comfy :)) "  Immediately we asked for her address and a few days later her Hopes & Dreams quilt arrived.  Angela was beyond thrilled.  She shared the above picture of her smiling with her quilt and wrote, "I saw the Hopes & Dreams Facebook page on one of my ALS friends Facebook pages.  When I actually received my quilt I cried.  Just knowing that there are people out there who care is such a Godsend and means the world to me and my family."

Can you imagine the day before Valentine's Day being told by a doctor that you have a disease that is incurable, has no treatment and is 100% fatal?  That is exactly what happened to Angela on February 13 of this year.  Her Hopes & Dreams quilt was a wonderful gift of the heart.

"I had symptoms for about four years and the cold makes me weaker and my muscle spasms increase," writes Angela.  "Right now I have trouble walking and using my arms and hands.  The quilt keeps me warm, and it's more special then using a store bought blanket.  I will also use it for outings in my wheelchair when it's cold out.  A lot of people do not know what ALS is and when an organization like yours has people making quilts for us, it is very special to us.  Merry Christmas and God Bless to each of you."

So, we have 27,400 quilts to go to ensure all 30,000 people living with ALS right now have the same warmth and love and hope that Angela and Frank now enjoy. With your help we would love to reach a goal of 1,000 donated quilts in this our 5th year of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  Want to know how you can participate?  Visit our Hopes & Dreams website or give us a call toll-free at (888) 268-8664.

Merry Christmas to all and numerous blessings in the New Year!

Your grateful Hopes & Dreams coordinator.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


The boxes have started to arrive at ALS Chapters across the country filled with Hopes & Dreams Quilts.  We shipped out close to 400 quilts in the last few weeks to the delight of our ALS friends.

Our friend Merritt Holland Spier, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania ALS Chapter sent pictures of them opening boxes.  They are always so thrilled with your Hopes & Dreams Quilts.

Merritt writes, "70 quilts - all different - all made with love from Quilters Dream Batting sponsoring Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS for people living with ALS.  We will make sure they get to those in need!"

And in the mail today - a Thank You!

Brenda Edelman, Director of Patient Services, of the Greater Philadelphia ALS Chapter, sent a thank you for the beautiful quilts that will be going to "PALS" - persons living with ALS - in the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  On the phone Brenda exclaimed, "When these boxes arrived I got so excited!  All of the staff is coming in on Friday and we make opening the boxes an event here and it's as much you giving us a gift as it is when the quilts are given as gifts to our patients during our Christmas visits and Christmas parties!" 

You can give the gift of a quilt this Christmas to a family member or friend and help find a cure for ALS.  You can purchase a Hopes and Dreams quilt by visiting the Hopes and Dreams Storenvy shop and by visiting the Richard Stravitz 30th Street Art Gallery located at 3004 Pacific Avenue (corner of 30th Street and Pacific Avenue), in Virginia Beach.

If you're a quilter, consider making a Hopes & Dreams quilt and be entered to win fabulous prizes from our wonderful sponsors.  You can download a printable Entry Form on our Hopes & Dreams website.    

2014 is the Fifth Annual Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS and with your participation we hope to make it the biggest year ever!

Your Grateful Hopes & Dreams Coordinator