Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sending quilts to ALS patients around the country.

One of the many rewarding parts of the Hopes & Dreams Challenge is sending quilts so generously donated to ALS Association chapters across the country. From there, those chapters will hand deliver the quilts to ALS patients (PALS).  Yesterday, we shipped 617 quilts totaling 67 boxes!! There are still a few more ALS chapters we are waiting to hear back from so that technically isn't the grand total. But who is really counting, right? The fact that one single quilt can bring joy and comfort to someone battling such a terrible disease is more than just numbers. 

Prior to shipping, one of our #battgirls here in the office, Neva, spent the day touching base with the ALS Association chapters to get an idea of how many quilts they needed. The response was great. Take a look at the warehouse with boxes of quilts piled up before and after!  Although we sent out 617 quilts, we could have used at least 500 more to cover all the requests we had from the ALS Association chapters! 

Ivanka and Kathy double checking each box before giving the "go" to ship.
Almost finished! Just keep sorting. Just keep sorting. 

Included in the boxes, was a letter from Kathy Thompson to each ALS chapter: 

On behalf of Quilters Dream Batting and the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS, we are pleased to send you these quilts to share with your PALS. Each quilt was handcrafted with love from quilters across the country who have given their time and talents to bring warmth to the laps and lives of individuals diagnosed with ALS.

As the co-founder and owner of Quilters Dream Batting, a Virginia Beach based business that manufactures high quality quilt batting, I knew just how generous and caring the quilt community would be. What I didn't know was how willing these quilters were to embrace the challenge and not only touch my life, but those living with ALS, including my son.

The Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS was created in 2009, when I decided to raise awareness and research funds to help find a cure for ALS. In 2007, my now 40 year old son Josh, was diagnosed with ALS. The disease has taken Josh from a strong, happy, athletic young husband and father to being completely paralyzed. He is currently on life support.

This annual challenge has been an incredible success over the years and has received thousands of quilts! More than 4000 quilts have been given to PALS through ALS chapters across the U.S. More than $80,000 has been raised through the sale of select quilts donated to the challenge and 100% of the proceeds have been given in the form of grants to support ALS research.

We appreciate your chapter distributing these quilts to your PALS. Many quilters have attached stories with their quilts- others did not. We encourage you or your PALS to contact the quilter as most are anxious to learn who received their quilt.

We are hopeful that the gift of these quilts will let PALS know that there are many people who care and they are surrounded by love and concern.

Thank you for all that you do.

 Kathy Thompson (mother of Josh Thompson)

With the holidays just around the corner, consider the gift of a quilt to a family member or friend and help find a cure for ALS. 

Select donated quilts can be purchased by visiting our Storenvy shop and stopping into Richard Stravitz's art gallery located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Because Quilters Dream Batting takes care of all Hopes & Dreams expenses, 100% of the money received from quilt sales will go towards ALS research.

Are you a quilter and wish to donate a quilt? Head over to the Hopes & Dreams website for more information. There are plenty of categories you can enter and chances to win fabulous prizes from our generous sponsors. Click HERE to see what 2015 prizes have already been sent in!

A big thanks to the staff at Quilters Dream Batting, who worked hard moving and shipping all those boxes yesterday! It was an exhausting effort, but filled with great joy and excitement for those patients who will receive a quilt.

We'd also like to say thank you to EVERYONE who participated in the 2013-2014 challenge! Without your quilt donations and our generous sponsors, we wouldn't have had such a rewarding day! 

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