Quilting 4 Charity donates 26 quilts to flood victims
Barry County Neighborhood center to distribute works to families
The ladies at Quilting 4 Charity are always doing good deeds, and this time, the recipients of those deeds are several Cassville families whose lives and homes were impacted by the flood waters that ravaged Barry County this summer.
"We have been busy," said Pat Biles, member of the quilting group. "We're going to give the quilts to [the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC)] for the people in the flood."
Among the hand-made treasures, which include a variety of colors and patterns, are nine queen-sized quilts, 15-twin-sized quilts for children and two baby quilts.
"They're all for Cassville," Biles said. "We keep a supply on hand because we give to a lot of different organizations."
Quilting 4 Charity is based out of the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob and has been making and donating quilts to various charities for 10 years, including as far away as Hurricane Katrina.
"I just hope the families enjoy them," Biles said. "We love doing it. That's the main purpose -- that we love getting together and doing this. We make do with what we have. The ladies are very creative [with intricate and unique patterns, themes and color combinations]. The women work so hard."
Biles said making the quilts benefits members, too, by helping them feel productive and making strong friendships. Their doors are always open to new members and anyone wanting to learn how to quilt.
"We take volunteers," she said. "And, we also teach women to quilt. They do not have to supply anything, we provide everything they need."
The group meets at the senior center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. The quilting room is being enlarged, to include more room for ongoing quilting projects.
Gail Reed, OACAC Barry County Neighborhood Center director, said she believes most of the families affected by the flooding are beginning to resume normal activities.
"It's a lot to get over, but I think most are getting their homes back in order and getting things done," she said. "I think it's great these nice ladies are donating the quilts to these families. I think that's going to be wonderful for them."
OACAC has other outreach efforts available as well.
"Through the Neighborhood Center, we do community outreach, life skills classes and case management," Reed said. "We are also doing a project called REALL (Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons), which include simulations with students and area schools and youth groups to get kids to think about staying in school.
"Next year, we'll have a new project called VOICE (Vocational Opportunities Inspiring Children in Elementary), where we work with elementary students in a career observation experience and kids get a chance to find out about five different careers. We're real excited about starting that project next year."
OACAC also offers a low-income home energy program, which includes energy assistance, housing assistance and weatherization, Head Start, family planning services and a foster grandparent program. They are funded through community service block grants.