Quilts Delivered

Chad had a doctor’s appointment in Joplin today and it was our first trip there since the May 22 tornado.  I’ll do a separate post with photos but I took the quilts that have come in so far.  I thought I could drive through the neighborhoods and find people who needed  them but  you just can’t believe what the neighborhoods look like.  There is so much devastation and just not many people around.  It was a struggle to find people in the neighborhoods who weren’t cleanup folks. Vince suggested I might have better luck on weekends.

I added these two quilts that were in American Quilter magazine a few years back, so I had 12 quilts to give out.

When I walked up to the people, I asked them if that had been there home.  I didn’t want to give a quilt to a looter!  But, I guess if I were a looter and someone who wasn’t a policeman asked me if that was my home, I’d probably say yes too but . . no one looked like a looter to me.  They all looked tired and sad.  When I asked them if they could use a quilt that was sent to let those in Joplin know that quilters all around the country cared about them, almost every one of them said “Oh, it’s so beautiful . . but there are others who need it so much more than I do!”  I insisted they take it and I got several sweaty hugs!  Thank you all . . I’m sure we made the days brighter for the recipients.

The first quilt I gave out when to Eddie.  I didn’t ask the others if I could take their pictures but I did ask Eddie.

Eddie is the old guy who runs . . maybe owns . . our favorite sushi restaurant.  We told him we were so glad the restaurant was ok.  He said yes, he was glad too but he lost his home and everything in it and was lucky to have survived the tornado.  He said he was staying with friends and it was really hard.  When he walked away, Chad said “Mom, did you hear the sadness in his voice?”  We had not yet begun giving out quilts and I said . . A quilt!  For Eddie!  So when we were finished eating, I went to the car and got him this quilt.  When he brought our ticket, I told him I had something for him.  He kept saying .. “No, No!  I’m going to be ok!”  I told him that we wanted him to have it . . that my friends had sent quilts for those who had lost everything and we just wanted him to know that those of us who can’t help in any other way, wanted to share our quilts.”  He was so happy!  When I took his picture, I was saying “Smile, Eddie!”  He said “I can’t smile . . I’m about to cry!”  He followed me out to the car thanking me so thank  you all . . those who sent money to whatever organization, those who donated quilts or quilt supplies . . those who have prayed . . thank you all . . from Eddie!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Thanks so much for sharing this story! How nice to be able to bring a little joy into the lives of people who have lost so much.

  2. 2

    says

    I am about to cry right along with Eddie. It is so wonderful what you have done for these folks, Judy. I’m sure they will all be very touched to know that people who don’t even know them care enough to reach out like this.

  3. 6

    says

    thanks for posting the photo of Eddie! I have had more family members go to Joplin to help with the clean up with their church groups from NW Arkansas and I have been seeing so many sad photos – it is overwhelming at times!! One of my daughters drove through the area for the first time since the tornado and she said they started to cry it was so sad.
    Karen
    http://karensquilting.com/blog/

  4. 9

    Gwynette in NW Arkansas says

    I came through Joplin on my way home from Kansas last Friday and it was a shock to see the destruction. I’m glad Eddie took the quilt and you got a photo for posterity.

  5. 10

    Terri says

    I’m crying too, thank you for sharing his story and his picture. Last Thursday I had to call AT&T about my cell phone bill and I got the nicest lady, we talked and talked while she tried to fix my bill (we are part of the AllTel buyout and still working out the bugs). I usually ask where they are just so we have something to talk about while they work on the problem, but didn’t this time for some reason.

    But towards the end of the conversation she said something that made me stop, I can’t remember what she said but her voice got quiet and you could HEAR the sadness in it……. when I asked where she lived, she said Missouri and I immediately knew. Altho she hadn’t lost any family or her home, so many co-workers have. Lots of people lost family, but she said the worst were those that have lost children. A couple of her managers have. It was all I could do to tell her the entire country was praying for them all without totally breaking down.

    Such sadness, plus she feels TONS of guilt for still having her family and home. I wish I would have thought to find out her name so I could send her a quilt!

  6. 11

    says

    Yeah, Eddie made me cry. It is a wonderful thing you are doing. It is easy to give money when you can afford it. It is another to DO something such as you are doing. Organizing, collecting, and delivering. It all takes an effort and makes such a difference to those you help. Because YOU are making the effort, so many MORE people who would really love to help…CAN! And in a meaningful way. That’s just COOL!

  7. 13

    Denniele says

    Judy…you needed a tissue alert with this one. Eddie and his story just twist at my heart. Again, thanks for doing all this.

  8. 14

    Marla says

    I shared your story with my husband and both of us had tears welling up for Eddie. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 15

    peggy says

    A touching story. Thanks for sharing it. You are a good woman, and Chad is a wonderful son!

  10. 16

    says

    Thank you for sharing Eddie’s story. You made me cry! I can only just imagine the joy that you are bringing to the lives of those who have nothing. Thank you, Judy!

  11. 17

    says

    So glad the first quilt went to someone you know! That is a wonderful gift–for Eddie, and for you and Chad, to be part of the recovery.

  12. 18

    says

    I am crying…how wonderful of everyone! I reposted some of this post on my blog (minus the photos). Way to go, people!

  13. 19

    says

    Judy you will never know how much you have affected not only the people you are giving quilts to, but also us who live far away from the USA and only hear about tornados, hurricanes etc on TV. Somehow TV news always seems so remote, but you give the lives of these people a meaning. Thank you.

  14. 20

    says

    Judy – what a blessing you are to so many. You always accomplish so much more than most but found time in your life and heart to coordinate this for people in need. Eddie’s story was very touching. What an awesome young man Chad is — with a heart as big as yours.

  15. 21

    says

    What a great feeling and a great experience for Chad and you too. Believe me, we are all crying with Eddie and the rest of the victims also.

  16. 22

    Alma says

    Are these tears I am shedding for the joy of Eddie getting the quilt and having one bright moment in his life right now or for the sadness this tornado had brought to Joplin. I guess it is both. Thank you Judy.

  17. 23

    Cindy in NC says

    Not only will these quilts bring comfort now, but they will become part of the recipients’ family history. 100 years from now someone will be showing this quilt to a child and, through you, teaching a lesson in compassion.

  18. 24

    Melanie says

    God bless you, Judy, for taking the time to deliver the quilts. You made me cry, too. Thank you.

  19. 26

    Mary Jo says

    I am so glad that you were able to share quilts with those who have lost so much. If you feel that you are not getting the quilts to the right people, perhaps Eddie could give you some direction. Surely some of the folks that have lost thier homes are customers of Eddie’s restaurant. Thanks for all you are doing. Your are a great blessing to many people, especially those of us who read your blog.

  20. 27

    Pam says

    Compassionate and caring–is that not what quilters are?
    Thank you for the story and for your son who has those qualities.
    It is bittersweet. At least you know that Eddie knows that we quilters care.

  21. 28

    says

    This was a great thing that you did, Judy. Thank you for organizing it and inspiring so many of us to donate. And thanks for showing us how we could help.

  22. 30

    says

    Wow – thanks so much for doing that Judy! I cried for him- I can not imagine not having my house – or at least some of the stuff in it!!. Hugs to you too!

  23. 32

    Caroline Dimmick says

    God Bless you, Judy! I’m so glad you were able to give a quilt to someone you know, and sorry also. I cried, too. Will keep Joplin and its people in my prayers!

  24. 33

    says

    what a great act of kindness for Eddie and many others that you didn’t get photos of. I know that he will never forget your kindness. To me the gift of a quilt to someone who has lost everything is the best of all. When they lay down at night and think about all the things lost, they can be reminded that somewhere out there are quilters remembering them in our thoughts and prayers as they cover up…. and giving them hope that one day they will have all that they need once more. 🙂

    Thanks to Eddie for letting you share his photo.
    Love from Texas! ~Bonnie