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Community Builder: Midlands quilters reach hundreds stitch by stitch

Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 at 8:58 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If many hands make light work, then the work is easy at the Greater Columbia Quilt Guild.

It is work that touches multiple nonprofits and numerous lives each year, and this holiday season their work is reaching a shelter for women and children in the Midlands.

“We try to do something special around Christmas, and today we are making Christmas ornaments for Toby's Place,” said Anita Bowen, a member of the guild.

But this project is just their latest. In the last two years, the women who make up the Greater Columbia Quilters Guild have made nearly 300 pillowcases for the Ronald McDonald House, more than 200 incubator quilts for the NICU at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, 55 quilts for the Children’s Oncology unit…and the list just goes on.

In the last two years the women who make up the Greater Columbia Quilters Guild have made...
In the last two years the women who make up the Greater Columbia Quilters Guild have made hundreds of quilts.

“Who doesn't like to wrap up in a quilt?” added Bowen. “It's just comfort and love, and there's not a quilt that's not made that doesn't have love just stitched into it.”

This past summer the women finished a two-year project making 14 Quilts of Valor for Midlands veterans.

“I just thought we'd do one quilt and that would be nice. But I think it's when everyone came up with options [of patterns for the quilts], that made a difference,” said member Judy Keating who led the effort. She says the best part was being able to hand deliver the quilts at a special presentation. “We were allowed to put the quilts on the backs of the veterans.”

The women donate their time and all of their own resources for each project. Some of their newest members have been on the receiving end of their kindness.

“I joined because my granddaughter was a patient at the Children’s Hospital in the NICU, and I realized what a special impact it had on the parents to receive the thoughts and prayers of strangers that make things and donate to the Children’s Hospital,” new member Janice Tholstrup said.

While some members of the guild were nominated as Community Builders for their individual efforts, after the Mungo Foundation learned about all the guild does throughout the year, Matt Mungo of Mungo Homes surprised the guild at their Christmas meeting.

“In the spirit of the season, and all of the work that all of you put forth towards this effort, we have decided to award the entire Greater Columbia Quilt Guild the Community Builder award,” Mungo said. “Thank you very, very much and you all will get a $1000 check to the charity of your choice, so please keep up the good work.

That’s something guild members say they intend to do, during this holiday season and throughout the year.

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