I am proud to be a quilter. We have this opportunity to use our skills to help others. The public is willing to spend money to buy one of our creations to support a cause.
This is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for centuries. Dating back to the Civil War, quilts were used to raise funds for the soldiers. People would pay as much as 10 cents to put their signature on a quilt. Raffle tickets were then sold to the quilt to raise even more money.
This tradition of creating quilts and selling raffle tickets has continued. Almost every quilt guild has some type of charity that they support. The funds usually come from selling tickets for a special raffle quilt that guild members have made. Women's shelters are one of the most popular types of organizations that guilds like to support with part of the proceeds.
I have been involved in creating quilts to raise funds for some of the local private schools. These quilts were sold in an auction type setting. Parents love to bid on things that contain their child's signature. The quilt included photos of the students and the girls also signed pieces of their jeans that I used for the flower petals. This quilt brought over $2500 at their annual fundraiser.
Virgina Spiegel took the concept of using quilts to raise funds to a whole new level. She started Fiberart For A Cause(FFAC) to raise money for The American Cancer Society. I remember seeing a wall of fiberart postcards being sold at one of the major quilt shows. You could choose whichever one you wanted for a donations of $30 each. After raising over $200,000 (yes $200,000) for The American Cancer Society, FFAC has been retired. Not being able to rest on her laurels, she is hosting a one day event called ONE. Feb 16th is the date. You can get more info by clicking here.
Ami Simms is another woman who has brought quiltmaking to another level as a fundraiser. She started the Alzheimer's Art Quit Initiaitive (AAQI) to raise funds and awareness. She says never underestimate the power of a woman and a needle. Through her organization, more than $400,000 for Alzheimer's research has been raised.
So what motivated me to write this post? The horrible floods in Australia has brought out the benevolence of more quilters. The immediacy of blogging has led some quilters to use their talent and offer some of their creations as a fundraiser to help those that have lost everything, on their blogs.
So where else can you do something that you love so much, in the privacy of your home, sometimes in your pajamas in the middle of the night, creating something that can end up helping so many people? I am proud to be a quilter.