Friday, December 20, 2013

December Luncheon and Gifts

Our December luncheon meeting featured great food, beautiful table decorations, and six agencies in attendance to receive the 152 quilts and tableful of gifts we had ready to give. Connie Hitt entertained us with a quilter's version of "My Favorite Things."
Betty Allen and Connie Hitt

Representatives from the Hattiesburg Fire Department were (right to left) Lt. Stephen Mooney, Ben Thompson, Guy Sanford, Eddie Broome, and Mason Pope. Lt. Mooney said their department worked to decrease home fires by education in schools and working with building code enforcement.
Annie Jackson and Sonya Felts from South Mississippi Children Services said they assist abused, neglected, and homeless children and youth ages 9-20. In addition to providing living arrangements, they advocate for the youths in schools and court cases.
Riley Herrin (right) and Mandy Baker (left) received quilts for the Shafer Center, describing that they work with victims of sexual assault and families of homicide and suicide. Riley has been in this job for 15 years. Mandy said volunteers were always needed to assist staff with their hotline and with accompanying victims to doctors' appointments.
Becky Sims (right) and Helen Matthews (left) of DAFS again received our heavily laden tables of gifts for mothers and children. DAFS serves 11 counties with two shelters. They have a staff of 19 and also work a 24-hour crisis line. Becky and Helen both expressed the satisfaction of going to work in these service positions. Becky, director, has been on the job 25 years; Helen, the shelter manager, has 22 years experience. They know their work is life-changing and life-saving, and they appreciate PBQ's help in these efforts.

Leigh Anne Leonard, manager of Forrest General NICU and pediatric unit, and Joan Harper, volunteer at Wesley Medical Center, shared stories of the joy and comfort patients and families had received through the donation of our quilts.
Representing the Veterans Home in Collins was Charles Register. He said their residents loved the colorful quilts, and eagerly looked forward to having one for their bed. Our goal is to provide a quilt for each resident.

Members turned in 70 pillows, nine blankets, three walker totes, and four catheter bag covers. These will be taken to area hospitals (Forrest General, Wesley, Columbia General) to be used on the rehab units, emergency rooms, and pediatric units.

Members who had participated in the Mystery Quilt project this year showed their finished quilts. Dianne McLendon announced plans for a 2014 Round Robin Challenge. More information will come later. 2013 was a very busy and productive year, and appreciation was expressed to our outgoing officers. Betty Allen handed the gavel over to Susie Jackson, who will preside in 2014-2015.

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