by Bailey Conger
For over three decades, women at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook have been providing handmade quilts for Lutheran World Relief. A group of WELCA friends, (Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), Geri Ruuska, Harriet Hansen, Lorraine Carlson, Norma Thomas and Sylvia Alt have been the organizers since 1990, along with numerous other women who meet twice a year on Tuesday mornings in October and March to create these gifts of comfort. Harriet passed away in 2011 and the group has grown to up to 12 dedicated workers. The only requirement Geri says is a “willingness to socialize and tie a knot”. However, their passion comes from Psalm 140:12---“I know the Lord maintains the cause of the needy and executes justice for the poor.”
This past March, the Trinity quilters sewed 62 quilts that were packed up last week and are being sent to Lutheran World Relief in St. Paul. From there, they will be distributed throughout the world to the neediest groups, such as Syrian refugees or those suffering from natural disasters. Quilts specifically made for children were packed up with Trinity’s mission group and are on their way with them to Oak’s Indian Mission in Oklahoma. Several quilts remain at Trinity in the Fellowship room, not just to beautify the space, but are given to anyone in need locally. Since 1990 the group has sewed over 3000 quilts along with 420 infant quilts sent to Haiti.
Although the group will never meet the recipients of their handiwork, they reach out to those with some of the greatest needs in the world as an extension of Christ’s love for all people. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please know you are welcome! Or if you know of someone in need of a quilt for warmth or comfort, please contact the church at 666-5965 or Geri Ruuska at 741-5209. You do not have to be attending Trinity to help out. The next “quilting bee” will be in October.
Materials are collected throughout the year and may be dropped off at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cook. Recommended fabrics include cotton, cotton blends, twill, corduroy, polyester knits, fleece, and upholstery and drapery samples. Anything with fiberglass or rubber backing cannot be used. If you are doing some spring cleaning and run across material you will not be using, please consider donating it to this ministry. It will be greatly appreciated!