There are few things scarier for a child or their family than being admitted to the hospital. Whether they be sick or injured, the uncertainty can be distressing. Receiving comfort from something as simple as a handmade gift, like a quilt, does wonders. That’s how the Northeast Georgia Chapter of Quilts for Kids came to be.
When Betty Wright’s daughter Natalie was 18 months old, she was diagnosed with meningitis, inflammation of the brain caused by a viral or bacterial infection, and hospitalized. “It was a scary time,” Wright said. “As a caregiver, I didn’t want to leave my daughter. I took a leave of absence from work so Natalie wouldn’t be alone, but the hospital at the time only allowed two visitors for each patient, so it was very isolating. I felt very alone and worried about Natalie.”
Her experience later gave her the idea to form the Northeast Georgia Chapter of Quilts for Kids – a region-specific division of the national, non-profit organization that makes quilts for children facing a difficult time– in 2012. The quilts are made by volunteers and are signed by the person who made it and “filled it with hugs”.
The Northeast Georgia chapter recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. In the last decade, it has donated almost 7,000 quilts to hospitals in the area, with more than half given to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville.
Since the beginning, more than 400 volunteers have stepped up to create these quilts for children and families in need – becoming just a small part of their lives. If you’re interested in sharing your passion like Wright and volunteering your time, visit nghs.com/volunteer.