Bel Hume with quilts and bags for Zimbabwe and letters of thanks from the children.

Bel Hume with quilts and bags for Zimbabwe and letters of thanks from the children.

Lakecity quilts keep orphans in Zimbabwe warm

A group of lakecity women who are making quilts for orphans in Zimbabwe could use a little help with their goal.

A group of lakecity women who are making quilts for orphans in Zimbabwe could use a little help with their goal of making 30 quilts by the end of April.

“Even if you aren’t a quilter you can pin the quilt layers together or iron fabric,” says project leader Bel Hume.

She says the quilts they are making are very simple. The hospital has donated flannelette sheets that are in good shape but can’t go back on patient beds because they are stained in some way.

A double layer of flannelette is covered with colourful fabric top and bottom, then sewn and quilted together.

“We try to make the quilts as close to twin size as we can because we know the kids will grow into them,” Hume says. “We sew hearts on all the bags and all the quilts so the children know they are loved. And they send back letters and notes with hearts on them. They are just so excited that someone on this side of the world is caring for them.”

The group will be holding quilting bees from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on starting tomorrow Feb. 22 and on March 7, 27, April 4, and 18. at the Alliance Church Hall at 261 Third Ave. South. People who would like to participate can call Hume at 250-398-8740.

She asks that people who would like to help with the project to bring along a bag lunch, some scissors, an iron and ironing board to the work bees if they are able to.

If people can’t attend a work bee but want to help, they can also come and pick up a bundle of fabric and make a quilt on their own time if they like, Hume says.

She says people can also help by donating new fabric, or gently used sheets and drapery fabric as well as sewing notions such as thread, buttons and the like for the project.

Any fabric and sewing notions that are left over will be sent to the “grannies” in Zimbabwe who have volunteered to care for unrelated children in their own homes who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.

She says people don’t have to be members of the Alliance Church to participate in the project and in fact many supporters of the project are not church members.

Hume says she worked at Deni House for many years and didn’t realize that the husband of her co-worker Heather Wedel was a minister.

“She would ask me to pray for the orphaned children in Africa and I would pray for them, but when I realized that Bill was a minister, and what they were doing in Zimbabwe, I felt I could do more than pray,” Hume says.

Hume says that she had always thought about adopting an orphan but it wasn’t until one of her two sons died that she felt a real need to do something for the orphans in Zimbabwe. She didn’t know at first how she could help, but then she saw a segment on 100 Huntley Street about a sewing project for orphans.

Her group started small making crocheted hats for children to wear at night when it gets cold. Then they started making bags for children to carry their personal care items in such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, notebooks and pens etc.

The project slowly grew with support for the orphans coming from local businesses and students.

Columneetza secondary students in Elaine Stafford’s grades nine to 12 textile classes made 35 notion bags which a local doctor took with him to South Africa, from where they were delivered to Zimbabwe.

She says their group then made about 40 quilts that travelled to South Africa along with some medical supplies with a man from Nanaimo.

Williams Lake businesses have also donated sandals, dental care items, and Beanie toys for the children, Hume says.

The Sparrow’s Nest Ministries also raises funds to help support a senior’s home in Muceke in Masvingo, Zimbabwe and to help with the cost of fees, tuition, books and uniforms for orphans to attend school.

She says the Wedel’s have bought land in Zimbabwe where Sparrow’s Nest Ministries is building a multi-functional facility to assist “grannies” who are caring for the orphans in their homes.

She says the grannies need a day-care centre where they can leave the younger children for one or two days a week while they go to work in their gardens.

The property is next to the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe, in an area made up of 22 villages.

She says the ministry has also raised funds for sewing machines which women use to make items to sell to supplement their incomes.

“You hear of all the disasters in the world and people can help in a small way that will make a big difference, one blessing at a time,” Hume says.

Her group started small by making knitted and crocheted hats for children to wear at night.

Then they started making bags for children to carry their personal care items in such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, notebooks and pens etc. The project slowly grew with support  coming from local businesses and students.

Columneetza secondary students in Elaine Stafford’s grades nine to 12 textile classes made 35 notion bags which a local doctor took with him to South Africa, from where they were delivered to Zimbabwe.

She says their group then made about 40 quilts that travelled to South Africa along with some medical supplies with a man from Nanaimo.

Williams Lake businesses have also donated sandals, dental care items, and Beanie toys for the children, Hume says.

The Sparrow’s Nest Ministries also raises funds to help support a senior’s home in Muceke in Masvingo, Zimbabwe and to help with the cost of fees, tuition, books and uniforms for orphans to attend school.

She says the Wedel’s have bought land in Zimbabwe where Sparrow’s Nest Ministries is building a multi-functional facility to assist “grannies” who are caring for the orphans in their homes.

She says the grannies need a day-care centre where they can leave the younger children for one or two days a week while they go to work in their gardens.  The property is next to the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe, in an area made up of 22 villages.

She says the ministry has also raised funds for sewing machines which women use to make items to sell to supplement their incomes.

“You hear of all the disasters in the world and people can help in a small way that will make a big difference, one blessing at a time,” Hume says.