Bundaberg Quilters have a strong and proud tradition of making Comfort Quilts, but they have taken on even more meaning and significance this year.
“The members of Bundaberg Quilters have been making Comfort Quilts for many years and the quilts have been distributed into the local community as well as to other parts of Australia,” Carol Ann Ferguson from Bundaberg Quilters said.
“During floods, fires, cyclones and drought, when people are doing it tough and when a need has been expressed by an organisation in the community, Comfort Quilts have been given by Bundaberg Quilters.
“We’ve made them for those in need after the 2013 Bundaberg floods and 2019 Bushfires, Bundaberg Rotary Lodge, Phoenix House, various hospitals, Edon Place and Gracie Dixon Respite Centre, to name a few.”
“Members value the Comfort Quilts program as a way of connecting with and contributing to the community and bringing comfort and warmth to those in need.
“They are very happy to donate materials, their skills and their time to the making of Comfort Quilts and it is hoped that recipients will have a sense of being valued and cared for by others in the community.
Making quilts is usually a very social activity, but then COVID-19 came along, stopping group activities for Bundaberg Quilters.
“During the COVID-19 shutdown, members of Bundaberg Quilters continued making Comfort Quilt tops in isolation at home instead of at their regular gatherings, feeling that this enabled them to stay engaged with the wider community and to do some good for others in difficult times,” Carol Ann said.
“As a result, it was decided that a minimum of 40 quilts would be given for distribution to disadvantaged, vulnerable and isolated members of the Bundaberg community.
“These included citizens who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, those experiencing financial and/or social difficulties and the homeless, particularly as winter arrived.
“To facilitate the distribution of quilts, an arrangement was made with the Dorcas Society, who operate out of the Anglican Church facilities providing regular Soup Kitchens, weekend Sausage Sizzles and emergency relief, to distribute them to people who could benefit from r them.
“To date, 32 quilts have been given to the Dorcas Society and another 10 are ready to be handed over.
“This project was enabled by the awarding of a Bundaberg Regional Council grant, without which Bundaberg Quilters would not have had the resources to fund the project, to make as many quilts in a limited time and to distribute them into the community where the need was greatest.”
With those quilts going to those in need, another opportunity presented itself, when the Federal Backpackers fire left 62 young backpackers in need of essentials.
“As an immediate response to the fire which destroyed the Federal Backpackers Hostel, a decision was made to use a Comfort Quilt as a quick fundraiser amongst members,” Carol Ann said.
“This activity was organised by the QCWA through their Crisis Fund, to help buy personal goods for affected backpackers.
“Again, it was an opportunity to connect with the wider community in a time of need. To keep up to date with the great work of Bundaberg Quilters, follow their Facebook page.