Quilt group donates homemade bags to Hope Clinic

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 19, 2012

Katie Sprunger, executive director of the Hope Clinic, was pleasantly surprised recently when she was presented with a large number of homemade bags to be distributed among clients of the local social outreach agency.
Bags were made by Creative Quilters, a county quilting group that makes blankets, bags and other homemade hand-sown items that are donated to families with need, soldiers, and other agencies where their creations are needed.
ReJena Bluhm, a member of the group, said that these bags were made special because they were constructed by material upcycled and donated by local businessman John Kirchhofer from Yager Furniture. Much of the material, said Bluhm, had come from fabric samples at the local furniture establishment.
In addition, Gene and Bev Weber of Country Creations donated lining for the bags, where the quilters meet to do their work.
"When I had a recent conversation with ReJena, I became aware of her involvement in the Creative Quilters organization," said Kirchhofer. "She informed me of this project and I thought that the discontinued furniture fabrics that we discard at Yager Furniture could be used for a good purpose.
"The thought of helping someone inspired me to get involved with Creative Quilters," said Kirchhofer.
Bluhm said that approximately 40 workers are involved in the organization that also makes quilts that are given to veterans, blankets for Project Linus and pillow cases for hospitals and missions.
"Some of these bags went with one of our member’s daughters to the mission field," Bluhm said.
Sprunger said that the bags would be used as diaper bags for clients.
"Sometimes when a mother has a newborn baby, we give them a welcome bag," said Sprunger. "When we give these bags as Christmas gifts, we put diapers and wipes and all kinds of baby items such as blankets, bottles, clothes, wipes and any baby item that we can fit into a bag.
"We do all that we can to support the life-affirming message to choose life for your child," continued Sprunger. "This (giving bags) is one of the ways that we support the mothers."
Bluhm said that she hopes that donations to the quilters such as the material will serve as a trickle-down effect to inspire others to donate to the Creative Quilters as well as the Hope Clinic.
"We hope that people will read about this and say, 'what can we do to help?'" said Bluhm. "This is the third bunch of bags that we've made, the most that we've ever given."
Hope Clinic offers the following services, free and confidential: free pregnancy tests and ultrasound verification, information on options, STD information and education, sexual integrity information and education, Baby Bucks program, maternity and infant clothing loan program, free diaper program, income-based, referrals to community resources, and "Tender Mercies" post-abortion recovery program.
"This community has been wonderful supporting our mothers," said Sprunger.
"In January, the churches collected baby items for us. There's nothing like looking in our shelves and seeing them stacked for clients. It is obvious that they are cared for and loved by this community. We are very thankful when people contribute in this way."
For further information about Hope Clinic or how to help, call: 260-589-3561 in Berne or 260-728-4191 in Decatur.

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