Quilts Delivering Comfort Around the World
We were hoping to include this story in Quilting Happiness, but some complications prevented that. We're glad the internet's around, so we can share it here instead!
Danell Lynn is a couturier – meaning she's highly trained in fine sewing, and designs and makes stunning one-of-a-kind garments. She's also deeply interested in helping people in need.
She has two companies, dl-couture and Humani Handbags, which donate a portion of their profits to humanitarian organizations. She also founded a humanitarian project of her own: Threading Hope, which collects and handmade quilts and delivers them to orphanages (and other communities in need) around the world.
Threading Hope began with a conversation between Danell and her mother Kristina Green, who is an award-winning quilter. Danell's love of traveling for humanitarian projects merged perfectly with Kristina's love of making quilts that exude warmth and comfort.
Their first mission took place in 2010, when Danell delivered nine quilts to children in a hospital in Haiti. The project has grown each year, with Danell delivering quilts to people in need in Malawi and Ecuador in 2011 and Colombia in 2012.
Threading Hope works with a variety of quilting groups around the U.S. to collect quilts for each trip (including Do.Good Stitches, which was profiled in our book). Danell considers herself a novice quilter despite her advanced sewing skills, but she tries to make at least one quilt for each trip.
We asked Danell how she chooses organizations to deliver the quilts to – which must be a challenge, when there are so many people who need them:
"There are so many in need, and sadly we cannot reach everyone," she said. "As we grow each year and receive more quilt donations we have been able to expand and do two trips a year, and we'll only continue to create more projects around the world.
We often find our locations by fate, or recommendations for reputable orphanages. It is a sad fact that there is a lot of black-market selling of donations, so I go to places that I know quite well or trust the person who referred me. Many times, life just opens up and reveals the perfect location. We started with just orphanages and have expanded to hospitals and occasionally, as in our Ecuador trip, donate to the head of a family in a rural village where the quilt will serve as warmth for an entire family!"
Danell is currently planning a trip for November 2013, where she'll deliver quilts to orphanages in either Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic or Pakistan. "Sometimes cultural change or country politics can change on a whim, but we are hopeful that one of these three locations will work out. We will definitely be doing deliveries at the end of November."
If you're interested in donating quilts to Threading Hope, visit the donation page on the project's website – quilts are always welcome. You might also enjoy Philanthropic Wanderlust, Danell's new book about how and why she travels all over the world to help people in need.
This post was cross-posted to Diane's blog.