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Hoodland 'piecemaker' offers some comfort around the world posted on 03/01/2023

Arlene Glueck, a member of the Mount Hood area Piecemakers quilting group, is proof that you don’t have to go very far to make a big difference.

As a volunteer for the non-profit organization Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB) she has steadily produced quilts that are shipped to children in need around the world from the home she has resided in for years.

In early December, this modern day “Rosie the Riveter” contributed 30 quilts that were shipped to Ukrainian refugees in Poland in a show of support during their ongoing war. The quilts were largely made with materials donated to Arlene by the Piecemakers.

“I can’t solve the conflict, but I can give a kid a blanket,” Glueck said. “I’ll never meet them, and they’ll never meet me but at least it’s something.”

Glueck’s quilts were part of 185 quilts contributed by the northwest chapter of QBB to Ukrainian refugees in Poland in December.

The organization has partnered with Jeremiah’s Hope, an Abilene, Texas non-profit, to assure the quilts will be properly distributed to the refugees. Jeremiah’s Hope has been sending shipping containers from Abilene to the dispossessed since the beginning of the war.

Glueck filled Hoodland Lutheran Church, the site of the Piecemakers weekly meetings, with the quilts before they were shipped off to provide warmth to children in need.

And her contributions extend beyond the war in Ukraine. She has previously donated quilts to QBB that were sent to Ethiopian refugee camps, an orphanage in Israel and Syrian refugees abroad and in the United States.

“They go all over the world,” Glueck said.

QBB’s mission is to reach out to under-served children, mainly orphans, across the world to “provide a handmade quilt and spread love and hope.” According to QBB, more than 140 million children in the world today have lost one or both parents. QBB was created in March 2007 to support these children.

QBB provides specifications to volunteers interested in donating quilts. Each quilt must be “washable in primitive conditions” and made from “good fabric.” The organization requests that donations are approximately twin sized. QBBs guidelines state the size is preferred because, “(it) works well for small children, and when an older child ages out of an orphanage at 17 or 18, it is large enough to wrap up in and small enough to be carried in a backpack, so it doesn’t become a burden if the recipient ends up living on the streets.”

“I make my quilts full of color,” Glueck said. “I’m sending a piece of myself out there; I want it to be nice.”

Each quilt has a label that reads, “Quilts Beyond Borders, Made for You with Love, By (name(s) of the quiltmaker(s)), Belongs To (child’s name will go here).”

The quiltmaker signs their work, and the child adds their name when they receive their quilt.

“In a lot of places kids don’t own anything. They’re just getting out with a suitcase,” Glueck stated.

“Arlene is a very special person. She has a heart for children in need,” said Susan Schmidt, Vice President, and NW Regional Coordinator for QBB.

Schmidt stated that Arlene’s contributions were part of the 1,600 quilts produced and sent from the northwest chapter of QBB in 2022. In total, QBB has donated 30,000 quilts since 2007.  The group’s efforts continue in the new year.

Most recently, more than 200 quilts were sent from the northwest in response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Glueck plans to remain busy contributing to the organization.

“I can’t solve the world’s problems, but I can make a quilt for a child in need,” she said.

More information about Quilts Beyond Borders, including submittal guidelines, is available online at Quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com.

The Piecemakers quilting group meets weekly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each Thursday at Hoodland Lutheran Church, 59151 Hwy. 26. The group welcomes interested community members.

By Ben Simpson/MT





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