Posted by: mollyrossiter | March 2, 2009

Quilted comfort

I was talking with a woman this week — for a story to be published later — about the work she and others are doing to help who she calls “flood survivors.” One thing she said really stuck out:

“We all should be asking ourselves, ‘What am I doing to help a flood survivor?'”

Then Donna Hartman came in to see me. She and her husband, Dean, attend Stonebridge Evangelical Free Church in Cedar Rapids, and Dean serves on the church’s flood ministry team.

Through a series of coincidences, an e-mail from a woman who attends a Mennonite church in Pennsylvania was directed to them. The woman had heard about the Flood of 2008 and wanted to do something to help but wasn’t sure how that would be possible: she is unable to make the trip from Pennsylvania to Iowa, and lives on limited means, making any financial donation she could muster rather small.

She is a long-time quilt and comforter maker, and gathered some of the women from her church together to make comforters for Cedar Rapids flood survivors. In a short time the small group of women had completed four large comforters and sent them to the Hartmans to be distributed to those who needed them.

“I heard about the flooding and the massive damage that was caused and I wanted to do something more than ‘just pray,'” wrote Betsy Brennan in her e-mail. “I know prayer is where we have real, earth-shaking power, but I know I can pray and do something at the same time.”

Donna Hartman told me the comforters were distributed to flood survivors within the Stonebridge congregation.

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