Friday, September 18, 2009

Charity Video




I have been trying to get back into the groove of things. Getting a week behind in quilting is not an option in my opinion, but the experience I had being able to go to Romania was well worth it. Clint and I had a wonderful and rewarding trip. I had imagined the trip to be a little different than it was, but it turned out great. Last year when Clint went, he really didn't have a plan. He just had a bunch of quilts and was determined to give them out to people in need. The people he helped were really destitute and didn't have anything, so the joy of receiving a quilt made them happy. When it was decided that I was going, I told Clint that I needed a little more organization to the trip and we were lucky enough to get a hold a man in Romania whom Clint has worked with before and this man (Vali) arranged for us to be able to go to the orphanages. Vali picked us up at the airport and drove us to the city of Pitesti, the city is about an hour and a half outside of Bucharest. The following morning we woke up early and headed to the Social Work office where they run all the ophanages. It was a long process going from one person to the next in order of rank. The whole time I just sat in confusion as everyone was conversing in Romanian, including Clint, so I was completely clueless. But I guess they take donations seriously and we had to sign papers and give them the count of all the quilts. We also had funds to use on anything that they needed in the orphanage, but we wouldn't find out what they needed until we visited the orphanage. They kept telling us to not give money because it would disappear and that the kids weren't in orphanages, but in homes where "children with family issues" lived. The whole "politically correct" thing exists everywhere I guess.
All in all we had 51 quilts donated and there were 36 small children in the orphanage we planned with Vali to go and visit, but the orphanage was about an hour and a half away and they wouldn't let us visit the orphanage unless they had a social worker go with us. So, it worked better for them to have us visit the orphanage the following day. In the meantime though, they did have a group home for children with mental disabilities where we were able to take 15 of the quilts to. Unfortunately we weren't able to get pictures of that orphange. So, if you donated a quilt and don't see it in our video, it was given to the group of kids with mental disabilities.
I guess for a moment I struggled because on the outside it looked like these children are well taken care of and they have a place to live and their basic needs were being met, so I wondered if it would make a difference at all that they were receiving a quilt. I guess I pictured what Clint did last year with the people on the street and was hoping for that same experience. But when we went to the ophanage with the small children the following day, my mindset changed. I can't describe to you how it was to give each child a quilt all of their own. The smiles on their faces were thanks enough. I realized that they do have a place to stay and people to look after them, but they don't have a mom and dad like my kids do, they don't get tucked in at night with a loving parent and their caretakers change a lot, so the constant love isn't there. They don't have anything that is their own, so for them to have their own quilt was an amazing gift.
After we handed out the quilts to the children we asked the director of the orphanage what they needed, she told us that the kids from 18 months to 2 years old didn't have any age appropriate toys to play with and that the older children needed toys and school supplies for drawing and what not. So we drove to the Supermarket and bought all that we could. It was fun just grabbing handfuls of supplies and toys realizing that because of donations, we were able to do it. We returned to the orphanage with the toys and supplies. The workers were amazed and so thankful for the generosity. They were so excited that the children would be able to have these new toys and supplies. It was an amazing experience, and I feel lucky that I was able to go. All the quilt and money donations were amazing and I have to thank all of you for making it possible for us to be able to be the messengers and give these kids something from the heart. I am always amazed at the generosity of people, there it a lot of good in the world and I am glad that we have been able to make a difference to a few lives, even if it was a small difference.


28 comments:

Heather said...

What a great thing to do - glad it all worked out for you as well as the children in the end - the quilts were lovely - thanks for sharing that video with us.

Kelly Jackson said...

I'm sitting here crying...can't even call the two of you. Being loving is that easy....just the willingness to do it is all you needed.

"Now you have wings....fly...and everything you will need to continue to give will be there somehow someway....we just never seem to know how or when."

It really shows the rest of us that appreances really don't mean much....some people "appear" to have so much....and yet they have no idea what it is to have the joy of giving with no expectations.

I remember my father once saying, "you had a roof over your head, clothing and food. I thought you had a great life." He lived 3,000 miles away. He never looked with his heart....how sad for him.

The two of you have looked with your hearts and allowed the rest of us to "tag along"....for that I am greatful.

Smiles and Hugs,
Kelly

Kelly Jackson said...

PS....the music was perfect...can you post the song and artist?

Kelly

Lundholm Fam said...

Loved the video. Made me cry, but that's just who I am. I think what you and Clint did was incredible. Thank you for making this video and for showing us what it was like. I am grateful everyday that I am able to tuck my kids in at night and read stories with them. I just wish all kids had that opportunity. Thanks again.

Barb said...

That was totally amazing. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Totally amazing. You have made a difference!! The quilts were awesome tooo....No dry eyes here.

allthingsribbon said...

Thanks Pudi! I am off to give my kids an extra hug today....after I re-apply my make-up!

XOXOX

Jen

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience, Judi. As soon as I saw the children, I started getting emotional. Now that I have children of my own, stories like this get to me. I can't imagine not being around to love and take care of them. I guess that's one reason I started quilting - I love the story a quilt can tell and the warmth they can give on so many levels. I hope the quilts I make give even half the comfort your quilts will give to these children. Thanks, again, for sharing.

Kaye said...

May God Bless the two of you for all that you have done. Your unselfishness and generosity is amazing. I am sure those children will nwvwr forget you both

Millie said...

Thanks for sharing. What a nice thing to do.

karenfae said...

Judi you bring tears to my eyes! I'm so glad I was able to donate to a good cause and it was so nice being able to see the two small children receive the quilts that I made. I'm so glad that you were able to go help.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Laurie said...

Judi - it wasn't a small difference - it was HUGE!!
I feel so thankful to "know" you. I can't even remember how I found your blog/store, but I am so glad I did. Thank you again for sharing this beautiful experience with us!
laurie
http://ayankeequilter.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Judi, so impressed with your generosity. I have been meaning to meet up with you but just haven't - no excuse!! Do you attend the guild meeting? I would like to donate quilts for your trip next year. I'm feeling very burdened with all this fabric. My problem is not making the tops but getting them quilted. If anyone would do the quilting I will make the tops. Any suggestions? Again, thanks again for the touching video! Linda Sidlow

Michele said...

Thanks for the cry! So wonderful seeing those kids clutching their quilts! My hat off to all those who contributed. Deep hearts always amaze and inspire me.

Gene Black said...

I don't know exactly what you believe. But I can see that you believe showing love can make a difference. And in my heart I believe that that is a true connection with the divine.

Sheila said...

Many things warmed my heart today, but this video and story was one of the best. Many blessings to both of you and all those who contributed. Will you go again next year?

Stitched With Prayer said...

Okay, just watched the video, I'm a blubbering mess. I'll post tomorrow. ***sniff*** Bless you both for the gifts of love you give.

onlymehere said...

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us. I want to contribute to next year and will be checking out your link throughout the year to see what I can do when I can do it. God bless you and Clint and all those who participated this year. This video really spoke to my heart.

The Patch Craft said...

What a wonderful thing that you did. I belong to a group that sends quilts to India, and the photos that we receive of the children's faces make it all worth while.

Keep up the good work.

Dawn said...

wonderful video. I think I went through 5 tissues....

blushing rose said...

Your blessings will unfold for those you have blessed. Have a lovely weekend. TTFN ~Marydon

Angela said...

Wow! What an amazing trip. It is so fun to see these cute kids receiving such a special personal item they get to call their own. Thanks for sharing your time, love, and talents.
Love you!

hispatchwork said...

What a wonderful thing to be able to do! We are donating to a woman's shelter this year.

onlymehere said...

Judi: I love the new look. It's so uncluttered and let's you make your pictures bigger! Enter me in the giveaway. I really like the new patterns. I'm wishing I had more time to just piece quilts and didn't have to go to work anymore! I love the new patterns.

arlette said...

Judi, I was in tears, watching your video, God bless both of you and thanks for everything...

Dawn said...

Sniff Sniff... I found your blog b'cos of your giveaway and then found this amazing video.... I am so astounded with the generosity of all the amazing people who made quilts. You and Clint for your beautiful thoughts towards those dear children... you might think it a small gesture but I can say for sure in those childrens minds it was a huge gesture... you sure blessed me and I pray God's abundant blessings on you for all you have done..What a blessing,
Hugs Dawn x x

Vesuviusmama said...

When you first mentioned you were going, I pulled out a juvenile top to quilt and donate, but alas it is still only halfway done (I'm a hand quilter, and a slow one at that.) I'm glad you received so many donations. Keep up the good work! Oh, and your face on the video as you were preparing to leave home and wondering if you could leave the kids for so long - ah, it spoke to me. I travel a lot for work, and I still feel that way each time. It doesn't seem to get easier.

bingo~bonnie said...

what a beautiful video and song to show the highlights of your trip to Romania. I'm sitting here with huge tears rolling down my cheeks.. thanks for sharing this with us. What a great project!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Staunch Woman said...

Thanks for posting this....I'm a mess. Bawled my head off while watching. We have so much to be thankful for!!! What a wonderful thing to give - quilts are love.