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Cape community group sews quilts to comfort children after home fires

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We know the community has needs and we’re happy to help the Red Cross

When a home fire strikes, nothing is spared. Fire will ravage a kitchen and living room the same as a child’s room. And while a television and dining room table can be replaced, reassuring a young child he or she is safe is immeasurably more difficult.

The humanitarian spirit of the Cape’s Bayberry Quilters aims to ease the trauma of the most vulnerable of fire victims. A September donation of 25 handmade blankets to the American Red Cross will lend comfort to a small child after a devastating home fire. The blankets lie folded and ready in Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts Red Cross response vehicles, ready to comfort a child after a devastating home fire.

What started in an Eastham adult education class in 1981 has grown into a guild of members that embody the humanitarian spirit that eases suffering for those in need. Bayberry members meet to share knowledge and encourage new members in the art of quilting and sewing. This community spirit is especially felt every Monday at the Harwich Community Center where 40 members form the Quilt Bank, meeting to craft blankets and quilts for disaster victims, hospice patients, military personnel and seriously ill children.

“We made and gave away 600 quilts last year, and will be sending quilts to soldiers at Fort Belvoir this year. We enjoy a challenge and we hope the quilts will be a comfort to the people who receive them,” said Grace Filliman, Chairman of the Quilt Bank. “We know the community has needs and we’re happy to help the Red Cross and especially the children of disasters.”

Like most great partnerships, the Bayberry Quilters and the American Red Cross came together via a chance encounter. A relative of a quilter was at the Cape’s Chapter house in Hyannis for a health and safety class when a tornado watch was issued. As staff, volunteers and students hunkered down, talk turned to Red Cross lines of service and disaster victims. Information was exchanged and the Quilt Bank arm of Bayberry Quilters and the Red Cross made contact.

The donated blankets will be distributed throughout the Chapter to children in need. Hours of community spirit and fellowship by the Cape’s Bayberry Quilters produce coverings that might help transform a disastrous situation and sooth a young child.

“What a wonderful mission that brings comfort to child victims of fires,” said Hilary Greene, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts chapter. “With a Red Cross stuffed animal and one of these lovely Bayberry Quilters blankets, we hope to make it a little more comforting during a traumatic time.”