SWAP Story: Giving Back

It started with an idea Louisa Erb, Location Coordinator, had while volunteering in the MCC Connections thrift shop quilt room in Kidron, OH. Why not take the skills learned to Kentucky and  give an opportunity for homeowners to give back? After  arriving  in  Hindman,  KY,  Lou talked with women  of  an MCC SWAP partner, Hindman United Methodist Church, gauging if there was interest.

The women of  the church were very enthusiastic and immediately jumped in gathering contributions of material and sewing notions. MCC Connections Thrift Shop (in Kidron, Ohio) donated additional material and batting. Marilyn Kamp from Orrville Mennonite, the Erb’s home church, donated a quilt frame. The women at Hindman United Methodist decided  “tac quilts” (tied comforters) could be made and donated to the local women’s safe house, a homeless shelter and a pregnancy center. The first year they donated two quilts to Hickory Hill, a 100-bed also local drug rehab facility.

Virginia  B. is a single lady who received home repairs from SWAP. Volunteers replaced windows, built a ramp, installed new electrical wiring, and leveled a sloping floor in her trailer. While visiting her, Erb noticed quilts on Virginia’s couch. Virginia’s grandmother was a quilter and she grew up learning those skills. Virginia joined the Hindman quilting group in 2016. She takes scraps, cuts them into three-inch squares and hand sews them together into beautiful  comforter  tops  while  enjoying  the  fellowship and fun. She has hand sewn at least a dozen quilt tops since joining the quilting group donating them to the project.

Since its beginning the group has made nearly 45 tac quilts for donation. Additionally, one of Virginia’s hand pieced tops will be quilted and donated to the Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale held August 3-4, 2018, in Wooster, Ohio.