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Children's Emergency Fund Project

"You can't take away the darkness… But you can add to the light!"
Pat Sears

Some children in foster care are fortunate to be placed with families who are able to provide generously at Christmas time. But many years ago, it was apparent that other children were left out during the holidays, especially those who had just been placed in protective custody, and those who were in shelter care. Also in need were those moving from one family to another, or those who were moving back home around Christmas. The Omaha Quilters' Guild became aware of the need and in 1992, created the Children's Emergency Fund. The project originally focused on sewing Christmas stockings but has since grown into a multifaceted, annual event. There are four ways for members to participate in the project.

At our September meeting, members line up to get their stocking challenge fabric so they can enter their creation in the Viewers' Choice Challenge. This takes place at our December Potluck Dinner. All the entries are displayed, and members vote on the stockings by monetary donation. A small prize is given for the 24 stockings that raise the most money. All the stockings and the monies raised are donated to Child Protective Services (CPS)

An empty stocking isn't much fun, so we decided to ask the members for donations of stocking stuffers. This part of the project is referred to as the Angel Bag Project. Members pick up a bag at the November meeting, which is labeled with the age and sex of the child. Then they put new, unwrapped gifts in the bag and return it to the December meeting. All angel bags are delivered to Child Protection the following day, for distribution by the CPS caseworkers. That's when we set up a “Stocking Store” at CPS to assist the caseworkers in selecting stockings and suffers, which they will then deliver to children who are in foster care, shelters, or hospitals.

We also have a mini-raffle, whereby members make and donate items to be raffled. Tickets are sold at the November and December meetings, with over 150 items to be had! We also have a project created specifically for members to work together. This part of the fund-raiser is called the Caring Friends Auction. Each year there is a theme, and quilters may make any item they believe reflects the theme. The only rule is that the item be made by more than one person. The items are then auctioned during the December meeting and proceeds benefit CPS.

The December meeting is one of the highlights of the year as members enjoy good food, good friends and a feeling of well-being. It's a great reward to use our talents and enthusiasm for such a meaningful cause. We each are reminded that working together, we can do so much to bring light into the life of a child.

For more information concerning this annual project contact Pat Sears at cef@omahaquiltersguild.org