“Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for God is with you, wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9
Deborah Rogers encountered the verse above when she was mourning the death of her friend, Victoria Ann Morrison, who died of cancer. This message gave her the strength and courage that she needed to pick herself up and move on. She decided to do something in memory of Victoria.
Deborah remembered that her friend had often felt cold when receiving her chemotherapy treatments, so she started Victoria’s Quilts, a registered charitable organization that provides quilts to people diagnosed with cancer. Victoria had made many quilts in her life, so it seemed a fitting tribute.
In 1998, Betty Giffin of Ottawa brought the idea to Canada.
In its first year, Victoria’s Quilts Canada distributed 16 quilts to people with cancer. Last year they gave physical and spiritual comfort to 4,175 cancer patients. There are some 1,000 volunteers in 20 groups in the Ottawa area and 28 branches across Canada who make and distribute the quilts.
I’ve had occasion in my life to sit by the bedside of people going through cancer treatments lying beneath a Victoria quilt.
When you reach out and touch the fabric and the stitching, you can feel the love that went into the work.
On Sunday, May 15, 2011, Rabbi Reuven Bulka will co-host Victoria’s Quilts Canada’s 2nd Annual Radio Telethon during his program, Sunday Night with Rabbi Bulka. The program airs on 580 CFRA from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. The phone number is 613•843•9212. You can also donate on-line at: http://www.victoriasquiltscanada.com/donate.html
Set aside some time Sunday night to listen to the annual radio telethon. Donations buy the cotton, flannelette and batting for the quilts. The time and the love that goes into making the quilts is all donated by volunteers.