Award Recipient: Bonnie Lawry
How did you get started in the program you volunteer with?
I joined TLC Quilters about 6 years ago. I was taking a quilting class with the Claremont Adult Education program and there were several members of the Quilters Guild that were also taking the class. The more we talked the more interested I became and a friend of mine and I decided to check it out. We loved it and have been members ever since.
Tell us about the organization that administrates this program and what it takes to be involved.
TLC Quilters Guild is a non-profit group of over 120 women dedicated to friendship, education and philanthropy. We range in age from 20 to 90 years young, live in LA and San Bernardino counties and range from beginner to advanced sewing skill levels. We meet on the second Thursday of the month and about 9 times a year we have a guest speaker join us followed by a workshop the following Saturday. At the workshops, we learn new techniques or try out new quilt patterns. TLC Quilt Guild has 3 organizations that we support: Blocks for the Brave, WINGS (Women In Need Growing Strong), and the Covina Police/Fire Department.
Blocks for the Brave is a organization that give quilts to wounded solders at the Veterans Hospital in Northridge. WINGS is a shelter for women and children of domestic violence, and the Covina Fire Department gives to the Toys for Tots drive. Throughout the year we also have 6 workshops where we get together to work on our philanthropy quilts. Quilters are invited to come for an hour or the whole day and enjoy a potluck lunch. It’s a lot of fun and we all help each other to get the quilts finished.
What is meaningful about this type of volunteer program to you?
I love making quilts for the kids. Their circumstances do not allow us to meet any of them but we do get letters from the kids and their Mothers telling us how much they love getting the quilts and knowing someone cares about them.
The quilts that go to the solders are especially important to me because I have a son in the Air Force and it is just one of the ways I say “Thank You” to all of our country’s Military Personnel.
We also have a workshop where several of us get together for a selected organization and sew whatever is needed. Last summer we got together and made more than 80 dresses for a group called Little Dresses for Africa. They have donated more than 55,000 dresses to children. This week I am working on pillow cases for the Make a Pillow Case group whose goal is to have 1 million pillow cases donated. The pillow cases go to hospitals, nursing homes, Women’s Shelters, cancer patients, and other groups. I have also made quilts for Quilts of Valor, various church auctions, Boy Scouts of America auctions, and some of my quilts went to Russia with a group of Missionaries.
My children’s great Grandmother got me started quilting back in the early 80’s and I have been fortunate enough to be able to share my quilts with lots of wonderful people.
What do you do to relax?
The nice thing about sewing is you can use a sewing machine or sew by hand. Sewing by hand is very relaxing for me.