Donated Quilts provide comfort and joy to Mercy’s Critically Ill Children
February 06, 2012
The Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club of Spanish Fort High School recently donated 21 beautiful, comforting quilts to Mercy Medical’s pediatric home care patients. More than 50 middle and high school students and community volunteers participated in the project. Pictured with the donated quilts are from left standing are Dawn Nelson, Allison Durant, Niah Rollins, Kelli Mundell, Clair Lary and Bambi Kay, Mercy’s clinical director; sitting front row are Joni Ojard, the project organizer and Spanish Fort High School family and consumer sciences teacher and Jackie Evans, Mercy’s vice president of home care.
Recently, the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club at Spanish Fort High School donated 21 beautiful, colorful quilts to Mercy’s pediatric home care patients. The quilt-making project is part of a national program called Project Linus, that provides children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need, new, handmade blankets as well as provides a rewarding and fun service opportunity for students and groups in local communities.
The donation of quilts was the result of many hours of collecting materials, planning, designing and finally sewing the colorful quilts. Over 50 middle and high school students and community volunteers participated in the community quilt-making day – the thirteenth year the club has undertaken this project. The ages of the quilters ranged from 8 years to 90 years old. The project is jointly sponsored by FCCLA at Spanish Fort High School and Spanish Fort United Methodist Church missions committee. Donations of fabric and thread were received by many individuals in the Spanish Fort community.
Joni Ojard, who has led the project for thirteen years, is a family and consumer sciences teacher at Spanish Fort High School. Ojard works for Baldwin County School System and appreciates how this project allows students and community members to learn the importance of working together and giving back to the community as well as discovers how something they crafted can bring joy and comfort to a sick child. Seven hundred and nine quilts have been made by volunteers over the years.
"What I enjoy most is hearing from a Mercy nurse how a quilt is perfect for a child because he likes trains for instance, and the hand-made quilt has a train theme. The love and compassion that goes into each quilt provides a sense of security, warmth and comfort to seriously ill children,” stated Ojard.
Mercy Medical provides pediatric healthcare, palliative care and hospice care at home to all children, no matter of their family’s ability to pay. Mercy Pediatric Home Care Program has served more than 2,000 critically ill children and their families in Baldwin and Mobile counties since 1998.
To donate needed quilting supplies to Project Linus, contact Joni Ojard at Spanish Fort High School, 621.6629. To learn more about Mercy Medical’s Pediatric Home Care Program or to make a donation, call 621.4884.