Sometimes it’s the little comforts in life that make the biggest difference in the lives of children. Like a homemade, quality quilt given to each child and young person in foster care with local agency, MacKillop Family Services (formerly known as St Joseph’s Cowper).
The quilts are being made by the Wednesday Wonders, part of the Timeless Quilters group in Port Macquarie. A daughter of one of the members is a foster carer with MacKillop Family Services and suggested to her Mum it would be wonderful if children in care could receive quilts of their own to keep.
“We have donated comfort quilts to children’s hospitals, dementia units and nursing homes before”, said Christine Waterhouse, member of the Wednesday Wonders. “When my daughter became a foster carer we decided to create quilts for the children. Many of these kids have been through traumatic times so the quilts provide great comfort.
“Each child is so excited to receive their quilt. Some immediately wrap themselves in it, some lie them on their bed or the floor. But they all love receiving something new which they can keep forever.
“One little boy received a quilt with dolphins and sea animals on it. He also had a book called Affirmation Weaver about a dolphin with low self-esteem. His carer would read the book to him every night and he would wrap himself in his quilt. He found the quilt a great way to calm himself and alleviate anxiety.
The Wednesday Wonders have now crafted over 50 quilts and have committed to make an additional 200 quilts for children in care with MacKillop in other parts of NSW.
“We are so grateful to receive the quilts”, said Naomi Burke, District Manager, Northern NSW with MacKillop Family Services. “The quality of each quilt is amazing and each one has a different theme and colours. There is a little message attached to each quilt saying ‘handcrafted especially for you’ and the name of the person who made the quilt.
“For kids in care, it is so special to have something handmade especially for them, and theirs to own for life. When the quilts are handed to the children and you say it is theirs to keep forever, the look on their faces says it all. You can feel the love in every quilt.”
There is an urgent need for foster carers in Northern NSW. If you are interested in becoming a carer, MacKillop Family Services will be at the Jacaranda Festival Children’s Morning on Saturday, 27 October and at Jacaranda Thursday on 1 November. Come along, meet the team and find out more about being a foster carer. Or call MacKillop’s Foster Care Enquiry Hotline 1300 791 677 or visit mackillop.org.au/fostercare.