It was over 35 years ago that a special volunteer program started here in East Bridgewater. It’s called Sew Much Love and it operates out of the Union Congregational Church. It provides handcrafted quilts to women and children who occupy an anonymous women’s shelter. Founding member Connie Burgess, at 93 years old, still contributes.
I spoke with member Lenore Christenson, who elaborated on Connie’s Love, Compassion & Giving Spirit.
“Each member contributes roughly 2 quilts per month. We cooperate to select material and to put together the final project. Aside from that, the lion’s share of the quilting is done from home.” Lenore herself humbly admitted to dedicating anywhere from 6-8 hours a week. Connie is a little different.
“By herself, Connie produces about 10 quilts per month, for babies… I call her the Little Engine that Could And Does,” Lenore says.
Connie loves quilting, does it every day in fact. She attributes her good bill of health to it.
That positivity remains true throughout the group. Lenore describes, “We try to keep the spirit of volunteering and enjoyment stitched into our work. This is made possible due to the support of our Mission Committee, donations of material from many people both in church and from the community, and …the handiwork of new quilters who have joined our quilting group from Bridgewater, Whitman, Brockton.” In 2017, the group made 159 quilts.
Each finished product comes with a tag that reads “Given With Love.” Lenore says, “Connie sends out a lot of love in the form of nice warm quilts.” And so do the other group members. No doubt it is well received.
One staff member at a safe house wrote to the group:
“…one of the women burst into tears when she saw and held the quilt for her baby. She was so overwhelmed because her mom had made quilts for her when she was a younger woman. One of the things she had always wanted to do was to make a quilt with her mom, but her mom passed away and they never got the opportunity. So it was a very sad and joyous moment at the same time for this one woman and all the others who loved their quilts. I suspect we never really understand the depth of what our gifts mean to these women and their children.”
Lenore acknowledges the good in us all: “We all want to do something for people who are less fortunate, so this is a nice way to make something—and do something—personal.”
Recently, the group made member additions when 6 volunteers offered their time. Lenore was quick to praise the energy and aid they’ve given to the program. If you are interested in taking part, new additions would certainly be welcome. Please inquire at the Union Congregational Church office at (508) 378-2874.