NOTE:  This post reflects the information for the 2014 Hands2Help Challenge.  It will be updated soon to reflect the new information for 2015, but will give you an idea of what the challenge is about and how it works.  Thanks for your patience!

"What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like."

Hi, all!

Things are all falling into place for this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  I'm so excited to get this started!

This year we have three great charities to choose from.  You will be signing up to make a quilt or quilts for any or all of these three charitable causes.


Option #1 - Quilts of Compassion

Our first charity is a new one this year, at least to me!  Karen, a past H2Her, suggested this group to me.  After speaking with Janice, the woman who founded the charity, I couldn't agree with her more!  Quilts of Compassion makes and collects quilts that are then given to a wide variety of people, but most recently they have found themselves out in the trenches, handing out quilts to people suffering from the after-effects of the tornadoes that have hit the midwest so devastatingly.  This group got together and made 200 quilts in three days (over a holiday weekend, no less!)  And they recently distributed over 1600 quilts to the people in their Quilts For Oklahoma drive.  

They need quilts for men, women, children and infants.  Quilts can be quilted or tied, in any size.  They are also a 501-c-3 organization, so you can get a charitable donation letter for tax purposes if you request one.

Option #2 - Hurricane Sandy Survivors

Two years ago, one of our charities was The NOLA Project, sending quilts that the senior high school students of Gladeville Baptist Church would take to New Orleans and distribute to survivors of Hurricane Katrina as part of their on-going mission work in St. Bernard Parish.  Between the quilts donated through H2H and the quilts our own ministry made, 75 quilts were distributed there. 

All of the quilts that went to New Orleans!
 This year, that same youth group has decided to start a similar mission project in New Jersey, helping Hurricane Sandy survivors rebuild their homes and lives.  They will be going for a week in October as their first foray into this particular mission field, following up with additional trips on spring and summer breaks.  They worked in New Orleans for five years after Katrina, and it's entirely possible that New Jersey will prove to be a similar situation.  What many people don't realize is that the needs of the communities hit by natural disasters actually go on for years.  There's always an outpouring of support initially, but then it dies off and the survivors are left on their own to deal with the aftermath, including PTSD and depression.  Sharing quilts with these folks seems like a good idea, especially after this winter!  Once again, quilts will be needed for men, women, children and babies, so any size is appropriate.  Quilts can be quilted or tied, although we do ask that they be sturdy so that they can be used rather than admired, and will hold up to wear and washing well.  This is also a 501-c-3 group and a charitable donation letter can be provided upon request.

Option #3 - Happy Chemo!

Our final charity this year is an ongoing project of Emily of Em's Scrapbag.  You can choose to make quilts for Happy Chemo, an organization that provides quilts and comfort for chemo patients.  They also collect up and provide information about freebies and discounts that may be of use to chemo patients.  Emily has been championing this cause for a while, and has set a goal of providing 1500 quilts to Happy Chemo.  She’s already donated nearly 600 quilts, and I’d like to see her numbers grow!  She has generously agreed to be part of this challenge, and is excited to see what comes of it.  Here's what Emily has to say about Happy Chemo...

"The first time I met Ginger Johnston, founder of Happy Chemo, it was my first visit to a chemo lab.  I was scared and unsure of what the future held for me.  In walked Ginger, bald and boobless but determined to bring a little sunshine into the chemo lab.  So before she started her treatment she took everyone’s name and drew prizes.  It so changed my experience that I knew I needed to help her in her quest.  I started making quilts for her to give.  Because I can’t sew as fast as cancer strikes I started asking for help.  I just want to bring a little comfort and joy to those who are facing the fear and uncertainty that trips to the chemo lab bring.  
I accept quilts that are 45” square to 60”x 72”.  Any style of quilt is accepted as cancer effects men and women, children and adults.  Thank you for any help."
Quilts made for this project will be sent to Emily to help her meet her goal of 1500 quilts donated to Happy Chemo!


With three charities to choose from this year, you can make a wide variety of sizes and styles of quilts - something for everyone!! And if you're torn between the three charities, feel free to make more than one quilt!  Just think how many wonderful designs you can try.... ;-)

Another change this year, to allow more international participants - if you live outside the United States and want to participate, you can send your quilt top and back to me and I will quilt it for you, to save you from having to pay huge international postage to ship a finished quilt.  Or in the alternative, you can choose a local charitable cause to give your quilt to.  So come on and join in, all you Aussies, Brits, Kiwis, and Canadians!  And anyone else who wants to join in!  

Here's the calendar for this year's Hands2Help Challenge:

Initial signups will be Sunday March 16th through Saturday, March 22nd.  You will receive one entry for signing up, and can get additional entries for putting the button on your blog sidebar, and/or posting about the challenge to encourage others to join in!  (You can sign up after this time, but this is the period to sign up to be part of the signup giveaway.)

The following Sunday, March 23rd, we'll announce the winners of the signup giveaway.  

On Sunday, March 30th, there will be a linky party where you can post links to your favorite on-line tutorials!  It could be a tutorial for a quilt pattern, or a technique like machine binding, or even a recipe for your favorite "while-I'm-quilting" snack or crock-pot meal!  You don't have to write the tutorial, you can link up to another blogger's tutorial.  If you love it, someone else might too!

Sunday, April 7th, you'll Meet The Sponsors!  So many generous people have stepped up to provide giveaways for all of you fabulous H2Hers, and I'm sure you'll want to see who they all are - and maybe even do a little shopping for the challenge with them!

And then there's the guest bloggers!  You will definitely want to be here on April 13th, April 27th, May 4th, May 11th, and May 25th as we get to peek into the creative lives of some of our fellow H2Hers!  

There will also be check-in dates like last year, when you can link up and show your progress....  April 20th and May 18th.

Quilts should be completed by the week beginning Sunday, June 1st.  There will be a linky party (June 1st through June 7th) to link your finished quilt and show it off, and giveaways for people who link up their quilts.  We've got some great sponsors this year!  Winners will be announced on June 8th.

Quilts should be mailed to the appropriate place by Friday, June 13th.

Whew!  That's a lot of information to digest - but the important thing to remember is that signups start March 16th!   You can also start early by posting the Challenge button on your blog and/or doing a blogpost about the Challenge between now and then!

Woohoo!!  Let's get started!!



If you'd like to read about the previous Hands2Help Challenges, click here and scroll back through the posts!

PS - if you've commented on any of the H2H posts and you haven't heard back from me, you are probably a "no-reply" blogger!  Check here for instructions on how to correct this problem, or leave your e-mail address in your comment so that I can reach you!  If you don't feel comfortable leaving your e-mail address out in public, you can e-mail me directly at salliesue(at)clearwire(dot)net.

And now, some special mentions and thank-yous...

The quote at the top of the page is from St. Augustine.  I doubt he’s reading this, but I wanted to give him credit anyway!
The artwork that forms the back of the H2H button was created by Laura of Photography by Laura, who graciously gave us permission to use it for our button.