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  • Keri Withers

Quilts Delivered

I am an early morning person. I rarely stay up past 10 pm. Once in a while though, when I am really caught up in something, I will stay up until all hours to complete a task. The night I put together all the packages of quilts, stockings, pillowcases, and ornaments were one of those nights. It felt a little like Christmas eve to me. I was so excited to see the pieces of this project come together and to be able to meet some of the other board members the next morning to deliver the goods that I barely slept:) At 3:30 am, I finally laid down to get a few hours of sleep before starting my day. Then I was up at 7:00 am, waking up my 16-year-old son, and together we loaded, and I mean LOADED, my vehicle with the Christmas packages. I met some of the other board members at the DHS building and we delivered the quilts to Corina who would oversee the distribution of the gifts.

It is a harsh reality, but children and youth enter the foster care program all the time. The number of children in the program fluctuates so frequently that even though we originally planned for 61 Christmas packages, by the time we got them all delivered we needed 64. I was so grateful for the generosity of all those who participated, otherwise it would have been hard to respond so quickly to the change!

In the future, we plan to continue making and collecting quilt tops and quilts so that we have supplies to distribute as needed. There are currently 13,000 children and youth in the Michigan Foster Care program and our goal is to eventually be able to help each one, but 13,000 is an overwhelming number. We need to remember that as we take this journey one child at a time, we can allow each one to receive the same personalized love and compassion.

I can tell you that while I know that Rayola has brightened the lives of many children this Christmas season, I have grown to know and love the blessings that service brings to me. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness." I completely agree. Thank you to all those who have helped this year and who will help in the future.

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