SAM Quilters receive award for giving the gift of warmth

Providing warmth to people in need has been the goal of the Social Action Ministry (SAM) Quilters in Maple Lake and for their efforts, the organization recently received a Service/Recognition Award from the Minnesota Foster Care Association.

Over the past year, SAM quilters, a group of about 30 women who meet weekly in the St. Timothy Church basement, completed and distributed 400 quilts to needy people in Wright County and all over the U.S. The group totaled 3438 hours of quilt-making during the past years, which doesn’t count the unrecorded hours the quilters spend at home on their comforting creations.

Julie Pribyl, a foster parent and parent liaison for Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation, nominated SAM for this year’s award by telling the story of four foster children who were placed in her home. “The children came with the clothes on their backs and nothing that they could cling to for security. I contacted SAM Quilters of Maple Lake and asked if it was possible to receive a quilt for each of these children. A few hours later, volunteers from SAM Quilters were at my door delivering the quilts. All foster parents can certainly imagine these young children, each clinging to their new blankets.   “Months later, the children were reunited with their parents, but later returned to our home minus the blankets. SAM Quilters again came through and immediately delivered four more quilts to our home. It’s been two years since the children were placed with their forever family, yet they continue to hug and sleep with those quilts. I can not even count the number of quilts SAM Quilters have delivered to my home for many other children placed in emergency shelter.”

SAM Quilter Cathy Borell remembered a thank-you card sent by a boy recovering from an accident who received one of the quilts. “He told us how good it made him feel to be wrapped up with all the love that he received from us,” Borell said.

Sam Quilters meets from October through April on Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon in the St. Timothy Church basement. They also meet once a month on the second Monday during those same hours in the summer.

Ecumenical in nature, the organization is open to anyone with an interest in quilting or in simply lending a hand. Workers are welcome to come for the entire four hours or any portion of it and no experience is necessary.

Quilts are donated to organizations that include Veterans Hospital, Sharing and Caring Hands, Sheriff’s Youth Program, Wright County Human Services, area nursing homes, special needs children and adults, and to victims of illness, accidents or abuse.

Materials are donated, with the primary source of funding provided by the Maple Lake VFW Post 7664.

Anyone with questions or interest in joining SAM Quilters can call Cathy Borell at 963-3236 or Rose Malachek at 963-3372.