The Angel Quilt Project

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  The Angel Quilt Project is a nonprofit organization of cross-stitchers, machine embroiderers and quilters.  They use their various talents to stitch, or machine embroider, pieces that are 'childish' in nature.  Those pieces are then used on hand-made blankets that are given freely to almost 500 hospitals in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom (Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), and Hong Kong for families with premature babies.

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These blankets are a standard size of 36" x 36" and are used in the hospital NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) here in the US and Canada and SCBUs (Special Care Baby Units) in the UK.  AQP also supplies larger blankets (up to twin size) for children under the age of 18 who are in either Children's Cancer Clinics or Regional Burn Centers.

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The Angel Quilt Project started in January, 2000 by James Farmer.  At that time there were only 6 people who were interested in the concept and what James wished to do.  Those included James, Dale High (Philadelphia, PA), Belle Collingwood (the UK), Julia Rees (the UK), Alison Norris (the UK), and Carole Sedgwick (Gibraltar).  These ladies were, and most still are, interested in what The AQP's mission.

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James wishes to express his sincere thanks to all of them.  Dale is still with the project and is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors, as well as a finisher for the hand-made blankets. 

 There are currently 6 distributors here in the US including James, Dale, Pat Clarke (in California), Kathy Azure (in South Dakota), Linda Laird (in Tennessee) and Dolores Casillio (in Texas).  These ladies, along with all The AQP members, dedicate their time and talents, as well as their wallets, to get the finished blankets to the hospitals on our mailing list. 

 

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    To date The AQP blankets have gone to hospital NICUs around the world.  At the height of the project, membership numbered almost 4,000 stitchers, and that was before The AQP even started using the Machine Embroidered pieces for the project.  For that idea, James gives much thanks to Kathy Walker of Treetrunk Designs.  She was instrumental in getting that aspect of the project started.
   
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The AQP receives loads of thank you's from families all around the world for their donations, as well as pictures of some of the children who have gotten the blankets.  The letters bring laughter as well as tears.  These families never went into a pregnancy expecting to have a premature child, or children, as in twins or triplets, or even more. Part of The AQP's intention is that each child in a multiple birth get their own blankets and that effort has been successful.  Blankets have gone out to 8 sets of septuplets thus far!  The number twins and triplets that have received them, is far too many to number. 
  
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The AQP has gotten letters of appreciation from NICU nurses as well.  Each of those nurses treat those babies like they were their own and are truly amazed that someone would do this for 'their' families.  Their care for the families is extremely critical and their caring and devotion is never in question.  Their job is to take care of not only the child but the parents and families as well.  They are truly the ones who deserve the credit.  The dedication is unlimited and essential for the families and they do one heck of a great job, as well.
    
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Currently, with the three Divisions of The AQP, active membership is around 500, but still get enough donations of stitched or machine embroidered pieces that around 150 pieces a month are sent out each month. That's amazing in and of itself. 

Some time in December of this year the AQP will donate its 50,000th blanket and that's an accomplishment James is very proud of.  He never figured that the AQP would manage to give away one-quarter of that amount, or that the project would still be going 10 years after getting started. James says that the Lord blessed his endeavors and he feels sure that He'll continue to bless and give the strength and encouragements to continue well into the future.

  
 

 When their milestone blanket is delivered James will post on their web-site (www.aqphome.org) not only who stitched the piece and who finished it, but hopefully which hospital it was sent to.

 

   

James states, "I don't do this for MY recognition!  I don't do this to make money!  If either of those were the case I wouldn't be doing it at all.  My focus is entirely on the families who get our blankets, as well as our prayers."  With each and every blanket that is sent out a letter is enclosed for the family who gets it.  Each letter ends like this:  "We will never get to meet you.  We will never be able to meet your child(ren).  But we want to let you know that there are others in this world who think of your family in this time and that you are in our prayers."

 

    If you would like to contribute in any way to the Angel Quilt Project, please get in touch with james at angelafghanproj@aol.com or Eprise01@aol.com and he will get back to you.
 
James Farmer, Founder
The Angel Quilt Project

 

For more information, visit www.aqphome.org

or write to James at:

The Angel Project

P.O. Box 5421

Greenville, Mississippi 38704-5421

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