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Quilts of comfort for the youngest members of Facing Maine

I can’t begin to express my deep gratitude today when my friend Terry Hodskins of Wells, ME (and member of the Southern Maine Evergreen Quilters Guild) presented me with twenty-three lovingly handcrafted, brightly colored, beautiful children’s quilts. She is also a coordinator and founder of Wrap-a-Smile a unique program offered through Rotaplast, a west coast based organization that helps treat children affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions around the world.

Fabric shopping with the Evergreen quilting crew!

(Terry is the lady on the left with the warm sunny smile and bright yellow shirt!)

We met last fall during our first annual charity golf event. She pulled me aside to mention that she and other quilters around the country, including Maine, had made hundreds if not thousands of quilts in the past 25 years for kids with cleft, but that she never realized there were so many babies and children born affected by cleft lip and palate or other facial conditions right here in her own home State and would I be interested in working together to get some specially made quilts for our youngest members, infants and children, of Facing Maine to have during times of surgery, to bring them comfort? Well, I think you can guess what my answer was!

She handed me a sample quilt and I was instantly brought back in time, when my eldest son, who is cleft affected, was an infant going through his first round of surgeries. He was given a similar quilted fleece blanket from volunteers at the hospital he was being treated at. His father and I were so touched when the volunteer specialist offered it as a comfort gift. We rocked him to sleep in it, gazing at the stitches that held his new smile together. He LOVED that blanket and still curls up with it to this day. He has grown quite a bit since then, so it’s more of a lap quilt now, but is still really special to us all and is a reminder of not only a really overwhelming time, but also of the great generosity, caring, and kindness of a complete stranger.

I know just how special these quilts are, carefully stitched and sewn by mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and well, a whole community of darn good folks, who are generous of their talent, time, and hearts, and all of them right in our own backyard.

When I brought the quilts home and unwrapped them to show my son, his eyes lit up a huge smile on his face! “I can’t wait to see the babies in these quilts Mom! They will love them! They are soooo pretty!” Here is the proof:

I am excited too! We can’t wait to get these special quilts to some really special babies and kiddos of Facing Maine.

Our sincerest thanks to:

The Scarborough Rotary for their generous grant to purchase fabric and materials.

The Southern Maine Evergreen Quilters Guild (Terry’s gals!) for creating these beautiful quilts! I know they will be cherished for years to come.

And last, but by no means least, to Terry for her dedication and determination to bring caring, kindness, and comfort for children in Maine and around the world.

Connect. Support. Advocate. Love. Kindness. THIS is what Facing Maine is all about!

#wrapasmile #rotaplast #scarboroughrotary #FacingMaine #cleftpalate #specialsmiles #cleft #facingmaine #quilts #quiltingguild

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