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Last week Aji wrote a heartfelt and compelling diary on behalf of two of our most beloved community members, Sara R and winglion (Ann), who are the creators of the Community Quilt project on Daily Kos. That diary did its job; the original quilt sisters have survived their immediate financial crisis.

Sara R and winglion (l to r), Community Quilt sisters extraordinaire!
Sara and Ann at NN12
I am writing tonight to kick off another stage in the effort to put Sara and Ann’s project on a more secure footing. Making each Community Quilt returns far less than minimum wage, accounting for the supplies and the time that each quilt takes, even with the recent increase in the requested donation per message. Thus, several of us who value the importance of their ongoing and faithful contribution to the health and resilience of this community are hoping to attract others who feel similarly, and who have the financial resources to spare, to participate in a subscription drive. Think of it in terms of shares: If 100 of us were able to commit to a monthly pledge of $5.00/month, that monthly influx of $500 would give them some breathing room and some much-needed financial stability. They still will be living uncomfortably close to the edge, unfortunately, but they won’t be on the verge of falling over month after month.

The quilts that Sara and Ann have made for almost 100 members of the community cannot fairly be called life-saving. We have indeed lost several of the quilt brothers and sisters, and as the number of quilt recipients continues to increase, this number will also grow.

But I think the quilts can accurately be labeled “life-giving” and "life-affirming" all the same. They serve as a concrete symbol to every recipient—and, for that matter, to every contributor of a message—of our connectedness and our support for each other. When one is seriously ill, at least in my experience, it is hard to remember a time of comparative health; for many of us in the middle of a health crisis it is also very difficult not to feel alone and friendless. It’s as though one forgets during a long stretch of cold rainy weather that the sun ever shone and that it will ever do so again. The quilt is something to cling to, quite literally, when one’s own faith in the existence of blue skies and sunshine, or in the presence and support of friends, may be deeply shaken.

My healer cat, Coco, luxuriating on my healing quilt
Even when one is on one’s deathbed, as has been the case for some of the recipients when the quilt arrived, the individual messages on the quilt, the beauty of its fabrics, pattern, and execution, and its overall message, still seem to have conveyed something deeply important: We care for you. We know who you are. You matter to us. We will miss you if you go. As someone who has had to confront the real possibility of my own imminent mortality, I will attest that I can think of few more reassuring messages to hear.

In addition to the Community Quilts they’ve made on behalf of the ill and suffering among us, Sara and Ann have made—absorbing all the costs—several beautiful quilts for fundraising efforts. I’m the lucky and proud owner of one of them, the signature quilt from NN12 that was the subject of a drawing on behalf of Darcy Burner. It fills one wall of my living room, a wonderful symbol of my political activism and that of the hundreds of people whose signatures populate its squares.

peregrine kate with the NN12 comm quilt
"Love Notes to the Future" in its lucky winner's grasp
Their most successful (in terms of fundraising results) contribution was the "All My Relations" quilt, created on behalf of INDN's List, the Indigenous Democratic Network, an organization dedicated to supporting Native candidates for public office. Begun at NN08, it took over a year to complete. The drawing for which it was the prize earned over $7800. Magnificent, isn't it?
"All My Relations"
The quilts which Sara and Ann have created for similar campaigns, donating all their supplies and labor, have raised over $17,200. Undoubtedly they will yet do more, if we can help them earn more than minimum wage for their labor and artistry, their creativity and compassion.

A Sara and Ann creation commissioned by Kos adorns one of the walls of the office at Daily Kos, with messages supplied from many devoted Kossacks carrying good wishes for the continued success of the site and its participants.

Daily Kos quilt
My husband, ProvokingMeaning, and I have already committed to a pledge of $25/month, or 5 shares out of the 100 shares we are seeking. This is a pledge good for one year—a reasonable span of time to make such a commitment, it seems to me. I’ve already sent our pledge for April.

Can we get pledges for 95 more shares tonight?

You can make your pledge in two ways. One is to announce your commitment in the comment thread below. If you’d prefer to be anonymous, the second option would be to tell Sara via Kosmail. Payment can be made via PayPal or by a personal check; Sara will be glad to supply their home address upon request.

To make a gift donation, use this PayPal address:  rainwoman [at] mac [dot] com

I know that the quilt recipients ourselves are not all in a position to be able to commit even to one share. But I think it’s evident that we who have not—yet—received a quilt also benefit from the existence of this project. You’ve heard this statement many times, I’m sure: I came for the politics, but I stayed for the community. The work that Sara and Ann do represents the finest aspects of this community. Please pledge on their behalf if you can.

(If you cannot commit to a pledge, but still want to help, one-time contributions are still very welcome and needed. Or, if you want to buy or contribute to some of their products, please see these guidelines in the box below. Commissions for quilts are also gladly received; send Sara a Kosmail to initiate the process.)

To donate toward a specific quilt, or to buy an item, use this PayPal address:  hairbraider33 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

To order Pootie Pads--about which Sara has just posted a diary:

We have two sizes -- Original (23" x 17") and Petite (13.5" x 9").  Here are links for ordering.  Below the fold [of this diary], you'll see fabric choices.  Specify a fabric in the PayPal note to merchant section if you have a preference -- if you don't have a preference, we'll be happy to choose for you.

    Original size Pootie Pad -- $35 + $5.60 shipping

    One Petite Pootie Pad -- $18 + $5.60 shipping  

    Two Petite Pootie Pads -- $35 + $5.60 shipping

Thank you all VERY much for whatever you can do on Sara and Ann's behalf.
UPDATE: As of 12:49 AM EDT, we have pledges totaling $295.00!!! Isn't that wonderful? We are more than halfway toward our goal. Thank you many times over to all of you who have pledged, made one-time contributions, ordered products, and/or helped to spread the word through recs, tips, FB likes and tweets.

Originally posted to peregrine kate on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Fundraisers, Community Quilt Project, Positive Intention and Lovingkindness, Street Prophets , Kossacks helping each other, and PWB Peeps.

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