Young women quilts benefit donors and recipients

The Young Women of the Frederick Maryland Stake recently completed 15 quilts, put together not only with fabric and thread, but also with love and a spirit of service.

To celebrate the Young Women's worldwide focus on service, the local youth began during November 1992 to perform individual acts of service, earning a patch of quilt fabric for each one.The service acts were varied in length, with some taking many days, or even months, to perform. As the number of cloth pieces accumulated, they were sewn together, first into squares and then into quilts.

Each quilt square contained 17 pieces, representing an equivalent number of acts of service by the young women. After a year, three small quilts of nine squares each, 11 large quilts containing 15 squares, and an extra-large quilt made up of 20 squares had been completed, representing 3,605 service acts.

Vicki Allgaier, stake Young Women president who helped oversee the yearlong service projects, commented: "Through this endeavor, the young women learned the value of service to individuals and families. They quickly realized that true service doesn't come at the most opportune time or in the simplest form of giving. This helped them understand what the true meaning of Christ-like service is all about."

The young women found a variety of ways to perform service for others while earning the quilt pieces, such as doing name extraction for temple work, babysitting, helping children with special needs, sorting canned food collected for the needy by the Boy Scouts, sewing teddy bears for police officers to give to small children, writing letters to missionaries, visiting with the elderly in nursing homes and tutoring students. They also helped clean an elderly woman's house for several months.

One of the most unusual service projects undertaken by most of the young women was helping to construct two houses in Chestertown, Md., during the past summer in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity. Along with the young men of the Frederick stake, the young women spent two days building the homes in blistering July heat. Each young woman was awarded two quilt pieces for her efforts.

Other services performed included performing temple baptisms and confirmations for the dead, teaching songs to Primary children, baking and distributing homemade bread, doing yard work, making dinners, helping at home with various chores, cleaning the Church kitchen, assembling personal care packets for a women's shelter, painting fire hydrants, baking cookies for patients at a state mental hospital, picking up outdoor litter, washing cars, and staging skits for hospitalized children.

After the 15 quilts were completed, the young women attended a meeting during which they were told where their quilts would be sent (with the exception of two that had already been given to the families whose homes the youth had helped build during the summer.)

Bob Jones, an employee of the Church's Washington, D.C., welfare complex, accepted the quilts from the young women and explained that they would be shipped to needy people in Albania, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Included with each quilt sent out will be a friendship letter, signed by all the young women, explaining that individual pieces of the quilt represent acts of love and service to others.

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