The Mooresville Centerpiece Quilters Guild’s donation of 200 Cuddle Buddy Bags to agencies in Iredell County aims to help children through difficult circumstances.
The handmade bags are filled with a small quilt and a new stuffed animal. Many themes and patterns are on the bags where each quilter’s artistry is displayed.
The Cuddle Buddy Bags project began in 2007, and is part of an ongoing community service project within the guild.
Since then, more than 740 bags have been distributed to the Mooresville Police Department, Iredell Sheriff’s Department, Mooresville Fire Department and Dove House.
The guild’s mission in part is to encourage quilting as art, to encourage others and to share ideas.
Amy Barnhardt, guild member and Mooresville resident, said the guild members spend hours making each Cuddle Buddy Bag.
She said making the donation is the best way she knows to help the community.
“People think we are just a bunch of ladies who get together to chat and sew. But we do care about the community and we want to be contributors,” Barnhardt said.
Guild member Sue Archer has been making Cuddle Buddy Bags since the idea came about in 2007, and other members joined together to make them.
She said that although the bags are more of an individual project, guild members often will work together where one person will make the bag and another will create the quilt to match.
Archer said the response from the people in the agencies receiving the bags is all positive. The bags are distributed to children in situations that may be traumatic for them such as car accidents, house fires or other events, she said.
“I am always amazed to see the creativity people have that goes into making these bags by complementing the fabric with the stuffed animals,” Archer said. “I am also amazed at the people who continue to contribute, and unfortunately these agencies are not seeing a decrease in kids that are in need.”
Ken Wooten, executive director of Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center in Statesville, which serves child victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending family members, received a donation of 50 Cuddle Buddy Bags from the guild last August.
Wooten is looking forward to the next donation, as the Cuddle Buddy Bags have helped many children at Dove House, he said.
After kids come into Dove House for an interview, they are allowed to choose a Cuddle Buddy Bag to keep.
“The kids just love them. It’s just another way of making them feel like they are not in a clinical situation. The healing process for these children is so important,” Wooten said.
Wooten said the guild members are some of the sweetest ladies he has met. He is grateful for the donations and said they help the kids in many ways.
“These ladies are mission driven. They’ve got big hearts and we want to hopefully continue that relationship this year.”
Rachel Daniels is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Rachel? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The group meets at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month at the South Iredell Senior Center, 202 N. Church St., Mooresville. There is no age restriction on who can join. For information call the South Iredell Senior Center at 704-662-3337