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Providing comfort for sick children

Providing comfort for sick children

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Providing comfort for sick children
By Joanne Curran | Sept. 11, 2008

Last Thursday, as I sat with the Sew and Sews, a dedicated group of United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church of Interlachen, and watched a well-oiled assembly line put together quilts for the Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville, I couldn't help but think of the song, "It's A Small World." The first verse says: "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hope, it's a world of fear. There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all."

This is so fitting for the ministry of the Sew and Sews. One of the founding members of the group, Lillian Harrison, said the ministry began in the early 1990s when they sewed sleeping bags for the homeless. Through unforeseen circumstances, they lost their contact and as it is often seen, when one door closes, another opens. Enter the Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville and a wonderful woman, Theresa Drew, house manager.

This was a match made in heaven, as is this ministry, and the Sew and Sews began making quilts for the patients at Ronald McDonald House. Each little patient is able to pick out his or her own quilt, and it is taken to the hospital with them while they are undergoing treatments. These quilts go home with the patients, or their families, as reminders of the love, comfort and hope they brought, as the patients were wrapped up in their softness in a world filled with fear.

This ministry runs on donations of time, materials and money. Donations come from many sources, such as Richard Leven from the Congregational Church in Interlachen, stores donating materials, residents donating materials and money, and the wonderful United Methodist church family. The cost runs from $1,500 to $2,000 a year, and this year, Sew and Sews has spent $900 on batting alone.

Last year, 2007, the Sew and Sews donated 295 quilts and 11 afghans (made by Mary Borvin) to Ronald McDonald House, all to provide some measure of comfort to a sick child.