Sending Christ’s love and a cushioned place to sleep to homeless people in the southern tier is an on-going activity of a group who meets at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church 24 N. Main Street, New Berlin NY every other Tuesday morning May through October.
Using the Ugly Quilt pattern put out by My Brothers’ Keeper Quilt Group, an organization out of Pennsylvania, the St. Theresa cutters, stitchers and knotters have been turning out between seven and ten each year since 2013 after learning about the possibility of serving in this capacity from a recently relocated parishioner who initially came to the Altar Rosary Society to suggest such a project.
First, enormous amounts of new fabric and sparingly used clean cloth and bedding materials donated by members of the community were sorted and stored for easy access. Each bed roll is fashioned with sturdy panels of colorful cloth for the exterior, soft fabric for the interior and as much bedding materials as required to provide warmth and comfort. The entire bed roll is pieced together, quilted and fastened with knots that require no special skill to help in accomplishing the goal.
Eventually rolled into these emergency sleeping bags, secured with strips of fabric sewn to the edges are contents such as personal hygiene products, heavy socks, hand knit or crocheted, store bought or gently used hats, mittens and scarves that the group also collects.
When a substantial number of bed rolls have been completed the founding member of the St. Theresa’s group, Phyllis Colando, who originally learned about ugly quilts that are really quite charming at St. Agnes’ in Afton, spread the word first to Sacred Heart Parish in Sydney, piles them into her car and drives them down to Sidney for distribution as per the current need.