Sunday, April 22, 2007

Love and Support for Virginia Tech

The overwhelming show of support for the students and faculty of Virginia Tech and all who were affected by the recent tragedy on that campus has been so profoundly moving, so deeply touching, that it is nearly impossible to describe it in mere words. It has only been a few days into the Virginia Tech Memorial Quilt Block project and we have already been privileged to witness the outpouring of love and concern for our fellow human beings in their moment of stunning grief and terrible sadness.

People from nearly every state in America, even from across the ocean in the United Kingdom, have sent in e-mails volunteering to help assemble the blocks for this very special project. Soon, we hope to share with you some pictures of the results of the concern for Virginia Tech and its process of healing. But for now, we thought we would share some of the comments we have received through our online store.

From New York: What a strange coincidence [for Stephen] to have "sneaked" in Virginia Tech Fabric [into the cart] and what a fitting tribute to a most horrific event. God works in mysterious ways to have directed you in this. Please send me a piece so I may be a part of your quilt project. Thank you.

From Texas: I just read your blog regarding Virginia Tech. It [...] really touched my heart. Such a tragedy in such a beautiful and peaceful place. I love Virginia, just having moved away a year ago. I would be honored to help make blocks for the quilts [...] for the families who lost their most precious gifts, their children.

From Arizona: I would like to be a part of [the] VT quilt. What happened there is just too awful for words. [The] quilt will say what some of us are having a hard time expressing in words.

These comments touched our hearts more than you know and affirmed our belief in the common decency of humanity. We have also received many other e-mails from graduates and alumni of Virginia Tech, like Stephen, who have been so troubled that tragedy could strike in a place dear to their hearts. It is clear that their love for their Alma Mater does not simply reside in the buildings on campus, but also within the students and faculty who attend or have attended.

Most moving of all, however, has been the heart-wrenching e-mails from people who have felt the touch of this tragedy even closer to their lives:

From Tennessee: My son is a field engineer [...], and is a graduate of VT. He was a jr. and sr. while [the shooter] was a freshman and sophomore. [...] He has a degree in Computer Engineering. The Israeli professor was his advisor when he was a freshman. [...] I wore my VT Mom shirt to work on Tuesday and have a Hokie shirt on today, since it is mourning day for the victims of the tragedy. That's OK, but this will be a more concrete thing to do.

From Virginia: I am from [Virginia], know many Hokies, and work with several mothers at Tech. It has been a horrific week. Thanks for offering something meaningful for the quilting community to do.

From Virginia: Please send me a piece of the VA Tech fabric. I would like to make a square or two for your quilts. Thank you and God bless you for your thoughtfulness. We lost a local student in the tragedy.

This response leads us to affirm the reason why we are making quilt blocks to assemble into quilts for the families who have felt the cold touch of these heart-breaking events. Blankets by themselves are a powerful symbol of healing and nurturing within a society. For example, one of the first methods to comfort someone suffering from grief and trauma is to wrap them in a blanket. Like blankets, quilts are also a symbol of healing, but through the art and love people put in them, and the messages they can convey, the healing can become more personal and touching. The love of family, the connection to home, the things that are important to us are woven into the spirit of a quilt block in a way much more powerful than a simple solid colored blanket.

Although we cannot be physically present to offer each individual affected by this tragedy our personal sympathies, to offer each person a comforting touch on the shoulder, we hope that we can offer the most tangible thing we can give instead: the fabric hug of a quilt wrapped around them.

Please Note: There is still time to participate! Follow the directions in the previous post (click here to view it) to receive the Virginia Tech Fabric, and remember, make sure your completed block is returned to us by June 2, 2007 to be included in the final assembled quilts.

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