By Misty DUPLESSIS
Patchwork Penguin owner Crissa DuCharme doesn’t shy away when she hears of someone in need. She’s active in several charitable organizations including Project Linus that, according to its website, “provides love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’”
Last weekend DuCharme partnered for the third year with Big Sunday and, with enthusiastic supporters, created quilts for vets.
“This is an ongoing [effort],” she said, “but last weekend was a chance for the community to help.”
Quilters who showed up at DuCharme’s Tujunga store found many quilts in various stages of completion, providing an opportunity for volunteers to participate regardless of their skill level, from beginners to experienced quilters.
From cutting to pressing the fabric to sewing there was something for all who wished to contribute.
“We always get a handful of students that will come in because they will get community service hours,” said DuCharme of past years participants, adding that every year new people come to lend a hand.
The majority of quilts that Patchwork Penguin contributes usually are donated locally through organizations like the Desi Geestman Foundation, but some quilts have been sent to other countries based on need including Japan and Afghanistan as well as outside the state to New Orleans.
DuCharme is gearing up next for The Million Pillowcase Challenge event at the end of the month that the public is also invited to help.
American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging communities across the nation to “help us reach our goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities.” The charities include foster homes and women and children shelters.
DuCharme believes that the recipient draws comfort from the heartfelt handcrafted items and will also gain something else.
“Hope,” she said of what she feels the quilts represent, “and the security to know that people are out there that care.
“We want to make a difference.”
To take part in any of the charitable activities that Patchwork Penguin is involved with, contact the store at (818) 248-7390.