Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta is a charitable organization dedicated to safeguarding the art and history of quiltmaking. And each year, it chooses a different organization to receive its gifts of handmade quilts.
The guild has donated 214 stunning quilts to the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, which provides emotional and financial support to children with cancer. Formed in 1988, the Coastal Quilters Guildhas more than 280 current members-men as well as women, contrary to what you might suppose.
The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is renowned for providing middle-to-low-income families with monetary aid for such things as rent, mortgage, and car payments, along with other services to help families of cancer patients-which in turn frees the families to dedicate much more time, love, and support to their number one concern, their children. Nikki Katz, Teddy Bear’s founder and program director, explained that she was inspired by a three-year-old boy diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. “Two years later, he suffered a relapse,” she recounted. “One day his mother broke down in tears as she shared the hardships she and her family had faced. She spoke of unplanned and extended hospital stays, expensive medications.” Nikki realized that something needed to be done and one year later the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation was formed.
The Coastal Quilters Guild literature notes that a quilt is “a small comfort that we can provide to show . . . that someone, even someone who is a stranger, cares for their health and well-being. The thought is as valuable as the quilt itself.” Jeanne Surber, co-chair of this year’s Community Quilts Project, described her job as “the most gratifying position I have ever held. Over 200 quilts for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation-what an awesome testimony to the love and care Guild members have.”