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JAMES QUIGG, HESPERIA STAR
DONATION: Vaudis Powell of the Desert Winds Quilt Guild looks over one the club's larger quilts during their meeting Tuesday. The club hosted a baby shower for Moses House Ministry, donating quilts, blankets and baby clothing.

Quilting for a cause

Club donates mountains of handmade quilts for mothers in need

Staff Writer

HESPERIA • With every stitch, Jeannie Murdock thinks of the child who will get one of the blankets she and her fellow quilters made for Moses House Ministries, a local faith-based nonprofit that helps women take care of themselves and their babies.

Desert Winds Quilt Guild donated mountains of handmade quilts for mothers in need Tuesday morning at a “baby shower” they hosted for Moses House — complete with pale pink and blue decorations, cake and other refreshments. Roughly 50 women attended the shower, which was hosted at the Rick Novack Community Center, and most members donated other baby supplies including wipes, strollers, car seats and clothes.

“There’s never been a baby shower for Moses House that produced this much stuff,” said Judy Morris, who founded the organization with her husband in 1996. “This is way more than I was expecting.”

Peggy Withers, chairwoman for the quilt guild, said the club is motivated to do charity work and the members are encouraged to make quilts and donate them to various organizations including child protective services and various veterans organizations.

Withers, who suffered from a debilitating illness that she says almost killed her, explained that the experience helped her find a purpose.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get back to normal,” Withers said. “The illness shut my brain down, but I feel really good, I’m alive and I know I shouldn’t be. But I have a purpose. The purpose for me is to make quilts for children and veterans.”

Withers explained that when she joined the group in 2008, the 80-member club had made only 44 quilts — they now average around 300 quilts a year.

“At our October meeting, we announced that we donated our 1,000th quilt,” Withers gushed. “The need is so great. There’s over 9,000 children in the system.”

Moses House helps young mothers alleviate some of that need, however, by teaching mothers to be self-sufficient.

“We want to build up their accountability and responsibility so we can get underneath the problems and get the girls where they need to be,” Morris said. “They need to find things on their own.”

Morris said the mothers who come to Moses House receive personalized case management that is tailored to each girl’s specific needs. Morris said the girls get points for the steps they have taken to improve their lives on their own, which they can use to purchase items in their store.

“It incentivizes them to earn points,” Morris said. “And we celebrate each step.”

For more information on Moses House Ministries, call (760) 955-1895. For more information on the quilting club, visit www.DesertWindsQuiltGuild.com.


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