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Donating Time, Creativity and Resources for the Betterment of the Community

Randy McDonald started making quilts a few years ago as a hobby in 2016. He had no experience but watched sewing shows on TV. He thought it looked like fun, “A way to use my creative flair.” Randy came up with designs and went to the fabric store (Zinks) in Ligonier a few miles away from his house. He became a regular there, matching fabrics and talking to the sales clerks to discuss ideas. In the beginning, Randy made a few quilts and gave them away to family and friends. In 2017, he started donating them to “Stomp out the Stigma” (SOS) sponsored by New Hope Clubhouse to give as door prizes to those who signed up for the 5K race. It went over quite well. People were happy to get the quilts. These projects are self-funded by Randy. The next year he made and donated three quilts, and another member donated a crocheted afghan. In 2020, he has completed three fur blankets that are constructed out of faux fur and quilting materials. He has customized two jean jackets with faux alligator and snakeskin to donate to the SOS-5K – one extra-large, and one 2 XL.

Randy has asked members to help him with these creative projects. Randy wanted to get other members of New Hope Clubhouse involved because, “It gives people a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pride to make something of beauty that others admire.” Cheryl Miller tied one of the fur quilts and is working on a real rabbit fur blanket with sheepskin, for donation to a local charity. Lisa Myers also tied a quilt (see photo) and will be donated to a church that has a food bank or a food bank to raffle off. Lisa will also be working on future quilts. Susan Farver is ironing the quilt after its completion and washing. Maggie Greenway has agreed to make one or two old western-style dusters made out of faux alligator with a lining, to be donated to SOS-5K next year. Maggie made a woven rag rug made of bed sheets, which was self-funded and donated this year. All of this work is donated time by the members working at home.

Randy says this has been an excellent experience for him, and hopefully, the after-hours craft group will grow bigger and more elaborate in the future.

Randy McDonald has been a member since 2015 of New Hope Clubhouse located in Kendallville, Indiana. New Hope serves men and women of the four counties in Northeast Indiana recovering from mental illness.