The St. Peter’s Love Quilt Project was developed to give quilts to orphan children in South Africa who have lost their parents to AIDS. The project grew out of a mission trip to Masiphumelele, South Africa to help and work in an orphan home in the township that St. Peter’s had helped to build. The leader of the trip wanted to bring something special to give to the orphan children, something that was created by parishioners from St. Peter’s. The idea developed to send quilts that would wrap the children with warmth and to have these quilts incorporate messages of love from children within the St. Peter’s parish.
Many people from St. Peter’s stepped up to help: teachers in the Sunday school, children who created art squares to share their expressions of love, and a group of St. Peter’s ladies who spent many hours sewing the quilts together using these squares. The quilts were made by many hands at St. Peter’s, and although not everyone would be able to travel with the mission group, they felt represented through the quilts. Once they were completed, St. Peter’s blessed the quilts and sent them on their journey.
The quilts arrived safely in Simons Town and were presented to the St. Francis Trust, who had coordinated the building of the orphan home through the “Homes from Home” project. They were very surprised and insisted on another blessing of the quilts. The quilts symbolically unified St. Peter’s and St. Francis’ friendship and this was felt deeply by everyone on the mission trip.
The quilts were presented to the children in the orphan home and a special log cabin quilt was given to the housemother. The recipients were thrilled by these gifts and there was great excitement about the quilts and their powerful message of love. When it was time for the mission group to start home, the people of St. Francis encouraged St. Peter’s to think about ways to continue this ministry.
The result has been the St. Peter’s Love Quilt Project. The art squares are created by children in schools, church groups, scout troops, etc., to depict their messages of love to the orphan children. The quilts using these squares are made by volunteers in the local area and beyond. The completed quilts are collected and sent to orphaned children in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela has a wonderful quote: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Several verses can be found in the Bible describing the importance and responsibility we have to support and love the orphaned children.
These quilts have become a way for many to be involved in the support of orphan children who are less fortunate and desperate to feel loved.