"When God inspires you to do something - don't doubt or delay, pull up your shirt sleeves and get to work"!
Hi, my name is Krysti Wright, I'm the founder of Stitching Hearts Worldwide. We are so grateful to our Stitching Hearts Volunteers! We appreciate all of you and our partners who continue providing opportunities for us to deliver products to the most vulnerable populations around the world. I wanted to share with you, how we began this whole journey and how your volunteering efforts have made such an important difference for thousands of lives!
In the Fall of 2016 an article, written by Cheryl A. Esplin, came to my attention about serving, which inspired me into action. The words -council together - use all resources available - seek inspiration from God - ask for His confirmation - then roll up your sleeves and go to work, spoke loudly in my ears. After reading this my mind and heart were overcome with the need to know what I could do to make a difference.
Many sleepless nights kept me up writing down any thoughts and inspiration as they came in the quiet early morning hours. Counseling with my husband, asking for his support and ideas was a crucial step and became a great blessing to me later on. Looking at my resources was easy. Being a professional quilter at the time, I had always dreamed of giving back someday but I never thought it possible to be in charge of a non-profit organization.
After studying it out in my mind and discussing ideas with anyone willing to listen, I decided to ask God, while visiting my quiet place, if this was something I should pursue...Immediately the word "YES!" came into my mind. The question that most concerning to me came into my mind next, "What about the donations"? He answered quickly, "I'll take care of that!".
Trusting in His words, I went forward with my plan. Not two days later I met RoseAnn Gunther, founder of a non-profit organization called Launfal. She had been serving for over 25 years and over the next couple of months donated thousands of yards of fabric to us. My husband has been wonderful and supportive. As more fabric would show up, Victor would say, "looks like we will need more shelving". He ended up giving all of his space in the garage and most of the space in our shed as well to hold fabric and other supplies. I love this amazing, selfless, supportive man who is my best friend!
The Journey Begins
We did get to work! We reached out to many in our community to come help and began to network. Our first problem was to find a space to gather together and prepare the donated fabric into quilt tops to be sewn then quilted. We were rejected a few times as we sought a space to work in. Then the miracles started pouring in! The Erb's, who used to live in our neighborhood, heard our need and allowed us to use their basement while they were helping their son start up a new business in St. George.
A few quilting and youth groups started joining in to sewing quilt tops for us and women with longarm quilting machines offered to quilt them while other groups started tying them.
Eventually my husband and I decided that we were not able to afford paying for any more needed supplies. We were down to our last roll of batting for the quilts and I told my volunteer, "After this, we will not be able to purchase anymore batting without funds". They wanted to know if they should finish up that last roll or save part of it for the next week. I felt impressed to go forward and just trust that if this was God's will, the batting would be replenished. Two days later I got a call from my friends from Arizona at Gathering Humanity saying they had someone willing to pay for batting - how much did I need? Because we need to buy in bulk, this was a great blessing!
Who Do We Serve?
About 6 months later, Traci Parson from Lifting Hands International (LHI), called to ask if we had any quilts we could donate to their 40ft trailer shipment for Refugees in Jordan. When I asked her to give me more details she said, "We send these containers overseas that are shipped to Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, Bangladesh, Turkey and others, blessing millions of lives. These people are out on the desert floor trying to put tarps or blankets up for protections to keep the snakes and scorpions away". I knew right then we need to help them. I had only a few quilts at the time but by the end of the week randomly volunteers started bring back finished quilts and we ended up with 10 quilts to send on that first shipment in 2016. Since then we have made thousands of quilts and other items to send to these and other local refugees, homeless and children around the world.
This started my partnership with LHI. Their founder, Hayley Smith a BYU graduate, serving in a Refugee camp in Greece when a boat of escapees capsized just off shore. Her group struggled to find anything appropriate for these wet, cold and desperate people to wear. Most of the donated boxes held high heel shoes, diapers and un-useful items. She decided then to organize a non-profit organization to send only items of what the Refugees needed most. She partnered with a Muslim based group called Helping Hand, who pay for the containers to be shipped and help to disperse the items to the people. (pictures provided by LHI photographers).
We stared taking our equipment, supplies, and material to provide events for groups all over the Utah Valley to do service events. We have worked with groups like BYU Y-Serve Refugee club, UVU Institute, and many other small and large groups both religious and businesses alike working with us to make our donated products. Since that time, donations have continued to come in through the events we provide, helping us keep our doors open, and give many others the chance to serve. I will write more about those adventures in future blogs so stay tuned.
Fast forwarding to December 2020. A miracle happened this last December and now we have a Warehouse which gives us opportunities for many more people to serve! Not wanting to make this entry too long, I will end with an invitation...
Come serve with us and help make a difference!
Go to our website and sign up for a shift
or schedule your own event at:
Thank you for your giving hearts as we serve together!