Quilts tell folks “they’re not alone”
People left homeless by the Erskine Fire in central California know “they are not alone” after receiving 21 quilts made by women of Peacemakers. The quilting group meets every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at PEACE Lutheran Church in Grass Valley. Members turn colorful scraps into art that warms children and adults, usually in local and regional hospitals and maternity centers.
The fire is the second-most destructive in California so far this year. It’s by far the biggest ever in Kern County. It started in late June, charred 285 homes and scorched more than 48,000 acres northwest of Bakersfield in an area near Lake Isabella.
Peacemakers quilter Ginni DeThomas contacted Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in the town of Lake Isabella to see how the quilters could help, DeThomas said.
Church secretary Myrtle Pierce told DeThomas that three church members had lost their homes to the fire. “She has been a resident of that area for 42 years,” DeThomas reported. “She said she had never seen anything like the rapid approach of the fire. It started half a mile from her home, but headed the opposite direction.”
Shepherd of the Hills lost all its paper records. However, the secretary evacuated with a thumb drive that held the church financial records, DeThomas added.
“There are residents with nothing left,” DeThomas reported. “It is a small community consisting primarily of seniors.”
“Very little is being salvaged from the ashes. There’s quite a scurry to find temporary housing until the properties can be cleared,” Pierce added after receiving the Grass Valley quilts.
The Lake Isabella church formed a committee to administer a disaster fund. “We promise it will be distributed to those who most need help. It will be done in a very loving and caring manner,” Pierce wrote. “We want them all to know that they are not alone, ever!”