Quilters and volunteer service are a natural fit.
What is Roadies Give Back?
For the third year, Road to California has hosted special evenings for guests to share their time and talents in giving back to the local community. Their philanthropy activity, Roadies Give Back, allowed quilters – whether or not they attended the show — to volunteer in creating comfort quilts for cancer patients receiving treatment at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, California. To date, almost 300 quilts from these Roadies Give Back activities have been donated to the center.
Held the Saturday night of Road, this activity was entirely volunteer driven. It gave attendees at the show a chance to meet other conference goers, participate in a worthwhile activity, and fill up an otherwise open Saturday night. Everything that was needed for the quilters to work on the quilts – sewing machines, thread, batting, irons, and backing — were donated for the activity by some of Road’s vendors.
Of all the special events that were planned for Road’s 25th Anniversary Show, Roadies Give Back was one of the most important. Said Karen Jones, a past volunteer coordinator, how the event impacts patients: “It lets people with cancer know that a lot of people care about them, are rooting for them, are praying for them and are hoping that they get better.”
Volunteers at Work
Over 30 volunteers showed up to put the comfort quilts together.
Sisters, Shannon and Barbara, have participated with Roadies Give Back all three years. They keep coming back to volunteer because they like being a part of a community that takes care of the greater good. “If I can do a little bit to help, that is a good thing,” said Shannon, “And I get to practice my scant ¼” seam!” Barbara is a 6-1/2 year breast cancer survivor. “As a survivor, I know how important a quilt can be when going through chemo. Chemo is cold. If I can put sunshine in someone’s life, I’m going to do it.”
Suzanne and Sandie are friends who live in Burbank, California. Sandie was a band mom for John Burroughs High School and Suzanne helped her make a t-shirt quilt for her student. That got Sandie interested in quilting 5 years ago. “It’s a fun, creative outlet.” Jenny Doan has had a huge influence on Sandie. “She’s amazing.” Both Suzanne and Sandie attended “Jenny on the Road” during the anniversary show. Suzanne likes to take classes at Road. Road 2020 was her 5th time attending the show. She especially liked taking a class with Krista Moser. “She is so awesome.” Suzanne thought Roadies Give Back was a great event. It was her second year to volunteer. “My mom died of cancer and I have a friend going through it now.” Suzanne brought 12 squares she had put together before the show.
Joan came from Maine to volunteer. She has been quilting for 20 years. Road 2020 was her first time at the show. She heard about Road from a friend and wanted to come for the 25th Anniversary. She was impressed by the size of the show and all the beautiful quilts on display. She took a class from Jen Kingwell, another reason why she came to the show. “I believe if you have the ability to help someone else, you should. I do charity work at home. This was a great way to end my trip.”
Traditionally, the Roadies Give Back quilts are donated to patients at the Cancer Center in the Spring. With the Coronavirus outbreak, plans to present the quilts are now on hold. Road looks forward to making the volunteer donation when the situation improves.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Road 2020’s Roadies Give Back a huge success.