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Quilters’ kindness touches Katrina-uprooted collegians


JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Students who transferred to Union University last semester as a result of Hurricane Katrina have been warmed by the kindness of New Jersey women they don’t even know.

Kindred Spirits Quilters, from Hydewood Park Baptist Church in North Plainfield, N.J., made and sent 13 quilts to Union, one for each of the students displaced by Hurricane Katrina and two for the students’ children.

Kimberly Brown of New Orleans, who will graduate in May, sent the group an e-mail thank you once she received the quilt, “and I told them that the group is really a spiritual group to think of other people.”

“It’s really good to know that there are other people in your corner when you are at your worst,” Brown said.

Kimberly Thornbury, dean of students, at the Tennessee Baptist-affiliated university, said her mother, Carolyn Carmichael, who lives in New Jersey, told one of the Kindred Spirits Quilters, Mary Lou Kirtland, about the students who had transferred to Union because of the hurricane.

Kirtland said the group had been looking for a way to help the hurricane victims and, when she heard from Carmichael, she knew the quilters had found their project.

“I asked the other members of Kindred Spirits Quilters to produce either throw-size or bed-size quilts,” Kirtland said. “We’d get them quilted, bound and sent to Tennessee as soon as possible. We added a label to the back of each quilt with a Scripture verse of promise -– and to let the recipients know that there are strangers who care for and are praying for each of them.”

The verse attached to each quilt was Psalm 91:4, “He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust.”

Thornbury’s campus office in Jackson recently received the labors of the Kindred Spirits Quilters and has begun distributing the gifts to students who were uprooted by Katrina.

“They just took all semester to work on the quilts and pray over the students and everything,” Thornbury said.

Brown loved her quilt and said she greatly appreciated the thought behind it. A tragedy like Hurricane Katrina “kind of messes with your spirit,” she said.

“But God sends people in your life to let you know that what you’re going through is just a test. And eventually you will come out better than you were before,” Brown said.
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    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›