Road trip to Slave Lake to benefit fire victims

Barriere Community Quilters

(l to r) Barriere’s Lloyd Abbey

(l to r) Barriere’s Lloyd Abbey

Judy and Doug Davis and Fran and Lloyd Abbey of Barriere arrived in Slave Lake, Alberta, on Aug. 24 with 82 quilts from B.C. safely stored in laundry bags.  Our first stop was to see Linda Beeston at the Patchwork Fabrics store.

Linda is the lady who has been finding the residents of the 730 homes in Slave Lake and surrounding areas destroyed by wild fires in May 2011 and distributing quilts to them.

Even with everything that was going on after the fires, Linda and many volunteers managed to put on a quilt show on the streets of Slave Lake to show the towns people the outpouring of support they had received from the people of Canada and the U.S.A.

On Aug. 25, we felt like celebrities, as it was advertised on the local radio station that we were in town and invited people to come down to meet us.  We were also interviewed by the local newspaper.

Everyone we met that afternoon had a story to tell, some who lost their homes were trying so hard to cope with their loss.  It brought back a lot of memories of our fire in 2003 and we hope we were able to convey to them that things do get better in time.

We were very touched when a group of small children came to say thank you for the quilts.

Since arriving back home, we have been in touch with Linda,  and as of Sept. 7, she reports that the weather had been cooperating. The continuing clean up and construction of the two larger developments for the temporary mobile homes that are going in are progressing nicely. They were hoping to get the mobiles in place later in September.

In whatever way you helped, by the hours working on the quilts, donating money for supplies, donating fabric or batting, a building to work on the quilts – Slave Lake residents are very grateful to you and say a very warm “Thank You to all”.

When we left Slave Lake, Linda and her crew were about half way to their goal of “Blanketing Slave Lake with Love Project”.  With many helping hands, they hope to have one quilt per household and a quilt for every child in the house.  These quilts are bringing a lot of comfort and smiles for the people of Slave Lake.  We will be sending more quilts to Slave Lake as they are finished.

Thanks to Lloyd and Doug for getting us there, and all the quilt store stops.