JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 7, 2006 – Students who transferred to Union University last semester as a result of Hurricane Katrina are the beneficiaries of 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.
“I sent them an e-mail once I received the quilt, and I told them that the group is really a spiritual group to think of other people,” said senior Kimberly Brown of New Orleans, who will graduate from Union in May. “It’s really good to know that there are other people in your corner when you are at your worst.”
Kimberly Thornbury, Union’s dean of students, said her mother, Carolyn Carmichael, who lives in New Jersey, told Mary Lou Kirtland about the students who had transferred to Union because of the hurricane.
Kirtland is involved with Kindred Spirits Quilters, and said the group had been looking for a way to help the hurricane victims. When she heard the story from Carmichael, she knew her group had found its 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 office is handling the quilt distribution, as students are coming by to pick out their favorite crafted by women they’ll probably never meet.
“They just took all semester to work on the quilts and pray over the students and everything,” Thornbury said. “The quilts just arrived because it took them all semester to make.”
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.”