Story as published in The SE Voice

A group of Limestone Coast quilters continue to use their skills to provide comfort to children being placed into care.

Members of Mount Gambier’s Pine Tree Quilters recently donated 32 quilts to, taking their tally beyond 400 since the group project started a decade ago.

The handmade quilts, made of fabric emblazoned with bright colours and child-friendly themes, are gifted to children by staff when they are placed with foster carers or in residential care homes.

Pine Tree Quilter Kaye Dalgarno said the group started making quilts for the organisation 10 years ago as a one-off project, inspired after learning children often had no possessions other than the clothes they were wearing at the time of being taken into care.

“I heard children in care owned absolutely nothing, so I wanted to give them something that was their own, whether they stayed in the same house or moved between foster homes,” Ms Dalgarno said.

“We just dropped off 32 quilts, adding to a total of 400 quilts donated to the agency since we started.

“We have tags securely sewn on where children can write their name, so they do not lose their quilt.”

SANTA SACKS: homelessness client support worker Carmel Grosvenor receives Santa sacks from Pine Tree Quilters’ Sandra Ray, Jane Calleja, Lyn Sparks and Kaye Dalgarno, to distribute through their Christmas Cheer program. Foster Care service manager Dani Atkinson explained when a child is placed by with foster carers or in a residential care home, staff look through the donated quilts to find a match for the child.

“It may seem like a small comfort, but it can have a big impact on a child and add to their sense of belonging in their new home,” Ms Atkinson said.

“The quilt then stays with the child forever, including whether they are reunified to their birth family or if they require a longer-term placement with a forever family in foster care.”

Pine Tree Quilters also donated a number of handmade Santa sacks for use in’s Christmas Cheer program, which provides food, gifts and other basic items to support people experiencing hardship in the Limestone Coast. Homelessness Services Limestone Coast regional manager Kelly McGuinness said the handmade Santa Sacks were a welcomed addition to the support packages.

“For people and families needing support, these Santa Sacks were not only practical, but also touched on the tradition and spirit of Christmas,” Ms McGuinness said.

“It is small gestures of goodwill like this that can positively impact the holiday season for people experiencing hardship.”

The Pine Tree Quilters meet on the third Wednesday (evening) and third Thursday (day) of each month at the trotting clubrooms at the Mount Gambier Showgrounds, with new members always welcome, regardless of quilting experience.

Contact Lyn Sparks on 0448 153 852 to become involved with the club or with making quilts for this project. Locations is a dynamic organisation servicing the South Australian communities the Limestone Coast, Murraylands, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Our mission is for all country people to have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships.

Please find our service locations here or use our contact form to request a service.

Mount Gambier
Head office and Foster Care

70-72 White Avenue Mount Gambier, SA 5290
PO Box 1842 Mount Gambier SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Community Centre

22-24 Ferrers Street Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Family Relationship Centre

1 Helen Street (cnr Bay Road) Mount Gambier, SA 5290
9am to 5pm
10:30am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
Later by appt
9am to 5pm

Berri Community Centre
Servicing the Riverland

5 Kealley Street Street Berri, SA 5343
PO Box 1345 Berri, SA 5343
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Murraylands Centre
Servicing the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula

29 Bridge Street Murray Bridge, SA 5253
PO Box 2090 Murray Bridge, SA 5253
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

Community Centre

57-59 George Street Millicent, SA 5280
PO Box 378 Millicent, SA 5280
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
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