The Wildwood Mennonite Church Venture Kids

The Wildwood Mennonite Church Venture Kids are full of energy and ideas and laughter. The twenty-two of us range in age from seven to early teens. In the fall of 2004, we decided to create a quilt after visiting the local MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) headquarters in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

We discovered that there is a huge network of people creating blankets for those in need in places around the world. We saw happy groups collecting materials, cutting patches and sewing them into beautiful handcrafted works of love. We watched them bundle the quilts into containers destined for people far away. We decided that, due to the situation in Africa, we would create a quilt for a child in the Sudan.

We couldn't do it alone so with the help of Moms, Dads, Grandmas and special friends we got to work. We cut, sewed and tied a sticks and stones pattern patchwork quilt. It took several months of Venture Club Wednesday nights to complete the quilt. Many of us had never had the chance to poke ourselves with a needle or try to sew a straight line before. More than a quilt was being created during those evenings. Grandmas and friends leaning over kids as they concentrated on sewing those long straight lines. Trying to figure out how a quilting frame that many generations have sat around went together. Friendships across ages were being created. The night we turned the quilt was a very special time. Turning a quilt is like watching it being born. We spent the next several nights tying and finishing the quilt.

The Raffle

During the sewing of the quilt we began to realize that it might be a better idea to raffle the quilt and use the dollars raised to help more than one child in the Sudan. Everyone agreed to sell tickets over the Christmas holidays to family and friends. One of the Venture Club Kids convinced his extended family that the Quilt Raffle should be the project they suppported this Christmas. Several raced to see if they could sell the most tickets. We hoped to raise at least several hundred dollars at several dollars apiece. The kids kept coming back for more ticket books and in January 2005 we held our draw. We counted the nickels and pennies and dimes and began to get excited when we reached $500 dollars. The final count was over $1100 dollars. The winner of the quilt was Joan from Wildwood Mennonite Church. She was overjoyed.