Harlingen – They quilt to show their support for their community. They quilt so that
families can share the warmth of love with their children. They quilt
to demonstrate their support for couples who lose a child. And, they quilt
to continue their legacy of giving. The Frontera Quilt Guild of Harlingen
is set to present The Women's Center at Harlingen Medical Center with
more than two-dozen bereavement quilts for mothers who lose their children
at birth, or before their due date.
"We do this because when a mother loses a child there is nothing physical
that she can take with her after the loss of her baby," said Linda
Garcia, President of the Frontera Quilt Guild of Harlingen. "But,
this quilt, in which her baby is wrapped in, for the mother to hold at
least one time, is then given to her as a token to remember her child.
She is able to take the essence of her lost infant with her. A mother
never forgets her children – present or past. And, this is a small
token that she can have with her to honor the memory of her lost child."
The Frontera Quilt Guild, which was established in Harlingen in 2000, and
serves the Rio Grande Valley, has members from all over South Texas. It
partnered with "Baby Bear's Blankets," of Harlingen, to
distribute bereavement blankets to hospitals across the Valley. The gifting
of the bereavement quilts started after the quilt guild partnered with
Christy Pohler, a Valley native. She lost her baby girl soon after giving birth.
"I carried the bereavement blanket with me everywhere," recalls
Pohler. "I carried it in an oversized purse just to feel my baby
girl close to me. Eventually, as time healed my pain, I was able to leave
the blanket at home. But, I know it's there, so, whenever I want to
feel close to my baby, I just pick up the bereavement blanket and know
that my baby was here."
According to their website, the Frontera Quilt Guild "offers education
and information about quilting, as well as fellowship with others who
love fabric and quilting."
"What we love to do is share the beautiful quilts that our members
make with their own hands," said Ms. Garcia. "We make these
because we love to make them and we want someone to enjoy these hand-crafted
quilts. We want someone to be able to share their love, for their children,
by embracing them with these quilts. For those mothers who have lost their
children – we want the quilt to be a token of comfort."
"We see thousands of infants born, here, at The Women's Center
at Harlingen Medical Center every year, but, there are some that don't
make it and it is a heartbreaking experience for both parents," said
Ursula Villarreal, Director of The Women's Center at Harlingen Medical
Center. "It can sometimes be even more difficult for the mother,
who carries the child for so many months."
According to Garcia, who has been donating quilts for years, via the Frontera
Quilt Guild, mothers who receive the bereavement blankets are grateful
for the gift. They keep the quilt as a memory of their lost child."We
have donated approximately 275 bereavement quilts. We pray over every
one that is made, and donated, by our volunteers," said Pohler. "We
pray that these small quilts will bring comfort to the mother who has
lost a child. It's a very difficult thing to go through, but, it happens.
It happened to me. And, we want to be able to make the pain a little lighter
for these women by gifting them the quilt."
"We chose to partner with Christy's Baby Bear Blankets, because
of the work it does for women in our community, and across the country,"
said Garcia. "And, we chose to partner with Harlingen Medical Center's
Women's Center, because it helps to bring lives into the world. But,
we also understand that there are times when due to a medical complication
– a mother does not get the opportunity to welcome her child into
the world, or keep their child very long. It's sad and we want to
be able to play a part in the comforting of the mother when that happens.
Harlingen Medical Center is a good partner for us to do that. So, we will
continue to supply them with these quilts."
"We are so pleased to receive this gift," said Villarreal. "This
is truly a genuine gift from the Frontera Quilt Guild. We appreciate what
they have done for us in the past and continue to do to this day."
Frontera Quilt Guild Inc. is a member of the National Quilting Association.
Members meet once a month, on the second Monday at 6:30 p.m., at the Encore
Park Community Room on the lake, off of Expressway 77 heading towards Combes.
To learn more about "Baby Bear's Blankets," visit their website at
www.babybearsblankets.com. To learn more about The Women's Center at Harlingen Medical Center,
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