In some of the most remote and poverty stricken areas of the world, where earthquakes and civil wars have cast a shadow of darkness, families receive a little light comfort from a few South Bay women.
More than 20 retired women come together every Monday morning at Bethel Lutheran church in Cupertino to make quilts for refugees and people in need. Local veterans, homeless and needy families receive quilts as well.
The fireside room from where they work isn't warmed simply by the log burning in the corner, but by the love and compassion sewn into each colorful creation.
"Quilts are really necessary in the world for warmth and everything that a person needs to stay healthy," said Joann Weberg, one of the quilt-making volunteers. "It's just a great thing to do every Monday morning."
The women's group is celebrating 20 years of making 60-inch by 80-inch quilts, having started two decades ago with the idea for churchgoers to make quilts for the local and larger community.
Today, the group makes six quilts each week and more than 300 each year. All of the quilts sent overseas are first sent to Lutheran World Relief in Saint Paul, Minnesota for distribution.
"It is so nice to be able to give back to the communities within our world, and this is a big fellowship for all these women," Weberg said.
Quilts have been sent to the Middle East during the Syrian refugee crisis and Haiti during destructive earthquakes. Countries in South America and Africa, along with India and the Philippines have received quilts from the Cupertino women as well. The blankets are not only used to keep people warm, but sometimes act as walls for makeshift shelters. The women also make school bags for kids.
Fabric for each creation is donated. The women may also begin working with local second hand stories for free material.
Donations can be given to the church office.