JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin-area residents, as a strong show of Christian love and their faith in God, overwhelmingly extended their help to tornado victims well into 2012 -- a year and a half after it touched down. Much of my writing from the past year has reflected these displays of humanity. I consider the following three columns some of the best examples of compassion from the past year.
Mission from afar
Janice Grimes and her Quilts of Compassion ministry created and delivered many masterpieces to Joplin tornado victims during 2012. Nearly 2,000 quilts were delivered to Freeman Health System during the year, in addition to the 200 delivered 10 days following the May 22, 2011, tornado.
The group, which is based in Toledo, Ohio, made, collected and delivered the quilts to the Joplin hospital on four different occasions.
As said in the Quilts of Compassion mission statement: Love comes from the hearts of those sewing the quilts. In turn, the love of God is demonstrated to tornado survivors, their families and friends.
Freeman chaplain Christine Iannucilli labeled the Quilts of Compassion donations as nothing short of an incredible blessing. Not only have the comforters (what an appropriate label) been distributed to tornado victims and their loved ones throughout the community, but also at the hospital itself.
Janice Grimes, founder and executive director of the ministry, said she believes God's hand is on every quilt that is made and prayers are offered for each one.
"I believe in the power of prayer and that people feel the presence of God when they are under these quilts," said Grimes, who started Quilts of Compassion on her own in 1999 out of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Those interested in more information or joining the ministry may contact Grimes at 419-708-9343. She may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook. Those with quilt tops for donations mail them to Quilts of Compassion, 2620 Centennial, Suite E, Toledo, OH 43617, where volunteers will get them ready for delivery.