Karen MacRoberts has been making an incredible contribution to the community — one stitch at a time.
As head of the Lawrencetown Sew-ciety Quilt Guild’s Cuddles and Comfort program, the long-time seamstress has helped to craft hundreds of quilts to give out to non-profit charities, organizations or pretty much anyone who could use a little warmth in their life.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” says MacRoberts about the quilt program she has championed since the Lawrencetown Sew-ciety Quilt Guild formed in 2004.
“I am so very proud that we have been able to give out, I believe, 443 quilts. That became our goal the second year after beginning — we wanted to do at least three quilts a year to give out to people in need or people we thought it would bring comfort to and it just grew from there.”
The program has since become a popular and successful venture for the non-profit organization of community volunteers with the guild handing out quilts to everyone from churches of any denomination to fire departments, schools, rescue missions, the IWK and countless others.
“When we give them to people, we tell them they’re made with love and we hope they can bring comfort,” says MacRoberts about the purpose of the Cuddles and Comfort program. “Sometimes it may be someone who is going through chemotherapy and they need to be warm, and sometimes it’s for people who are in hospital and it’s just to make their room more cheerful.”
No matter who receives one of the guild’s impressive quilts, the community-based group hopes their sheer passion and the love of the craft is passed on through their handiwork.
“We do it for many reasons. We might get a call from somebody, or we might hear somebody through a friend, or sometimes there’s a fundraiser in the community and there’s never any hesitation for that quilt to go,” adds MacRoberts. “The person we are giving the quilt to is usually very touched, but we’re just as touched by being able to do it.”
After more than 15 years, the generosity of the Cuddles and Comfort program is finally getting the attention its members duly deserve. Earlier this year, MacRoberts was named one of the recipients of Halifax Regional Municipality’s Volunteer Awards.
Given out annually during National Volunteer Week, recipients are usually invited to a reception that is hosted by the mayor and regional councillors to honour the contributions of the year’s top volunteers. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 protocols and measures, this year’s ceremony was postponed.
Still, MacRoberts was touched to find out her peers had nominated her in the first place and was more than shocked to learn that she was awarded the prize.
“I thought they were joking,” laughs MacRoberts. “I thought the girls were just pulling my leg but they weren’t — they were serious. They felt that I was deserving and they wanted me to be honoured (so) I was very, very touched.”
As a resident of Lawrencetown for more than 50 years — where she and her husband raised four children, as well as several grandkids and great-grandchildren — her compassionate dedication to the local community has always been beyond compare.
“We weren’t in Lawrencetown very long before we became part of the Lawrencetown Community Centre, and we have always sort of helped where we could for the community and encouraged people to do what they can,” says MacRoberts, adding she only hopes the recent recognition inspires other residents around HRM. “I just hope it encourages more people to do good things.”
For more information on the Lawrencetown Sew-ciety Quilt Guild, visit their website.