From March 14 to 16, angels gathered at the First Baptist Church in Pine — more specifically the Quilt Angels quilting group, for the annual Quilt-A-Thon to make charity quilts for those who will need a little extra comfort and warmth next winter.
There were 12 Quilt Angel members, along with 16 volunteers who lent their hearts, time and talents to the three-day event. They made 213 quilts and 100 Christmas stockings.
The Angels are housewives, retirees, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, nurses, office workers, artists and others from all walks of life, all united in a mission to help others.
The beautiful and colorful material that was used for the project was donated to the group by someone known only as the Fabric Angel, with the stipulation that the creations would not be sold but given to the less-fortunate.
The group donated the quilts and stockings to the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank for recipients at Christmas. Many children might not see a Christmas present were it not for the generosity of the community. Other food bank recipients are elderly, sick, and suffering from illnesses such as neuropathy, with symptoms like cold feet and hands. It’s hard for these families to afford the large utility bills needed to keep warm in the winter and the gift of a quilt is truly a gift of compassion and love.
The Quilt Angels thank the volunteers and all who helped make the event possible. Thanks to their husbands for their support and help to set up and take down, pick up ice and bring in the wonderful lunches. They also thank the First Baptist Church for making this event possible.
The Quilt Angels, and other quilting groups such as the Strawberry Patchers and Payson’s Quilting Sisters, use their passion for sewing and quilting to provide comfort to those in need. I have the utmost admiration for all they do.
Next winter, the struggling families of Pine and Strawberry will know they are not forgotten, that someone cares, and that there truly are angels among us.
More than a thrift store
You cannot pass through the historic town of Pine without making a stop at the Pine-Strawberry Community Center Thrift Store in the center of town inside the old stone schoolhouse. Tourists and residents alike keep this shop rocking. Many are drawn through the doors by the big “Sale” signs outside and, once inside, are delighted with the price, quantity and assortment of items filling the rooms and shelves. Crafters come in for the wide array of supplies in the fabric and linen room, while others are searching for electronics, books or home appliances.
By all appearances it is an ordinary thrift store with small-town charm, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Officially incorporated as the “Pine Mall,” it also includes a Senior Dining Room where lunch is served Monday through Friday, and is a gathering place for seniors to socialize with board and card games, movies and more.
Operated by the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation, the proceeds from the store are used to fund valuable programs for seniors, including Meals-On-Wheels and Books-On-Wheels. It provides a donation pick-up and delivery service as well as volunteer opportunities. In addition, it sponsors fund-raising events like the worldwide annual story-telling event, Tellabration, and an annual Fashion Show.
You will always have fun shopping for quality merchandise at low prices. March 23 and 24 get ready for Easter with a large assortment of Easter décor on sale. It is also the final week of winter clothes clearance. Fill a bag of clothes, coats and shoes for just $1. Summer clothes arrive on March 28.
The thrift store is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 3916 N. Highway 87 in Pine. For information, call (9280 476-4633.
Breath of Life Retreat House
Nestled in a quiet neighborhood in beautiful Pine, Ariz. sits the Breath of Life Retreat House. The name “Breath of Life” seemed perfect to Pine resident Candy Marie Bridges, to describe the transformation of the painful memory in the sudden loss of her first husband into something that could bring hope to others.
Besides picture-framing, calligraphy and writing her memoir, Candy and her husband, Jim, serve retreat guests and provide a place of comfort, peace and beauty to adults seeking renewal in their lives.
I recently visited the Retreat House, which sits on an acre of land and found a warm, comfortable atmosphere where peace and beauty embrace visitors. You can see the Breath of Life Retreat House in the upcoming Mogollon Garden Tour sponsored by the Rim Area Gardener’s Club on June 16. Candy will have a book signing during the tour and a book signing at Oasis Christian Books and Gifts in Payson on June 9.
For information on the Breath of Life Retreat House or Candy’s inspirational book “Meet Me In The Mountains,” log on to www.CandyMarieBridges.com. For further information on the Mogollon Garden Tour, contact the Rim Area Gardener’s Club at (928) 476-4818.
Please send your Pine Strawberry happenings to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 790-0248.