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The comfort makers

Each year, 12 women from a BIC church in Saskatchewan encourage nearly 100 people through the gift of handmade blankets

by Curtis Zoerb

If, on a Wednesday night, you stand outside the door of the room in which the Comfort Makers meet each week, you’ll probably be asked to help carry in a few bagfuls of colorful fabric, sheets, and freshly washed clothing that they’ve collected for that evening’s quilts. Often, a member of the group will even show up with a piece they’ve worked on and completed at home, just to give away.

Started as an outreach initiative of Massey Place Community Church (Saskatoon, SK), Comfort Makers has quickly grown into a close-knit group of women—five from the church and seven from outside of it—dedicated to extending love and care to others in the form of blankets.

If you ask these ladies why they’re there, they’ll tell you, “Just to have fun, learn to quilt, and help some people keep warm.” But the group’s impact goes far beyond that.

In addition to creating enough quilts for nearly 100 people each year, the women have chosen to make their items entirely from recycled materials (except the fill and thread). They reuse, repair, or repurpose all kinds of fabrics—most recently, a discarded wedding gown.

Over the years, these ladies have lived up to their name, mending used clothes to give away and making everything from full-size quilts and crib blankets to sheets and pillows. When a new “batch” of items is ready, the community at Massey Place dedicates a part of its service to pray over the offerings.

It’s nearly impossible to describe the experience of bringing four bags full of desperately needed sheets and blankets to a family of 12 living in a two-bedroom house. Or the joy of one couple who, upon receiving a quilt they’d been admiring, ran outside, waving it in the air and telling every passerby about the gift. But as the Comfort Makers will tell you, these are just the kinds of miracles that even small gestures of comfort can make possible.

—Curtis Zoerb, Massey Place Community Church (Saskatoon, SK)

This article originally appeared in the summer 2010 issue of In Part magazine.

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