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Quilting Bees Club in St. Paul donates quilts to 14 children at bereavement camp

ST. PAUL – The St. Paul-based Quilting Bees club donated 14 quilts for the 14 children participating in a bereavement day camp happening from July 8 to 11. 

The club makes quilts mostly for people fighting cancer, but they also donate to other causes such as clients at the Capella Centre, or residents at Extendicare. 

The bereavement camp, or Camp Sunshine, is operated by the St. Paul Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). The camp is for children in the area ages 7-12 to help them navigate their emotions after losing someone special in their life. 

Kim Ouellete is a family education facilitator/programmer with the Lakeland Family Resource Network and the FCSS. “[Camp Sunshine] is a four-day camp. We do a variety of activities which obviously includes helping [kids] work through their grief and learning how to manage it.” 

The idea is to create a safe space for children to meet with others who may be going through the same thing as them and share their feelings with each other. “We also do lots of fun things,” said Ouellete, like scavenger hunts. 

Brooke Dechaine helps coordinate the camp. She said not everyone has a safe place to feel grief, or not everyone knows how to deal with their grief, especially children. 

“They don’t have as much resources to help them deal with their grief,” said Dechaine. “This is just one way that we can provide for the children.” 

Ouellete said the camp was created by Caroline Yewchin, who once co-owned a funeral home in St. Paul called the Yewchin’s Funeral Chapel, before the FCSS stepped up to continue doing the camp about two years ago. 

Quilting Bees Club president Marguerite Hebert said that while they do mostly make quilts for people fighting cancer, they also try to help with other causes like Camp Sunshine. 

“There’s a need... and it’s a fulfilling service,” explains Hebert. 

Treasurer Angele Duncan agreed. “And we love doing it.” 

Anyone is also welcome to join the club even if they do not know how to quilt, said Duncan. 

Individuals wishing to get involved with the club can contact the St. Paul Senior Citizens Club at 780-645-5566 and ask for the Quilting Bees Club. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best time to call. It’s when the club meets to quilt. 

Mario Cabradilla

About the Author: Mario Cabradilla

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