By Ashley Biles
This year marked the second annual Heart 2 Heart quilt project sponsored by the Upson-Lee High School Beta Club, with the students raising over $4,000 for various charities, including Wounded Warriors and Relay for Life, as well as local organizations. For the project, community members were able purchase quilt squares for $10 each, decorate it the square any way they liked and return it to the club to be part of the large quilt which was displayed at Matthews Field last Thursday. Those who purchased a square also were able to select the charity or organization they wanted their donation to go to, with the entire $10 being donated.
The idea was for this project was first brought up by Beta Club advisor Jessica Watson last year when the club was trying to brainstorm on projects for the year. However, she stated it was the students who took the idea and made it into their own.
“When trying to come up with projects, I had seen several pictures of the AIDS quilt in Washington, D.C and thought we could do something like that. However, we didn’t want to limit it to just one organization, we wanted to involve the whole community,” said Watson. “I presented the idea to the students and they just took it and ran with it.”
In addition to involving the community in purchasing and decorating the squares, the club also received the fabric for the quilt squares as a donation from local industry TenCate Protective Fabrics. There were over 170 squares used in the quilt this year and when you look at the entire quilt, you will notice there are some squares much larger than the others. Watson noted two of the larger squares in the center are for this year’s senior Beta Club members and the 2013 class. She continued stating that while all the squares are unique, the large yellow squares have a special meaning behind them. The students wanted to have a special way to honor and remember other students and faculty members who have been sick or passed away, therefore they designated the large yellow squares to be solely for those people. Each of those squares will remain as part of the quilt each year, along with any others that are donated to the club for future use. Patrons were able to pick up their squares after the viewing of the quilt held last Thursday evening.
Watson noted the Beta Club has plans for this to continue to be an annual project and is thankful to all of the people and organizations who participated in the making of the quilt.
“We often do not see much interaction between the community and the high school students except for when it comes to sports,” said Watson, “and that is a great way to do so. This just offers another way of bringing the community together.”
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1