A volunteer group that makes quilts for people living with cancer in New Brunswick is at risk of shutting down.
The New Brunswick chapter of Victoria’s Quilts Canada has been operating at a standstill since the circuit board on their long arm quilting machine burnt out.
The group makes more than 900 quilts a year.
Jane Sunderland, a representative for the group, said they do not have the $2,000 needed to fix it.
“Everyone is a volunteer and we spend $24,000 a year just for batting for the quilts and backing so that is a fair budget to raise nickel and diming as it is,” said Sunderland.
Roughly 90 volunteers from across the province volunteer to sew the individually quilted squares, but the machine is needed to sew together the batting and the backing.
Irene Pearson, a cancer survivor herself, volunteered to turn her basement into a quilting den for the group because she knows first-hand how much it means to get support when you are going through cancer.
“We get cards from all over the place — we get phone calls and they are crying with you saying that I was ready to give up. I just wanted to die but when I received this quilt, it made my day,” said Pearson.
Victoria’s Quilts Canada is a national charity with 1,200 volunteers in chapters across the country.
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The New Brunswick group, which started in 2007, has given out quilts to almost 6,000 cancer patients. The non-profit charity is funded through donations and the volunteers who often pay for the fabric out of their own pockets.
“Not too many of us — being retirement people — have a lot of money,” said Pearson, who says the charity will have to shut down for a few months until they can raise enough money to pay for the broken part and restart the program.
“I don’t want it to happen. We will just have to continue praying that somebody out there somewhere is going to be able to help us.”