“Living is giving,” said Bill Miller, the President of Discount Fabric Warehouse located in Hilo, HI. “Most people who sew, predominantly sew for other people, because there are only so many things they can sew for themselves. So almost by definition, a true sewer is a giver. And all I do is connect them with an opportunity.”
For many years, Discount Fabric Warehouse has collaborated with numerous sewers who donate their fabric and talent to create blankets and quilts for the community. Volunteers then drop off their handmade blankets and quilts to the store to be donated to various non-profit organizations like Hawai'i Care Choices.
The company has done multiple special projects for the community. One of them was a Backpack Drive for foster children in East Hawai'i. After noticing that foster children in the nation were only given a large black trash bag to put their belongs in when moving from one home to another, Miller and other community sewers launched a drive to give backpacks for keiki in East Hawai'i that are in foster care. They wanted to let these kids know that they are loved, and they hope to do the same for those who are at the end of life.
The blankets and quilts are part of a welcome kit that Hawai'i Care Choices patients receive when they join the hospice program. Over time, each blanket becomes a special, sentimental item for the patient. Many adore the blankets so much that they hold onto them until the very last moment and some even request to be buried with them. Others designate specific family members to ensure that this valuable gift gets passed on to their loved ones.
Miller shared, “Nobody should be forgotten. Everyone needs to know they are loved. Although this is an anonymous donation, every blanket is made with love.”