Craft for charity

Stories | September 23, 2020

Heather Maddy’s late mother Thelma had two great passions; craft and charity. She is determined to continue her mother’s legacy of generosity and supporting for those in need, through COVID-19 and beyond.

“Mum was passionate about helping others in need and held a firm belief that everyone should have access to clean water,” says Heather.

It was this belief in equality that drove Thelma to start supporting CBM’s work, discovering it though her church in the Queensland coastal town of Emu Park, where she was an active member.

CBM works in some of the poorest parts of the world to ensure that people with disabilities have access to clean water, safe drinking water points, handwashing facilities and hygiene essentials.

Thelma realised that through her strong connections with family and the community, her love of craft could lead to tangible support for the charities close to her heart, including CBM.

“Mum liked to keep busy, even in her later years, [and] she had a regular schedule,” says Heather.

On Mondays, Thelma and her granddaughter Angela would sew quilt tops, producing well over 100 during their days together.

For more than a decade, Tuesdays were devoted to card making, with Thelma holding classes at her home.

“On Thursdays she held card making classes at the Emu Park CWA. There was a friendly rivalry between the two groups to see who could raise the most each year,” says Heather.

Weekends were just as busy, with Heather spending most Saturdays with her mother preparing for the card classes, “designing, making samples and kits ready for the ladies. We also made cards to sell at Mum’s church, my work, at Rotary and to friends.”

In addition to those activities, Thelma also loved beading, knitting and crochet.

Completed products were either sold, with money going into a bank account used for charities only, or donated to nursing homes, homeless shelters or for use as raffle prizes for fundraisers.

In April 2018, Heather suggested the craft activities could be sold online, and set up the Craft for Charity Facebook page.

“I thought we could try selling cards and jewellery on Facebook. Initially we raised a few hundred dollars, mainly selling some Christmas jewellery,” she says.

“We also sold some scarves and beanies over winter. Interestingly, people saw what we were doing and would contact me to donate wool and craft supplies”.

Craft activities became minimal when Thelma became ill in December 2019. Sadly, she passed away in February 2020.

Now, Heather is honouring her mother by continuing her dedication.

“COVID-19 kept us isolated for a while but I have recently resumed the card classes, moving them to Saturday as I work during the week,” she says.

“Mum supported eight charities, including CBM, [and] contributed generously to the charity account when she became ill and also left her estate to charity.

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