The East Phoenix Valley is replete with LDS pioneer heritage. The names of pioneer families adorn our streets, buildings and schools. We often casually pass by a geographic location without considering the history of the family for which the location was named, or why the family name was used. The inquiring minds of Arizona Beehive readers want to know! In each issue we now present the history of one “famous” Mormon family name. We hope you enjoy learning about these families, and encourage you to reach out to The Arizona Beehive with ideas for families to feature in the series.
Every Thursday morning, Kimball East Stake members gather together to sew, quilt, crochet, loom hats and put other necessary items together for charity.
“The stake first started our Thursday humanitarian efforts in 2002,” says Sister Deney Paul, a former Relief Society president. “In 2003, our history says we had 100 sisters either participating at the stake center or taking things home to work on. We started out keeping our stash under the table in the high council room but eventually the stake president decided we needed our own space and we were given a section under the stage to use.”
At the time, humanitarian projects were handled a little differently. Humanitarian quilt kits would come from the Tri-Stake/Humanitarian Center (now called the Inter-Stake Center) and then returned back, completed, to be sent to Salt Lake City for distribution. Around 2010, when the center closed, the members started working completely from donated materials, and items were given locally to the community. A new destination for the quilts arose, and A New Leaf seemed like a great fit.
Founded in 1971, A New Leaf promotes the concepts of “growth, hope, change and new beginnings.” Throughout its existence, A New Leaf has remained committed to the mission of “Helping Families . . . Changing Lives,” relying on generous donors and volunteers to leverage resources and increase impact. Their La Mesita Community has 16 family homeless crisis shelter units, with 120 affordable housing units, plus the East Valley Men’s Shelter with 94 units.
“The Kimball East Quilters have been a valued donor for years,” says Bridget Talty, A New Leaf’s development coordinator. “These lovely ladies provide handmade items made from the heart. A New Leaf tries to provide every client in our shelters a quilt of their own, that they can take with them when they leave. When folks have nothing at all, from being homeless or victims of domestic violence, a quilt is a big comfort and a sign that someone out there loves and cares for them.” Each quilt has a tag that says, “Made with Love for a Child of God.”
“The church is such a great force in the world for helping those in need. Our humanitarian group is a wonderful opportunity for sisters in our stake, as well as friends and neighbors, to get together once a week to share their talents, and in just a couple of hours, help those in
our community who are in need. This has given us a chance to work with a great organization, A New Leaf, whose efforts are outstanding in helping the homeless or victims of domestic abuse,” says Sister Jill Adair, current stake Relief Society President.
“We’ve been able to tour their facilities, and it’s so comforting to see our items being utilized by those who need them. When we see our quilts on their beds, it’s so nice to know that those who are in need not only get a bed to sleep in, but also something lovingly handmade to keep them warm.”
A New Leaf is online at http://www.turnanewleaf.org/ and can be reached at (480) 969-4024.