GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.,– A mother and daughter have channeled their grief into a mission to help other people who are hurting in West Michigan.
Carol Peters and Carin Peters Vogelzang started the quilting non-profit “Margaret’s Hope Chest” after suffering a devastating loss.
Carol’s mother, Margaret Herrema, was murdered in April 2005 after a botched robbery in a Meijer parking lot. The 81-year-old woman was pushed down during the purse snatching and passed away two days later in the hospital.
Shortly after the tragedy, Carin turned to quilting to quiet some of the grief of losing her grandmother. That’s when she and her mom decided to “pay it forward” by giving away quilts to other people in need of some comfort and hope.
“We were so comforted by the community and our friends after mom died that we wanted to do the same thing for other people,” explained Carol. “It feels like we can make a difference in someone else’s life who’s had the same difficulties that we did.”
The duo started by sharing their story with the local paper. Donations of money, fabric and quilts started to roll in.
So far, Margaret’s Hope Chest has gifted more than 1,600 quilts to people in the community. The non-profit works with prison outreach programs and most recently the new “Mother and Baby Program” at Pine Rest to help women dealing with postpartum depression.
“By giving them a quilt, I think it’s saying to them someone is understanding what you’re going through,” said Carol. “We think it’s making a difference. We feel like we’re making a difference. We feel God is saying you’re doing the right thing.”
Though Carin is currently living in Bermuda, she is still very active in making Margaret’s Hope Chest a success. Both women blog about the non-profit’s beginnings and current projects online.
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