Kenyan Quilters and Benedictine Sisters, Going Virtual

Two not-for-profit organizations close to my heart have moved into virtual spaces during the pandemic. Social distancing is easy there but the “appeal” can be harder, so I encourage you to do what you can to support these vital communities whose work brings beauty and value to us all. Thank you.

Quilts for Empowerment, which my friend Mary Ann McCammon started almost 10 years ago to work with at-risk women and girls in Kenya, will have its annual fundraising benefit “live” via Zoom on October 17 from 2-3pm. The traditionally popular silent auction will start online on October 10 and conclude right after the benefit. (I’ll have some watercolors in the auction!) All the details are at, along with QFE’s history, mission and accomplishments.

Aside from the vital funds raised once a year at the benefit, QFE has traditionally obtained half its operating funds from quilt shows, bazaars and so forth that happen all year round. Obviously, those venues are gone, for now! But there’s Etsy, where QFE now has a store. Please come browse and buy:

My dear Sister-friends at the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel are now offering many of their previously scheduled in-person retreats, spiritual direction opportunities and other programs via online platforms. I can attest to how well this works! And though the Monastery buildings are closed to the public, the peaceful and spirit-soothing grounds (including the labyrinth!) are open for walking. (Just bring a mask in case you met up with a Sister.) Please visit for information, including how to access the Sisters’ very enticing gift shop.

Most of October will be virtually devoted to the annual “founders’ day” festivities, traditionally a large source of funding support for all of the Monastery’s needs, especially those of the retired Sisters. Kick-off will take place via video on October 4 and you can attend “dinner” on October 25. All details will be on the website.

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