PENDLETON - The Pendleton Altrusa Club's literacy project goes beyond the pages of books to help children who are taken from their homes and placed in protective custody.

Last year the Pendleton Altrusa club sponsored "Make a Difference Day" and the "One City One Book" reading project. They chose the book "Holes" by Louis Sachar, written about a young teen taken from his home and sent to a detention camp.

Gail Friedly. a member of the Pendleton Altrusa Club. worked for the Department of Human Resources and knew of children who were taken from their homes without any personal items. She and Ann Hulden co-chair the literacy projects for the Altrusa Club. The theme of the book "Holes" led to the idea of quilts and a book to give to children that are removed from an unsafe situation in their homes, many times without anything, Friedly said.

The Altrusa Club partnered with quilters from Milton-Freewater, Peace Lutheran Church, The Mormon Church women, Blue Mountain Piecemakers, and volunteer quilters from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Citizens Review Board (CRB) and Pendleton High School staff and students to put together quilt blocks and in some cases make entire quilts.

The Altrusa Club also asked each child and parent attending Family Day last fall to make quilt squares for the quilts.

The groups worked together to make 100 quilts to go with 100 books, enough to last one year to give to the Department of Human Services Child Welfare, Friedly said.

"So as each child is removed from an unsafe situation, they will get a quilt and a book. They will have something of their own," Friedly said.

Friedly wanted to have a large quilted wall hanging or banner to commemorate the ongoing project. She was shopping for quilt fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts in Pendleton when she met Susan Rives-Denight, who works at the fabric store and also makes quilts.

"I told her about needing a wall hanging and Susan did it," Friedly said. "(The quilt) has all kinds of things from Altrusa and literacy. The quilt is not finished. We will add a block each year dealing with the 'One City, One Book,' book choice."

Denight has always been supportive of the Altrusa Club and their literacy projects and when Friedly brought up the banner project she decided to do it. The quilted wall hanging is 90 inches long and will have a section to add a quilt block each year as part of the One City One Book project.

"The theme of the quilt is reading opens the entire universe, the compass in the middle of the quilt points in all directions," Denight said.

The quilt is made of log cabin blocks in all wide variety of colors. The compass is done in rainbow colors from taken from the color wheel, Denight said. The side border is a printed book fabric and the backing and top border are petroglyphs prints, "another form of reading," Denight said.

The quilt will go on permanent display in the Pendleton Library, by the end of this week.


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