Quilts of Compassion donations for tornado victims

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Reported by: Shae Rozzi
Updated: 6/05/2013 11:23 am Published: 6/05/2013 11:05 am

Some who lost everything in the recent tornadoes in central Oklahoma will soon be getting a special handmade donation.

A fabric designer in Tulsa put out a call on social media for quilts for tornado survivors and the response has been incredible.

Quilt donations for more are being accepted at Ellen Medlock's studio store in Tulsa. More than 400 quilts have been collected so far and at least 50 handbags were donated, too.

"It started on Facebook as a small little quilt drive. It is just amazing -- we have had people from Japan, China, friends of mine in the industry, it's just shocking, it's shocking that a story can go so far so quick and everyone's willing to help," said Medlock.

She said the quilts are made by hand and are meant to touch the hearts of those who have lost so much.

"When you think about how much work is in one of these pieces, and they're all little individual works of art, and people were willing to generously donate such a thing, you know, it amazes me," said Medlock.

Quilters also wrote letters, one wrote simply, "Sent with love and prayers."

Ellen Medlock partnered with Quilts of Compassion out of Toledo, Ohio.

Founder Janice Grimes brought another 250 donated quilts. Grimes knows the difference each one can make.

"In 1999, I had been in a bad car accident and I actually had a chaplain deliver a quilt to me while I was in the hospital and it had such a profound effect on my recovery that I started making quilts for other people," said Grimes.

Grimes delivered quilts after the Boston bombings, the Joplin tornado and now to central Oklahoma, where back to back tornadoes means the heartache has doubled.

Medlock feels the response will too. "I'm just totally overwhelmed by it," she said.

Quilt donations will be accepted through Friday at Ellen Medlock's studio at the corner of 101st and Sheridan.

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