Midland County superhero does work nationwide
Each superhero has a way they are called to action. Spiderman has a Spidey sense, Superman has super hearing, and Batman follows the bat signal. In Midland County to call a hero wave a quilt.
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Quilts to the Rescue.
“I feel like I do something good I get cards and I get pictures of the animals that were saved”.
That’s Roschelle Heuberger - our hero - and founder of Quilts to the Rescue - along with her trusty sidekick Hank, who she rescued from a life of abuse.
Heuberger makes quilts, gives them away to senior animal rescue groups, who then sell them to raise money for their cause.
“In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I decided that I was going to do something that I’d wanted to do for a very long time, that is establish a charitable organization that would be dedicated to fundraising for senior animal rescue”.
Step one: make the quilt.
“Quilters from all over the country send me the tops or an entire quilt. But usually I have a lot of people who send me the tops, and I quilt them”.
Rochelle said there are three parts to a quilt: the top, the middle, and the back.
She said doesn't have the patience to make the tops -- she prefers quilting the three layers together.
“I have a computerized long arm quilting machine which makes the process a little bit different because in the old days they did it by hand”.
The computerized quilting machine is cool. Heuberger creates intricate stitching patterns on the computer, and the machine stitches the pattern into the quilt. She said the machine not only allows her to make dozens of quilts every year. it also makes them more valuable.
Step two: ship the quilt to a rescue group, they sell it, and keep all the proceeds.
“So basically, how it works is quilts are used as auction items or are used for an event for a raffle and they can bring in a lot of money”.
Travis: “So, you say some can go for quit a bit. Are we talking hundreds?”
Heuberger: “Yes, we had a quilt that was auctioned for close to $2,000”.
So, Heuberger has invested a lot, and she doesn’t take a cut from the quilt sales.
“My fulltime job does somewhat pay for equipment and my batting which is the middle part and then I just donate my time”.
Heuberger said she’s sent quilts to rescues all over the country - as far away as North Carolina, Connecticut, and Arizona.
“I’ve worked with sanctuaries, where animals can go and stay and be cared for and loved until they pass”.
Now for step three. Which is what it’s all about: spend the money to help animals.
Heuberger said the funds raised are earmarked for elderly animal rescue. She said senior animals have a harder time getting adopted. They’re often euthanized, but they make good pets if they are saved.
“I love the seniors. I don’t have the energy for puppy-dum”.
Everybody likes rooting for an underdog -- pun intended --especially Heuberger. Besides seniors she often takes breeds which are on breed ban lists.
She said she likes working with groups which not only help older animals but older humans as well.
“We saved an akita that had an enormous tumor between her legs and she was going to get put down because the owner couldn't afford the surgery. She was an older dog. So we paid for the surgery and the animal was fine. And stayed with the older owner for several years thereafter. When the akita passed the owner went soon after”.
I asked Heuberger why she does this, and she said she does it for the love of quilting and animals.