Children and their blankets. How many of us still have our baby blankets and associate them with comfort? Imagine the comfort an abused or neglected child might receive from a lovingly crafted quilt as they weather family separation and the civil and criminal court systems. Bringing that comfort to these deserving children is the purpose of Quilts of Grace, a tri-county initiative in Uvalde, Texas.
On September 9, 2019, 60 participants gathered to create quilts for children who were receiving help from the Court Appointed Special Advocates in Medina, Real, and Uvalde Counties (Tri-County CASA). This work of bringing quilted comfort to children began in 2018 and is ongoing. Children going through abusive situations and family separations that result from them often experience emotional trauma, and Bluebonnet Children's Center seeks to reduce that trauma, quilt by quilt, advocate by advocate, child by child.
Tri-County CASA and the Child Advocacy Center are two aspects of the Bluebonnet Children's Center, whose mission is "to protect and enhance the quality of life for abused children in Medina, Real, and Uvalde Counties." Tri-County CASA has been in operation since 2001 and the Child Advocacy Center, formed by concerned parents, since 2002. Advocacy services through the Center include coordinating investigations into child abuse, assessing the situation, prosecuting sexual and physical abuse cases, treating abused children, conducting forensic interviews of alleged victims and witnesses, providing safe and nurturing environments for interviews, and training interviewers. CASA trains, recruits, screens, and supervises advocates and helps to secure safe homes for the children.
While the Bluebonnet Children's Center offers a variety of ways for citizens to help the children, including golf outings, donations, and volunteering, Quilts of Grace is an excellent example of a tangible comfort that any community can create for children in distress.