Nonprofit that makes quilts for kids in need seeks help

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FORT LUPTON, Colo. -- A humble nonprofit that has been making quilts for kids in crisis for more than a decade now needs help itself.

Kidz Quiltz in Fort Lupton has made thousands of quilts and shipped them off to the far corners of the world, including earthquake-devastated Haiti, impoverished Africa, and closer to home, tornado-ravaged Windsor and Holly.

But the couple behind the nonprofit has hit a rough patch -- and wonders how long they can help those who need it most.

In every cut, each stitch, woven into every patch of fabric is love for kids who need it most.

"We make quilts for kids and send all over the world to kids in disasters and poverty," said Wilma Hamilton, who started Kidz Quiltz with her husband, Lyle.

The couple, both 74 years old, started the nonprofit in 2005 by making and transporting 1,000 blankets to Hurricane Katrina damaged Mississippi. Just before the disaster, two of their grown children had died unexpectedly, fueling their desire to help others.

"I was very depressed. God gave me another job to do. That was to bless other kids. Hopefully, the kids they never got to help in their life," Wilma Hamilton said.

Since then, the couple has blanketed 6,000 kids with love and comfort. But now they worry they can't stitch together their own security. They rely solely on their own money and donations.

After Lyle Hamilton retired this year, they said they can’t put money into it like they had in the past.

"We have to figure out which bill we need paid. First, we pay the (electricity)," Lyle Hamilton said.

That electricity runs the sewing machines. Ten of 20 are broken. The town temporarily shut off their water last month. And the couple canceled their phone and internet service.

"It takes so little to keep this place running," volunteer Monika Newton said.

She says she'd hate to see Kidz Quiltz close. She said it is a like a security blanket for the community, helping court-ordered teens turn their lives around.

"They don't know how to thread a needle and they leave knowing how to sew a quilt. That's huge," Newton said.

But what gets her most is knowing the void the nonprofit would leave if forced to close.

"As a mom, if you don't even have a blanket to cover your kid. How that feels when someone, somewhere cares enough to do this," she said through tears.

The Hamiltons hope they get a little in return of the comfort they provide to countless kids worldwide. Kidz Quiltz needs donations of any kind -- of any amount -- including money, materials and volunteers.

They will teach you how to quilt. If the nonprofit can get the basic needs met, it would like to install a handicapped ramp and a bathroom on the main floor because many of the senior citizen volunteers can’t walk the stairs down to the building’s only restroom.

Reach Kidz Quiltz through its contact information on its website at kidzquiltz.org or email at kidzquiltz@yahoo.com.

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