Wednesday, December 12, 2012

325 Quilts are in New York!

It's true!  The quilts are in New York, ready to be delivered to the families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy!  It is so UNBELIEVABLE how everything came together!  I don't have room on this blog to tell you all the little details, but a LOT of "mini miracles" happened to make everything work out!

54 boxes of 325 quilts!  They weighed over 800 lbs.!
My cousin, Karen Western, works for JetBlue Airlines.  She arranged to have JetBlue fly all 325 quilts to New York for FREE!!!  There were MANY people at JetBlue who worked feverishly to get this request fulfilled in just a matter of hours!  At 3:19 p.m. on Monday, December 3, I got the text that the quilts were approved to be on the 11:30 p.m. flight that night!  I also got told that my uncle, Daniel Pugmire, bought a round-trip ticket for me so I could go to New York with the quilts!  I just cried with gratitude for everything that so many people were doing to help with this project!  :')

I got on the plane at 11:30 p.m. Monday night and arrived in New York at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday!  I was tired because of no sleep, but was full of excitement for what lay ahead!

One of the "mini-miracles" was that Karen was in New York the same time I was because of business meetings, so most of the time I wasn't alone!  My Aunt Karol and another cousin, Kristine, went with Karen to New York for fun, so the four of us had a great time together!

Tuesday night I couldn't get a hotel room, so my Uncle Daniel arranged for me to stay with a gal that he knows who lives in an apartment in New York.  I've never met Stephanie before, but she was so sweet to let me stay with her!  She even made me breakfast the next morning!  I was scared to death nervous because while riding the subway to get to her apartment (I've never been on the subway before!), I missed my stop and a few stops later decided I better get off and ask someone where I was!  Once I got turned around and got off at the correct stop, I proceeded to get lost walking to Stephanie's apartment!  I called my husband and told him I was lost and he stayed with me on the phone until I found her place.  *Whew!*

All day Tuesday and Wednesday we walked around New York City and saw so many awesome things!  Everything is so much BIGGER in real life!  (Can you tell I've never been to New York before???)  We went to Times Square, Central Park, and the Rockefeller Center!  We walked around the Lincoln Center, Julliard, Broadway, and the garment district!

Times Square!  I can't believe how BIG it is!

Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center!
Cool statue of a Jewish immigrant sewing!

Tunnel in Central Park from the movie Home Alone 2!
Wednesday afternoon I met with President Kevin Calderwood, the mission president of the New York, New York South Mission, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He is in charge of the Mormon Helping Hands, one of many organizations that has been helping with the clean-up efforts from Hurricane Sandy, even before the rain stopped falling!  There have been over 7,000 non-denominational volunteers in Mormon Helping Hands, and over 100,000 hours spent helping people clean-up their homes and neighborhoods.  They are going to invite those who have been affected by the storm to a Christmas concert, where they will hand out the quilts!  I think it will be such a lovely setting to receive their gifts from quilters all over the world!

President Calderwood and I in front of the 54 boxes of quilts!
Wednesday night we went to the LDS Temple in downtown Manhattan.  So amazing how it's built in the middle of all the skyscrapers!

LDS Manhattan Temple with the Angel Moroni statue on top!

On Thursday we went to the 9/11 Memorial.  It was really nice.  There was kind of a reverent feeling there.  This is a picture of the Freedom Tower they are building there.  It isn't finished yet, but looks like it will be soon! 

Freedom Tower at 9/11 Memorial
Around the edges of this fountain are the names of those who died on 9/11.
There were two of these - one for each tower that fell -
the same size as the footprint of the towers!
Afterwards, we did a city tour on a double-decker bus!  You can get off any of the many stops and shop or look around, and then catch the next bus when you're ready to move on!  So cool!  We did lots of window shopping and walking around.  Of course, I also had to try out a hot dog from a street corner vendor!  When in New York do as New Yorker's do!  :)

Best New York hot dog I've ever had!  :)
Toy soldier built out of Legos in FAO Schwartz!
We left New York Thursday night and got home around midnight.  It was a very fast-paced trip, with lots to see and do, but one that I will never forget every single minute of it!  I am so grateful to everyone who made this trip possible!

Thank you for all you've done to help Phoenix Quilts help families who are going through such tragic times!  I pray that you will be blessed for donating your beautiful quilts!  In all my life, I have never known such generosity!  I am truly humbled!

Merry Christmas!



  1. Holy Cow, that is amazing. I'm so glad everything worked out so well! I'm also glad you had such a fabulous time even if it was a quick trip. You are an inspiration to us all, Julie. Thanks for all you do.

  2. You are awesome Julie....I am so glad you got to go to New York with the quilts...great job!


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