A group of women gather from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays at Christ Lutheran Church to assemble quilts for their missions program.
In their most recent missions boxes, they put together 520 health kits with hygiene items such as soap; 550 school kits with pencils and notebooks; and 250 tied quilts to send to Lutheran World Relief in Maryland.
It's expensive to ship these items, so on a recent Sunday the group received $1,000 in the church's collection plates to cover shipping fees. Any of the remaining funds will apply to sending their gifts to those in need overseas.
The group, which welcomes participants of all ages, sent 1,100 pounds of quilts and health and school kits in May 2009.
This mission effort started in 1968 when the group produced 32 quilts, which were pieced and sewn together on frames. Since then, with the assistance of sewing machines to speed up the process, they have produced 9,280 quilts, including the 250 for 2010.
The women receive help from a few men who come in to pack up the things and haul them off. And of course, the helpers can enjoy the treats and coffee provided at break time, said one member with a twinkle in her eye.
Joan Helm recently installed the 2010 slate of Sunshine Club officers. That includes longtime member Veva Hepler as president. Veva will serve with Eleanor Kane, first vice president and financial secretary; Mari Sam Tester, second vice president; Kay Elliott, recording secretary; Ruby Bradshaw, corresponding secretary; and Ginger Kelly, treasurer. The trustees are Evaline Curry, Betty Lauzon, Anne Linderman, Phyllis Pulfer and Joyce Winters.
Sunshine Club has a long-standing history in Walla Walla that dates to its establishment in 1904. Its goal is to bring care and sunshine into the lives of children and the elderly who need medical assistance.
One of the oldest continuous philanthropic groups in the city, Sunshine's original goal is still being met today.
Recent recipients of the Club's philanthropy are Camp Fire USA, YMCA Mentoring Swim Program, Children's Orthopedic Hospital, Seattle, Shriner's Hospital, Spokane, Oral Health Department, Children's Home Society and several other organizatons and individuals.
Dean and Elaine Knox attended the April meeting and gave $2,000 in memory of his late mother, Helen Knox. She had been an active member of many years.
"Dean spoke lovingly of his mother and childhood memories of the Sunshine Club," Veva said. He brought pictures to share of past club events. Helen also worked at the Walla Walla Country Club and then at the Elk's Lodge until she was in her 90s.
Members meet the second Thursday of the month from September-June, or wanting more information may contact Ginger Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or afternoons at 526-8313.