EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Saturday, survivors and family members of the victims in the Cielo Vista Walmart Shooting received a quilt from the El Paso Quilters Association.
The El Paso Quilters Association began making the quilts right after the August 3rd shooting. They completed more than 50 quilts. Something they say was possible due to quilt donations from around the nation.
“At first it was overwhelming to think of how many quilts we needed to make. We thought we can’t do this on our own so then we started putting the word out across the nation and blocks started pouring in,” said Cherry Potter with the El Paso Quilters Association.
A block is what the individual square pieces of the quilt are called. People from all around the nation sent blocks with stars on them to help make enough quilts for everyone.
El Paso First Responders, Mayor Dee Margo, survivors, and family members chose the quilt of their liking.
Michael Grady picked out a quilt for his daughter, Michelle, who was shot three times on August 3rd and was just released from the hospital this week.
“These quilts, which represent to me the nurturing and the covering of the pain that my wife and I and our family and many in this community experienced there’s going to be a sense of healing,” said Michael Grady.
Grady wasn’t expecting his daughter to come to pick up the quilt on Saturday, but she stopped by to say thank you to the El Paso Quilters Association.
“My dad picked it and I am presently surprised, it’s very pretty and it has glitter and different colors. It’s a really cheerful quilt,” said Michelle Grady, a Cielo Vista Walmart shooting survivor.
One family received two quilts. One for the wife of David Johnson who was killed and the second for his 9-year granddaughter who was at Walmart with her grandparents the day of the shooting.
“This is for my husband of 28 years, he died that day. These colors remind me of him,” said Kathleen Johnson the wife of shooting victim David Johnson.
The granddaughter’s quilt was accepted by her mother. It was a child’s size and specially made for her.
“I was so thankful that they gave her and picked her out a quilt and I think she’s going to find a lot of safety in it,” said Stephanie Melendez, the 9-year-old girl’s mother.
The El Paso Quilters Association described the quilts in three layers
- The top layer has many colors and patterns which represent the community.
- Filling in the center of the quilt represents warmth, comfort, and peace.
- The backing is the strength that supports the other layers.
Not every family came to get their quilt on Saturday. However, the El Paso Quilters Association says they plan to personally deliver each quilt to the victim’s families and survivors.