Molly Renalds has demonstrated outstanding effort in sewing and providing quilts to many people and organizations. What started out initially as a simple project for a church in Watsonville, has grown to serve multiple groups in the Bay Area. Renalds makes quilts for babies and small children – handmade quilts – that are used to wrap babies as they are carried home from the hospital, small children from needy families, and victims of accidents and emergency situations.
The first set of quilts was made in 1986. Since that time, nearly 1,000 quilts have been made by Renalds are her volunteers. She has personally sewed more than 400 quilts. Among the groups served by Renalds is the Dublin office of the California Highway Patrol, St. Patrick’s Church in Watsonville, and St. Joan of Arc Church in San Ramon. Although many of the quilts are made from simple patterns, they have love and compassion sewn into every one.
Renalds has been making quilts for more than 15 years. Many of the people who benefit from her quilts cannot afford to purchase something like this for their children. The other benefactors, accident victims, are given the quilt as a symbol of love and caring during a stressful time and are very grateful for this small act of kindness. Both of the primary communities served by Renalds’ volunteer effort are disconnected from the community – one by their economic situation and the other by special circumstances.
A very unique aspect of Renalds’ volunteer work is that she sees very few of the people who use her quilts. Other groups distribute these gifts of love to needy people and organizations. The separation between Renalds and those she makes the quilts for does not temper or slow down her efforts. Through her contacts, she learns about the gratitude of those that receive quilts and the benefit the quilts provide.
Although Renalds sometimes asks for contributions or donations of materials, she is committed to producing the quilts at any cost, even if the money comes from her own pocket. She has never sought recognition for her work – it is simply a labor of love for people she will never meet.