Delta Air Lines employees today will present approximately 800 handmade
quilts to Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Medical Center. In a
ceremony held at the Delta Center, local flight attendants will display
the quilts, covering the arena floor and several hundred seats, and later
deliver the handcrafted pieces to the medical center.
“Donating the quilts started as a project that some of the flight
attendants wanted to do to help the local hospital and the children in our
city,” said Cindy Atkinson, a field service manager at Delta’s Salt Lake
City flight attendant base who coordinated the effort. “It has been
overwhelming to watch how our co-workers from outside the city have
embraced this effort. When Delta people in other cities found out about
the project, it took on a life of its own as they began calling us asking
how they could contribute.”
What started out as a 335-piece donation in 2000 has grown to nearly 800
quilts hand-stitched by more than 1500 Delta employees this year. In four
years, Delta employees have proudly donated more than 2350 quilts to the
Primary Children’s Medical Center has a tradition of providing homemade
quilts and blankets to more than 10,000 children annually during their
extended stays at the hospital. Children often take quilts home with them
after their stay.
“The quilts help children staying at the hospital feel warm and
protected,” added Atkinson, a mother of three children. “When we hear the
stories of the affect these simple gifts have on the children, we have an
overwhelming feeling that we are truly bringing a bit of comfort to their
lives. It is incredibly heartwarming.”
A quilting frame, piles of donated fabric, thread and batting have become
a common site in Delta’s Salt Lake City lounge where flight attendants
from around the world continue to donate their time to create the quilts.
Over the past year, airport customer service agents, Reservation
representatives, pilots and Delta management have donated material or
money to support the project.