Stories of Hope- Quilts That Give
Debra Clinksdale and her five children are a family stitched together by love and hard knocks; but for Christmas it is the love that Clinksdale, a quilter since age 14, is stitching into quilts she is making for the Rescue Mission.
“We stayed at the Rescue Mission for six months,” she explains. “The quilts on the beds meant so much. I’ve always loved quilts, and to snuggle under one at the Mission–it’s like you’re home.”
Clinksdale, 58, is a single mom to five adopted kids ages 14,15,16,17, and 18. She adopted her eldest daughter, then three days old, in 1999. “I was in the delivery room when she was born,” she smiles. Over the next few years the others joined the family. There’s a brother and sister, both of whom had cocaine in their systems at birth and bounced around the foster care system. And two more biological siblings, also brother and sister, both of whom struggle with autism-related disorders.
“With all the special needs and difficult behaviors, our landlady decided we had to go,” says Clinksdale, a former EPA lawyer who later practiced on her own handling bankruptcies and court-appointments. “Suddenly I had this record of eviction so no one else would rent to me. We stayed in hotels but I couldn’t sustain that. I was trying so hard to keep the kids in this great school that could handle their issues, but it pretty much wiped me out. My practice suffered and I couldn’t afford to keep it. Finally my license lapsed and cost too much to renew.”
Between Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia, the family spent two years moving between family and friends, hotels, the Rescue Mission, and a run-down apartment that just added to their problems. But earlier this year, they found a larger house in a better location, and they are excited to be home for Christmas. “It’s been remarkable. My kids have trouble adapting and need consistency. Now things have settled down and they’re doing so much better,” she says.
Recently Clinksdale happened to meet a member of the Sassy Stitchers, a local non-profit that makes and provides quilts to the Rescue Mission and other organizations for people in need. “She told me about the stitchers who make quilts for the shelter, so I came over here to the shop as quickly as I could,” she explains while putting the finishing touches on a quilt. “The kids and I loved the quilts at the Mission and we loved the people. We identified with their crisis. God has always intervened for me so I’m trying to give back. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Thanks to the employee owners of Plastics One, your gift to the Rescue Mission during the month of December is DOUBLED! Double your gift this month to help other families like Clinksdale and her children find help and hope this Christmas.