A beautifully decorated quilt featuring squares of artwork created by students participating in the “Connecting Threads” program sponsored by the Raleigh (NC) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was recently donated to the Southeast Raleigh YMCA. The objective of the “Connecting Threads” program was to introduce students to the history of quilting within the African American community based on a grant received by the chapter from the Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated.
The two themes of the quilt “Hopes and Dreams” and “Family” were creatively captured in the artwork by students from Southeast Raleigh Elementary School who were participating in the after school program at the YMCA. The quilt was presented to Rodney McCormick, Director of Programs at the Southeast Raleigh YMCA on Monday, March 29, 2021 by members of the chapter including Brenda Lewis, President; WRenia Bratts-Brown, Vice President of Programs; Renee Allain-Stockton, Project Coordinator; and Pat Walters, a member of the African American Quilt Circle of Durham.
The “Connecting Threads” grant application was submitted to the Southern Area prior to the COVID pandemic, so the Raleigh Chapter pivoted to a virtual delivery model in partnership with the African American Quilt Circle of Durham (AAQC). The AAQC was instrumental in helping to reimagine the steps involved in introducing students to the history of quilting in the African American community while creating the quilt in a virtual environment. Their members volunteered countless hours of their time sewing the squares of artwork into the completed quilt. In appreciation for their time and talent, the Raleigh Chapter presented the AAQC with an honorarium for their contributions.
Chartered with only 14 members on April 18, 1949 to serve the Wake County community, the Raleigh (NC) Chapter was the tenth club of The Links and therefore, one of the 14 original clubs (later known as chapters) of The Links, Incorporated. Today, the Raleigh (NC) Chapter includes over 58 women involved in activities throughout the community.