TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Local business owners of Cathey's Sewing & Vacuum called upon members of their community to do something positive with their skills this spring: Quilt hearts to protect hearts.
Director of Operations Carly Cathey-Timpf describes her community of customers and quilters as tight-knit, sharing aspects of their lives and stories with one another on a regular basis. After hearing that multiple friends and acquaintances had experienced complications with their or loved ones' cardiovascular health, she and owner Donny Cathey to do something to help.
That something became the Hearts-for-Hearts project. They gathered others who could sew quilted hearts for a spring raffle to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association.
"Quilters have the biggest hearts and it's important to all of us at Cathey's that we protect those hearts," said Cathey-Timpf. "Thus, Hearts-for-Hearts was born!"
Cathey and Cathey-Timpf reached out to other quilters over social media making a call for heart-shaped quilt blocks, which would eventually be sewn together for the fundraiser.
By the time the project was completed, the Hearts-for-Hearts project had garnered over 350 quilt blocks, enough for the Cathey's Sewing & Vacuum staff to assemble three king sized quilts.
By late April, after nearly a month of quilting together the individual blocks, Hearts-for-Hearts was able to sell more than 200 tickets, raising $1,000 in the name of heart health awareness. Cathey made a matching gift for the effort, reaching a total of $2,000 donated to the American Heart Association.
Thanks in part to the success of this campaign, Hearts-for-Hearts is far from finished.
"We plan to continue the Hearts-for-Hearts outreach project every year to help in the fight against heart disease," said Cathey-Timpf.
The Catheys anticipate the Hearts-for-Hearts project will be an annual occurrence each February for the foreseeable future.
Anne Simmons is a digital content producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Instagram or LinkedIn.