Healing through helping others

QUEENSBURY For Russ and Trish Chatham, the loss of their 29 year old son Brian in May of 2007 was a devastating event, and one they wish no parent ever has to face. While the couples loss has forever changed their lives, they have found comfort through dedication to their sons legacy. It sounds cliche, but Brian was the kind of guy who would do anything to help someone in need, said Russ. It was almost to a fault, thats how much he cared about people. It was through the example set by their son that Trish Chatham embarked on a project to help others in need. Together with a close friend as teacher, she began to craft hand-made quilts in her sons memory. Thanks to the hard work of friends and family, the project donates hand-crafted quilts to worthwhile organizations as raffle or auction items. Each quilt is unique, and bears a tag in honor of Brian. On April 26, the North Country Ministry will auction one of the B.D.C. Projects quilts as part of their annual fund-raising event at Fort William Henry in Lake George. We were familiar with North Country Ministry through our church, and were aware of the good work they do in the area. It just made sense to donate a quilt to them, Russ Chatham says. Right after our son died, a good friend of ours, Nancy Wilson, approached Trish about getting into quilting. Obviously it was a tough time for our family and they were looking for something that might help Trish. So far, the project has donated several quilts to area organizations, including a recent donation to the Firemans Home in Hudson, New York. For my wife, the most satisfying part is an expression of her artistic talent. When shes done, theres a little label that goes on the quilt that says its in honor of the Brian David Project, Chatham says. I think when that label is sewn on, that is the feeling of remembrance we get, and we know when we donate the quilt that the organization will use it to help others. It makes us feel good that Brian still has something here. Hes still a part of our life even though hes gone, and it makes us feel good. The only criteria an organization must meet to request a quilt is proof of their work on behalf of others, and the project encourages anyone interested to contact them. I hope that people recognize that were here and if they have a project to let us know, Chatham says. I believe that everybody should be doing something to volunteer, and we have friends and family that participate. Its a sense of camaraderie. The Chathams believe the process has helped them, as they wish to help others. The love, the care, the time, the vision that goes into every quilt is an appreciation for the love of our son that goes into every quilt we make, Chatham concludes. The quilts help us to never forget him. For more information, contact the B.D.C. Project at (518) 761-3102 or online at www.thebdcproject.org.

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