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Utah Woman Helps Stitch Together A California Community After Deadly Wildfire

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – When Krysti Wright saw her childhood home burned to the ground, she knew she needed to do something to help the residents who have lost everything. Last November, the Camp Fire ripped through Paradise, Calif., destroying 14,000 residences and leaving tens of thousands of residents homeless.

“It was very depressing to see that and to feel of what their sorrows are,” Wright said.

In 2016, Wright started nonprofit Stitching Hearts Worldwide and has since donated 1,700 quilts to refugees around the world. When she saw the need in California, she knew she needed to get involved.

“It’s like the quilts is the one thing that starts their home again,” Wright said. “It’s something that someone has put their effort, and love into, that make it something special just for them.”

She and other volunteers sewed 320 quilts with donated materials, handing them out Paradise residents in December. Wright said it was an experience she would never forget.

“There was just story after story of people having lost everything and yet they had a happy smile on their faces,” she said.

She recounted one story of a woman who received one of Wright’s quilts and noted it had some of the same fabrics her grandmother used.

“She said, ‘oh my grandmother made a quilt just like this and it was at the foot of my bed… my greatest sorrow is that it burned in the fire’,” Wright said.

Wright said the trip was so inspiring she enlisted the help of Utahns to sew nearly 200 more. She’s taken donated materials, looms and sewing machines to dozens of groups to finish the quilts. Wright said it not only helps the people of Paradise, but also the ones right here in Utah.

Quilts ready for delivery

“It’s giving them a chance to serve, it makes them happy,” she said. “I love to see people happy.”

Wright said she planned to donate the newest quilts to residents of Paradise by the end of February.

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