Rev. William Hartman Sr. was the founding pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church located on North Main Street in Roswell in 1959. His widow, Roswell resident, Frances Hartman, is just one of the dedicated volunteers who spend every Tuesday morning piecing quilts in the “Hartman Fellowship Hall” at St. Mark’s. Now 90 years old, Frances has been quilting with the group for at least 30 years.
“We’ve made these lovely quilts for years and were running out of ideas where to give them,” said Hartman, “when my granddaughter told me about the camp she was involved with, I thought, this is something we could do with our work that would really bless kids in need.”
After Hartman’s idea was met with enthusiasm from her granddaughter, a volunteer for Royal Family KIDS Camp of Roswell, as well as the longtime quilters, the group began to quilt an individual quilt for each child who attends the camp. This began in 2016, and this summer will be the third year that every child receives a handmade quilt to take home from camp.
The quilters begin work in August on the quilts, and work right up until the end of June. The first year they made 50 quilts, the second year, 60, and this year are planning to have 65. Each quilt is beautifully unique, made from hundreds of fabrics donated to the group over the years.
“We explain to them that a group of grandmas have been working all year to make the quilts just for them and praying for them as they make them. It is so precious,” said Laura Roebuck, Frances Hartman’s grandaughter. “It is so special for me to see my own grandmother blessing children who don’t have the same joy I do of growing up in her loving warmth. Royal Family KIDS Camp is a volunteer-run camp for children who have been abused and neglected. The Roswell camp is sponsored by several churches, many individuals and local businesses, and all of the kids that attend are from the local area. For more information, visit purpledayroswell.com.