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Young women comfort hospitalized children with 'Corinna's quilts'

During a busy schedule in reorganizing the Omaha Nebraska stake presidency Sept. 14-15, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland took time to visit a very sick little girl.

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve came to the bedside of Corinna Jones, 6, daughter of Bryan and Mary Jones of Rexburg, Idaho, on Sept. 14, the Saturday afternoon of stake conference. She is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, suffering from reverses of a small bowel transplant.Corinna; her mother, Mary; and other family members were cheered by the visit of Elder Holland, who spoke words of love and comfort and brought her a special message of love from President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Assisted by Kurtis Cornish, then president of the Omaha stake, Elder Holland gave Corinna a priesthood blessing.

He presented her with a handmade quilt, made by Camille Caverhill, a Laurel in the stake. This was the first of many that will be given to the children in the pediatric unit as part of the "Corinna's Quilts Project." Before returning back to the stake conference meetings, Elder Holland said: "I was thrilled to meet Corinna. There is no where else in all the world I would rather be today than at her bedside."

Corinna was in Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City for a time, where each patient there selected a donated quilt for comfort. The quilts were then returned when the child left the hospital so other children could use them. It was Corinna's wish that 100 quilts be similarly donated to the pediatric unit in Nebraska. Her mother said the quilts help comfort the children in a hospital setting where nothing is familiar or homey.

The project has been spearheaded by the Omaha Nebraska Stake Young Women, under the direction of Pres. Mary Beth Sierer and her counselors, Lavina Caverhill and Vickie Stevenson. The challenge went out to the Young Women in the 11 units in the stake to donate at least five quilts before Nov. 1. The leaders plan to present the quilts to Dr. Bruce Buehler, chief of pediatrics at the medical center at a special Young Women conference Nov. 23.

The Young Women have responded enthusiastically to the challenge and have already exceeded their goal of 100 quilts. They now have close to 110 quilts finished with several more nearing completion. During the Young Women camp in June, 10 quilts were tied. Seventeen more were completed during stake youth conference. One Laurel has already tied 25 quilts, and another, 10.

And it's not just the Young Women who are involved. One mother was looking for quilt material at garage sales. She mentioned the "Corinna's Quilts" project to the homeowner, who went to her basement and brought up an armload of material for the project. Members of another church heard about the project and said they usually make quilts to send to third-world countries, but they might make baby quilts for the Corinna project instead. In addition, Corinna's grandmother of Independence, Mo., has already donated 50 quilts that have come from several places in the Western states.