December 15, 2005 - "Mending Hearts of Katrina's Kids"

The Christmas tree at the State Archives is always an impressive Louisiana-themed tree. But this year the it tells quite a story--a story that goes back weeks in time and across centuries of Christmas love. It goes back to the students at Baton Rouge Children's Charter School.

They learned to thread needles, to tie knots. They made a quilt--to "mend the hearts of Katrina's kids," they said. Then they duplicated all the squares of that quilt to form the ornaments on the State Archive Christmas tree.

Dawn Abraham of the Louisiana State Archive office says, "This has made my Christmas. It is in the spirit of giving that I told these children that they truly receive, and it has touched my heart as much as I hope it has touched theirs."

But the youngsters' contribution has just begun. The quilt they made will be autographed by all five living American presidents. It will be auctioned off in the spring, and the money will go to USA Freedom Corps, the outreach effort headed by former presidents Bush and Clinton.

Charter's children learned more than sewing. They learned the spirit of Christmas. They learned to mend hearts.

In addition to the charter kids' quilt, the State Archive office has opened a holiday exhibit of all kinds of Louisiana quilts.