I have been adding information to our Historical Timeline page and have been scanning in photos and newspaper clippings. I found the following newspaper article from 1985 concerning the 10th anniversary of the Day of Love. It reads:
First English “Day of Love” Now In Its 10th Year
Every Tuesday morning, women of First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville get together to turn castoffs into useable items for others. Rags, scraps and old clothing are transformed into quilts, layettes and bandages: even old greeting cards are recycled.
‘Day of Love’ is the appropriate name chosen for this weekly session of work and fellowship. On Feb. 12 this year, the 10th birthday of this project was observed.
The list of accomplishments of this group of ladies is long: a thousand quilts, nearly 800 layettes, 60 ‘Klenli Kilts,’ a hundred activity kits, 350 bandages, 120 shoeboxes of Christmas gifts and countless dish cloths, dish towels, potholders and rugs have been constructed. ‘Day of Love’ has also made nearly 150 lbs. of soap for Lutheran World Relief.
Ten years ago, Circle 5 of First English Lutheran met at the church to cut squares, sew and make quilts. The participants enjoyed the fellowship so much that they invited other circles to join them.
The first organizational meeting was held Jan. 29, 1975, when Nora Hegge, Pearl Hoberg, Elizabeth Rosenwald and Sharron Johnson, who currently serves as chairperson, in attendance. They chose the name ‘Day of Love’ for their special group and the name stuck. The first ‘Day of Love’ meeting was February 11, 1975, with 11 ladies present. But since then, the group has had more than 30 names on its attendance list.
‘Day of Love’ had no capital in the beginning and got started with a $10 donation from the ALCW, which was later repaid, and with the sale of handmade rugs. Now they raise funds, in addition to whatever donations they may receive, through thrift sales of used clothing that is still usable and too good to cut up for scraps. Their first such sale was held in the fall of 1975. The women use the proceeds to buy supplies and there has been enough money left over to buy Christmas gifts for the Marie Sandvik Mission.
Among the many ‘Day of Love’ projects over the years, quilt making has been the main activity. The ladies rip, press and cut the squares which are sewn together into tops and liners. Then they tie the quilts. ‘Day of Love’ has put together and donated approximately 1000 quilts to LWR and Marie Sandvik Mission.
The membership lists the baby layettes as its second most popular project. The ladies enjoy transforming colorful shirts or dresses into small jackets or kimonos. The diapers are made from T-shirts, sometimes with interesting results.
‘Day of Love’ sends their recycled greeting cards to anyone on the church’s stewardship list or anyone else who might need cheering up. They take the front of a used card, add a middle page with a Bible verse, then attach a construction paper back. Each member signs her name.
Many of the items made by ‘Day of Love’ go to missions elsewhere, but the members’ activities also benefit the needy locally, too. In 1983, the organization started ‘Loves Locker,’ a clothing bank for anyone who might be in need, and many have used the service. The group also has provided other help for needy families, flowers for the ill, memorials for their own members, gifts for the nursing home and other gestures of Christian good will, as well as additions for their own church.
Not only do the ladies enjoy carrying out their charitable work, they also enjoy their fellowship with each other and take time to celebrate holidays and members’ birthdays each month. Special lunches are held and Sloppy Joes reign supreme as the members’ favorite. Sharron Johnson and husband Jim also treat the ladies to a summer trip to their Shady Nook resort near Alexandria.
The following poem was reprinted in a booklet prepared by ‘Day of Love’ as it neared its seventh birthday in 1982 and is rather descriptive of this weekly gathering:
15th Year Celebration
For their 15th year (1990) they had a cake and made a banner. I found these photos.
If you somehow missed the post, the Day of Love recently made Dignity Quilts to donate to Fairway View. You can read more about that here.