The Shabby Chic Christmas store suddenly appeared! I had to take a look. What I discovered was inspirational and heart-warming stories about the people who create the beautiful and unique items you’ll find as we begin with Ceola McDonough"
”Well, my husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2002," said McDonough. "Of course we were shocked and numb and terrified and after about a year, we were starting to calm down and get into the routine and I’d see people at oncology going through this just as terrified as we were and I felt so helpless because there wasn’t any way I could help them. So, one day on the way home, I asked my husband, ‘what can I do to help these people?’ And he said, ‘make quilts for them, you’re a quilter.’"
And so the quilting project grew and grew. As of today she has given away…
“Sixteen hundred and thirty five,” McDonough said.
As word spread about the quilts, caring hands and hearts along with all kinds of support came her way.
“If I were just doing it to sell them to make money," said McDonough, "I would have burned out years ago. But knowing that I’m bringing happiness to somebody and lifting their spirits, it’s exciting to keep making them because whenever I give out a quilt, I think it does probably as much good for me and for my husband as it does for the person that receives the quilt.”
“It makes me so proud of my mom. I don’t think I could be prouder," said Gwen Brown, Ceola's daughter.
Linda Mulleady enthusiastically helped in opening Shabby Chic.
“All these people in this building all want to own small businesses but no one can afford to pay the taxes and all the other things, insurance that come along with owning their own business,” explained Mulleady.
But there’s so much more to her story that’s filled with a purpose and goal as she tells us about her beloved son Sam.
“When Sam died, one of his dreams was to open a foundation to help pay for athletic fees for young people here in the valley," Mulleady said.
During the last months of his life, his insight and wisdom opened her eyes and heart to honor her son and the promises she made to him.
“It was his dream to do this when he got well. He said, ‘mom, I’m going to pay for people, for kids that can’t afford things because you always pay for everything for us. So, I want to give it back.’ So, I decided when I started sewing that I would give anything pink, that I sell pink, I give the money back to the American Cancer Society," Mulleady continued.
She even tackled an enormous project that she felt was out of her realm of expertise, but she kept her promise to Sam.
"It’s going to be a whole series of books for kids so they judge each other when they grow up. And that’s what his dream was and that’s what I’m trying to do. Like I said, I’m not a very good writer. I’m writing it. It’s really hard to write. And it’s not hard because of what happened to Sam, it’s just writing does not come easy to me. Sewing comes easy to me but writing does not come easy to me,” she admitted. “Oh, I promised him and I will keep my promise. If it takes me four years to find the end for this book, I will write it and it will be published. It will definitely be published.”
There’s a special aura about this Christmas Store and the people you’ll meet here who exemplify the true meaning of Christmas that you’ll not soon forget. I would say these ladies’ passion and their spirit speaks for itself. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit with them.
Helping hands and Quilts for Cancer patients: Call Ceola at 243-8962 or Cell: 250-7443
Go to Shabby Chic and talk with Linda about her foundation for young people in honor of Sam Safken.
Hours of Shabby Chic: Mon thru Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.