Paying It Forward

We get by with a little help from our friends….

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Charles Dickens

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Scroll down for the announcement of the winner, the grand total, and photos and videos of coats and food.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. To a large extent the times are what we make of them. These short dark days of winter are for reflection and introspection. It is easy to want to write 2020 off as the worst of times. Make no mistake, it was a spectacularly difficult year that brought the world to its knees. But there are also silver linings: less travel, more time in the garden, and new creative ventures that I will share with you soon! That being said, I would not have made it through this year without you. From friends who kept my bike rolling, to collectors who did ALL of their Christmas shopping with me, to every single box of notecards that sold, you all helped me survive an unimaginable year. I ended 2020 feeling overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity I have received. In light of this, I would like to start 2021 with an effort to pay that generosity forward.

Free Coats at the Highland Thrift Shop in Grantsville,

During the month of January, the Highland Thrift Shop in Grantsville, Md has a free coat pantry. I can not imagine life on the “tundra of Maryland” without a good coat. It is regularly colder here in mountain Maryland than Anchorage, Alaska. I am asking you to help me fill the free coat pantry with new warm coats. I went round and round on what would be the best way to do this. Creating a piece of art to use as a fundraiser was the easy part. How best to use the art for fundraising took some thought. I finally decided a raffle would work best. For every $10 donated you will receive an entry to win “New Day”. This is a framed, original ABPH Art quilted collage. The artwork is 12″x24″, the frame is 18″x30″, and has a retail value of $595. I am donating the frame, artwork, and shipping or delivery. This means that every dollar donated will go to purchasing coats.

The Highland Thrift Shop is a 501c3 non-profit supported by donations, staffed with volunteers, with an overarching mission to help the poor in Garrett County. In addition to the January free coat pantry, Highland Thrift Shop houses a year round free food pantry. The proceeds from the store are regularly donated to local charities, such as Hospice Care, and Habitat For Humanity. This remarkable organization is run by an even more remarkable woman. Regina Holliday is an activist, artist, speaker and author. She speaks about the benefits of health information technology and timely data access for patients due to her family loss. In 2009, she painted a series of murals depicting the need for clarity and transparency in medical records. More on The Walking Gallery.


  1. For each $10 donated you will receive one entry. IE: $10 = 1 entry, $20 = 2 entries, $30 = 3 entries
  2. Entries will be assigned a number in the order they are received. A random number generator will be used to pick the winning number.
  3. Donations will be accepted until midnight January 12th with the winner being announced January 13th.
  4. Mom and Dad, you may donate if you choose but you are not eligible to win. (you have enough of my art). Same goes for siblings and in-laws.

YOU GUYS!!! OMG in the first 24 hours we have raised close to $4000! Your generosity is astonishing! Once we have reached $4000 any additional funds raised will be used to purchase food for the free food pantry at the Highland Thrift Store. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

And the winner is……..

Wow! The response to this fundraising effort has been astonishing. When I first posted about this I hoped we would at least raise more than the $595 retail value of the piece. We did more than ten times that. Here are the numbers:

1 piece of art

125 Donors

$6380 Raised

66 brand new coats for the Highland Thrift Shop free coat pantry

5 (and counting) gently used donated coats

$2380 food for the Highland Thrift Shop free food pantry

I delivered the first 56 new coats, and 5 gently used coats to the Highland Thrift Shop today, January 13th. While I was there Regina Holiday, the heart and soul of this charitable organization, helped me announce the winner.

And the winner is….. Sarah Myers of Oakland, MD!!!

There aren’t words for my gratitude! I will continue to post photos and updates until all of the coats and food have been delivered.