Dorinda Fleming, a retired teacher and former assistant principal at Pierce Early Childhood School, began her journey into quilting as a personal hobby in 2017. It quickly became a passion project when she began donating the quilts to children in need through Project PASS (Program for Assisting Students in School), the Homeless Education Assistance Program in Irving ISD. Recognizing the transformative power of giving young students something to call their own, Fleming wanted to leverage her creativity to bring comfort to those facing hardship.
Fleming’s own experiences as a teacher and assistant principal provided her unique insight into the challenges faced by so many families. She wants the quilts to be more than just an item to bring warmth, but also a reminder to the recipients that “there are people who care, and that someone loves them even if they don’t know them.”
Facing her own difficulties, Fleming was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and was unable to continue her craft through her treatments and health complications. Not wanting to stop making quilts, her husband, Bill Fleming, graciously asked her to teach him how to sew so they could continue to provide for the kids.
She laughs as she shares that Bill was a commercial plumber, and he says that, “this is no different than welding, just a different material!” Together, it takes them about two days to sew and embroider a single quilt.
Using an array of fabrics, mostly collected from thrift shops, the Flemings have donated well over 200 quilts to Project PASS in the last six years.
“Every child deserves to have something to call their own,” Mrs. Fleming states; her voice reflecting her love for all children. Much like they have given new life to the fabric they find, the Flemings hope the quilts they create will spark joy and hope for their recipients.
“I want them to know that we really care, not just for the kid’s education, but for their whole well being and the families well being,” says Fleming.