CCC student spreads love - one quilt at a time


CCC student Marsha Monestersky (right) shares a quilt with Emerson Hasgood of the Jeddito Chapter on the Navajo Nation.


Flagstaff, Ariz. - Coconino Community College has some of the most captivating students. Each of them has something special to bring to the College. One student in particular, Marsha Monestersky, has an extraordinary passion for helping others. The warmth in her heart—and the warmth of her delivered quilts—hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Monestersky is the Program Director for Forgotten People, a Navajo Nation organization that helps to build homes, sanitation structures and water systems, give out solar systems and lights, food items and blankets to support the development of Indigenous Holistic Sustainable Communities.

This past December, Monestersky collaborated with Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB), a charity dedicated to providing handmade quilts to those in need in different areas of the world. She and the organization gave more than 500 quilts to individuals on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 23 years of her life and does everything in her power to give back.

“This is my fifth year working with Quilts Beyond Borders,” Monestersky said. “[We are] mostly focused on the former Bennett Freeze, where people were denied the ability to fix and repair homes for over 40 years, and the Hopi Petition lands where people are affected by relocation by the U.S. government.”

The CCC General Studies student explained that time, effort and love go into the making of each quilt. Plus, no two are alike. They come in various sizes -- for the lap, to hang on the wall and to put on the bed.

Monestersky visited schools, communities, various Chapter Houses and senior living areas to make sure everyone could reap the benefits of the comforting quilts.

“I was contacted by Quilts Beyond Borders [several years ago] and I heard about the work of their organization, and I said, ‘Wow, it would be really wonderful [if] we could set up something and give out quilts,’” Monestersky said.

Since then, she has delivered the hand-crafted pieces in Big Mountain, Black Mesa, Tuba City, Cameron and Leupp.

She explained that she does this deed around Christmas time, because she wants people on the Navajo Nation to have something to look forward to during the holiday, in addition to keeping warm and cozy.

“Christmas can be a lonely time, you know, if you don’t have the family support network,” Monestersky said.

Furthermore, Monestersky added that she wanted to do something special for the Navajo Code Talkers. She spoke with the President at QBB and decided to nominate them for Quilts of Valor.

According to the Quilts of Valor website, “The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

Monestersky noted that she was honored to spend her winter break away from CCC to give to the community.

“I’ve been able to sit with them [Navajo Code Talkers] and hear stories of their battles they were engaged in. It’s like a front seat to experiencing something that’s totally unique,” Monestersky said. 

The next step for the scholar is to bring quilts to veterans because there are many individuals on the Navajo Nation who have served in the military.

“I feel like the true meaning of the holiday season is giving, not receiving,” Monestersky said.

- Brittany Viar



Friday, 9th February 2018

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  • Friday, 9th February 2018