ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Pulse nightclub shooting back on June 12th, 2016 ripped at the very fabric of Orlando but it was the kindness of strangers that literally stitched it back together.
The Orlando chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild sent out a call to action for people to send handmade quilts to the city beautiful and the response was overwhelming.
Quilter Rene Martinez answered the call, but she wasn't alone. More than a thousand people began the work of repairing broken hearts through a labor of love.
Martinez says, "It's very therapeutic and a way of giving back to the community and showing our love."
Quilts came in from every state in the U.S. along with 23 countries.
Martinez says, "We're still counting. We have photographed 11-hundred (quilts) and we still have several hundred to go."
Attached to each quilt there is a note of hope, some written right on the fabric. Martinez showed FOX 35 several quilts. She says a woman near St. Pete or Clearwater made a quilt and then took it around the community and had people write messages on the fabric to show their support for whoever would receive the quilt. Some of the notes were even more personal.
Martinez says, "This is another one from the Pittsburgh quilters and the quilter quilted every single name of the victims, the 49 names."
But families of the victims weren't the only recipients. What first responders saw inside the Pulse nightclub was equally crushing. They too received quilts. An outpouring of universal love to those who need it most and a life lesson forever stitched in time.
Martinez says, "Someone wrote, 'love conquers,' you know...love wins. There's more love than hate in the world."