Gifts of love A little boy’s short life inspires kindness and joy

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, LRnews@frontiernet.net

Debi Henry and Martha Sherman of New Prague recently gifted their time and sewing talents to making this beautiful memory quilt and a special “Grandma pillow” for Shirley Schulz of New Prague and her son, Kraig, whose little boy, Austin, passed away due to a brain tumor in 2013. (Inset) Austin Harms (2007 - 2013) of Norwood Young America liked swimming, playing with toys, animals, and dancing. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Schultz)

When his little boy passed away due to a brain tumor in 2013, Kraig Harms entrusted many of his son Austin’s favorite shirts and blankets to volunteers who offered to use the items to make a keepsake quilt for him.

That was nine years ago. “When he kept after them, they finally gave him something that definitely wasn’t a quilt and was very disappointing,” explained Austin’s grandma, Shirley Schulz of New Prague. “They were obviously not quilters.”

Schulz brought the two raggedy things her son was given—all that was left of five-year-old Austin’s clothing and blankets—to her friends, Debi Henry and Martha Sherman of New Prague.

“I got to know them through our church, FaithPoint Lutheran Church, and when I showed them what my son had received, they cried,” Schulz shared. “It was just terrible, really… I didn’t know what they could do—if anything—with the pieces at that point, but they said they would do their best to create something more out of it.”

The ladies carefully took apart each precious item and lovingly stitched them together to create a beautiful memory quilt for Schulz’s son, Kraig. They also used some of the fabric to make Schulz a special “Grandma pillow.”

“They made it for me so I could get some Austin hugs,” Schulz shared. “I just can’t thank them enough…

Both the quilt and the pillow are just beautiful.” Both Henry and Sherman refused to take money for their work, but soon a beautiful idea fell on Schulz’s heart—one that would both allow her to give-back to her church community and honor Austin.

“When I heard that the church was hoping to add a playground, I knew exactly what to do,” Schulz stated with a smile. “You see, a karate group once raised money for a swing set for Austin, which was just wonderful. He loved it… So, the idea of giving a playground to the....

To see more on this story pick up the September 22, 2022 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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