School Project Becomes COVID-19 Memorial Mission for 13-year-old Student


Madeleine Fugate with her sewing machine
Photo: Katherine Fugate

Madeleine Fugate with her sewing machine Photo: Katherine Fugate

As of Friday, May 8, 2020

Taking inspiration from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, 13-year-old Madeleine Fugate of Studio City, Calif., is determined to remember those who have passed away due to COVID-19 by creating a quilt that honors victims of the coronavirus. As a seventh grader in the Los Angeles neighborhood, Fugate was tasked with completing a Community Action Project, a requirement for students in her grade, which is an effort by school administrators to instill in children a sense of community service. After her mother, Katherine, shared stories of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which began in the 1980s and grew to become a global symbol to remember AIDS victims, Madeleine became inspired to start the COVID Quilt, as a similar project.

“We see the number of people who have died on the news and the numbers keep going up and they become so big that it’s hard to understand,” Madeleine said. “So, I wanted to remind everyone that each number is a real person with a family and friends who loved them and they will never be forgotten.”

To create the quilt, Madeleine needs a bit of help from others. She is seeking 8"x8" quilt squares that represent individuals who have died from COVID-19.

“The 8"x8" individual quilt squares can be anything–a name, a photo, a poem, a hummingbird, a sports team, even a square from a favorite T-shirt–anything that makes the person real so they are not just numbers in the news,” she said. “My hope is that this project keeps growing and the quilt keeps getting bigger because I want every person who dies of COVID-19 to be remembered.”

Additional information can be found via COVID Quilt 2020, while memorial-square contributions can be mailed to COVID Quilt; 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., #443; Studio City, CA 91604. Madeleine encourages contributors to share pictures of their submissions via social media with #COVIDQUILT, prior to sending them through the mail.