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Enter the raffle to win this beautiful, unique quilt benefiting homeless, rescue animals here on St. Croix. Over the past year, Donna Cascarelli and Peg Collins created this quilt and are selling a limited number of raffle tickets — just 100 — for $20 each. All ticket money will be donated to the Paws from Paradise rescue program.

  • Traditional American quilt style and technique using scrap material pieces.
  • Original graphics with squares handmade on St. Croix.
  • Measures approximately 4-1/2 ft x 6 ft.
  • Message Donna Cascarelli on Facebook for tickets.
  • The drawing will take place once 100 tickets have been sold.

Donna can attest that quilting is a slow process that demands patience and dedication. After Hurricane Maria, she set up a table on her front porch, laid out all of her fabric scraps, and composed the quilt squares by headlamp.

It was a great stress reliever! All the work was done at night — we had plenty of real work to take care of during the day, so this is what I dangled as my “carrot” as something to look forward to at the end of the day. I attached the fabric pieces using fabric glue — and then when the power came on I stitched around each piece by machine. Once I had them all sewn together, I sent it off to Peg in Colorado to do the quilting part. I love to piece and she loves to quilt, so we’re a good team!

The “Compassion Quilt” squares were completed in May 2018. Peg, who Donna describes as an animal-lover and award-winning quilter, then gifted her time and talent to finish the quilt.

If Donna’s hobby is working with fabric, her passion is helping homeless cats and dogs. The quilt sketches are fictitious, except one that is fashioned after her neighbor’s Dachshund, “who is one of the loves of my life.” Donna has a dog and two cats, all St. Croix homeless rescue pets, plus a steady stream of foster pets awaiting forever homes. “All my pets have been homeless rescues, from the streets and dumpsters of St. Croix.”

Donna dedicates the “Compassion Quilt” to her niece, Jennifer, “who has one of the biggest hearts in the world and has never walked away from an animal in need.” She shared this story about her niece:

She drove hours to adopt a dog in need after Hurricane Katrina. She’s adopted 2 of my foster dogs from St. Croix — both who were hard to place — and two weeks ago drove 3.5 hours to pick up and adopt a cat landing in Miami from the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center. When her mom died, Jennifer made the adjustments necessary to her home and brought her mother’s dogs to live with her as her own.

About Paws from Paradise

Started by the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center as Pets from Paradise almost 20 years ago, Paws from Paradise is an animal air transport program that enables homeless animals from St. Croix to be placed stateside through a network of 40 rescue partners. The program uses travelers from the island to escort the pets. Learn more and share your travel itinerary with Paws from Paradise.

More than 40 cats and dogs are transported each month. The cost is $100-$200 for each animal, plus the cost of other necessary travel supplies, including the crates and carriers. People like Donna, Peg and other generous donors make this program possible. Visit the Paws from Paradise website and on Facebook to learn more.