Wrap-A-Smile was started in 2001 while Terry Hodskins of Wells Rotary was at a Board of Directors meeting when our dear friend Bridget Burns was telling about her trips with Rotaplast and asking our Club for funds to help support the missions.  During her presentation she mentioned that when a child comes out of surgery, they were wrapped in plastic “chucks”.
Terry is a quilter.  When she heard that she heard no more of Bridget’s presentation.  All she could think of was these children need to be wrapped in a warm quilt made from love.  She went up to Bridget after the meeting and asked her if she would be willing to take some quilts on her next mission.  She said she would love to take 10 – 12 quilts.  Asked how many surgery were complete on a mission Bridget said about 90-100.  “I want each child to take a quilt home with them” said Terry.  Bridget's reply was “You can't do that.”  “Yes I can, I am a redhead and a Rotarian” says Terry.
At the time Terry belonged to 3 different quilt groups.  She approach each group to get their feedback and support.  By the time Bridget went on her next mission in January of 2001 she took with her 110 quilts.
Since that time, Wrap-A-Smile has distributed over 22,000 quilts worldwide.
A visual would be the quilts have just about covered six football fields.  This Wells Rotary project has received quilts from all 50 of the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and Great Britain.  The first quilts went to Cumana Venezuela in 2002.
Quilts are now going to 48 rotating sites worldwide with the Rotaplast Missions as well as 'Alliance for Smiles', 'Faces of Hope', and ‘1000 Smiles’.  Some of the counties include: China, Ethiopia, India, Egypt, Vietnam, and Mexico.
When we have had an overabundance and Rotaplast cannot accept any more for a while, we have sent quilts to wheel chair victims in Africa, Hospitals in Nigeria and Uganda as well as Ronald McDonald houses.  This is all done through local Rotary Clubs.  All quilts are child size, child friendly with very little white, machine quilted or hand tied as they may receive harsh treatment and using 100% new cotton.
Wrap-A-Smile has appeared in three national magazines as well as one book.  Each quilt has a special Wrap-A-Smile label stitched on the back of the quilt.  This label includes the Rotary wheel, known worldwide with two interlinking hearts.  These labels are put on each quilt received here in Maine by “Label Ladies” of Evergreen Quilt Guild.  There is a contact in CA who accepts quilts as well and she personally labels and delivers them to Rotaplast Headquarter in San Francisco.
In an email from Terry on January 31, 2017:
"This is a recent picture of Selma Berry of Skowhegan, Maine.  She just delivered 54 quilts to me.  She makes them all herself.  I see her two times a year with an equal or more amount of them."  As quoted from Terry's email.
Editor's Note:  Terry is a very quiet person and reluctant to toot her own horn so I am going to do it for her.
"The Rotary Club of Wells celebrated their 28th Charter Anniversary May 3rd, 2013 at the
Coastal House in Wells, ME. Part of the celebration was honoring our own Terry Hodskins a 
Service Above Self Award for her dedication and supply of 18,000 quilts to those receiving
Rotaplast Surgery. This award was presented to Terry from Peter Lagarias co-founder of
Rotaplast who came from California just to present this award to Terry."  
As quoted in the Wells Rotary Club's Newsletter. 
You can read more about Terry's award and see several pictures by going to the Rotary Awards, Service Above Self pages in District History.
Below are the Wrap-A-Smile Brochure and a picture of the tag that is sewn on every quilt made for Rotaplast.
Terry told me a story about one little boy who cried all night after his Rotaplast surgery.  No one knew why until the next morning when it was discovered he did not receive a quilt after his surgery.  He got a quilt!  This shows how much these children love the quilts and no one wants to be left out!
Terry's story of how she started "Wrap-A-Smile" is is a great example of how one person can make a difference!
Marie A. Williams
January 22, 2017